Carole Henry, the director of University Housing and vice president of Student Affairs, came to the University in June of 2004. She’s played a vital role in the extensive housing renovations planned in the next ten years. In January of 2005, the Board of Regents announced the plans for a new dormitory on campus in the current location of the Frieze Building. The dorm, North Quad, is scheduled for completion in 2008 and will be the first new dorm built on campus since 1967.
The Michigan Daily: What developments for North Quad happened over the summer?
Carole Henry: Throughout the summer, the architects have been working on trying to get the schematic design, the lasting model and still looking at those types of things. One of the main issues is where should be the main entrance for the building, and that’s what we’re still configuring, the whole layout. All that stuff is all really still in progress, trying to figure out where stuff fits in the building to maximize where we all connect.
TMD: When you close Mosher Jordan next year, the freshman enrollment will still be going up. How are you going to fit everybody since North Quad won’t be completed?
CH: One renovation we did was on Northwood 3, which is now undergraduate apartments. That has really helped increased the capacity. We had one meeting with admissions not that long ago really talking about next year in terms of strategies about the target of the freshman class. In terms of Mosher Jordan closing, we have made up that capacity in the rest of the residence halls. There’s been a big increase in the capacity of Northwood 3, so we have more than made up the 480 beds in Mosher Jordan. We’ve spent the last two years moving in that direction.
TMD: When will all the dorms have wireless Internet?
CH: Right now, there is no plan for wireless Internet. What our plans are is to gradually add wireless to common areas and dining centers. The challenge for that is to see if productivity will be better versus using wires. What we’ve been informed is that it will be better with wires in the rooms.
TMD: What is the University doing to help with off-campus housing?
CH: We (University Housing) provide a very thorough off-campus housing program. If you look at our webiste and the programs we have, I can say it’s one of the best – if not the best – in the nation. There has not been a shortage of off-campus housing recently, there’s actually been a vacancy raise. There’s a lot of things we’re doing to make students understand that you do not need to find a place in September or October for the next year. You can see the “for rent” signs and banners and those have been pretty competitive which should help students in terms of quality. We’re also promoting our apartment community full-force.
TMD: When will the Hill Dining Center be done and how are plans for the one on Central Campus?
CH: After we close Mosher Jordan next spring, it will be two years before the new Hill Dining Center opens and also the new extremely renovated Mosher Jordan, so 2008. What’s coming up next – and what most people don’t realize – is Bursley. Bursley will get an emporium and that will begin next spring. That will have a lot of convenience and extended hours and choice. There’s a lot going on.
TMD: Will room and board be going up because of all the renovations?
CH: No. What we’ve done is try to do everything we can to be more efficient inside University Housing.
TMD: How are dorms from back (when you were in college) compared to now?
CH: It’s funny, I’m going to my alma mater (Shippensburg) in October. Believe it or not, not dissimilar to Michigan, many of the residence halls that I had at college are the same, many universities have the same challenges we have. It’s not uncommon to walk in the dorm of my alma mater and see the same bathroom set-up that they had when I was a student there in the ’70s.