Students love the new Den and Cuppa Jones setup, and now the Student Center is in for another big change: the executive offices, along with other student services, will be moving to the Riley and Edwards rooms of the Student Center.
Steve Hensley, the University’s chief facilities management officer, said this move is a student-centric effort to provide a single point of contact for many of the services students need.
Hensley said the Admission office, the Records Office, the Business Office and the Financial Aid office will be located in the Riley Room, while the executive offices, including Dr. Pettit’s office, will be in the Edwards Room. The Center for Leadership Development will be consolidated into one space in the back of the Den, along with other services such as the First-year Experience coordinator. And Student Life offices will move from their temporary location in Reveal to the Alumni office on the first floor of the Student Center by Levinson Hall.
Eric Newton, dean of students, said the goal is to serve students more strategically by placing the necessary student services where students already are. Instead of needing to enter a formal office or make trips to multiple offices, students will be able to talk to just one person and address all the issues they need help with. Newton hopes this move will allow the administration to be more accessible to students. “Administrators being approachable is really, really important,” Newton said.
According to Hensley, demo work has already begun in the Riley Room and designs are being completed and approved. Next, contracts will be finalized and construction will begin, hopefully in late February or early March. Both rooms are being entirely remodeled in order to upgrade to current models in higher education to best meet the needs of students. Hensley said the layout will be much more open with a modern office design. Hensley said he hopes the move will be complete by Aug. 1.
While this move will allow for office updates, Hensley said the main purpose of the move is to benefit the students. “It all comes down to making the services that students need more accessible and user-friendly,” Hensley said.