University Announces Reorganization

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

In an effort to increase efficiency and improve services, a new unit, Housing and Residential Life, has been created. The move is part of a larger reorganization that took effect Monday, Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz has announced.

Residential Services and Residence Life have been combined to form Housing and Residential Life. Beth Wagner, the former director of student life and first-year programs, will serve as the director; the unit will report to Les Cook, vice president of student affairs.

"Combining Residence Life and Residential Services is a positive move for students and the university," Cook said. "The halls have seen significant improvements in the past couple of years, and I'm confident that bringing both of these departments together within Student Affairs will provide additional efficiencies, as well as opportunities for us to enhance the living and learning experience for Michigan Tech students."

Residential Dining Services and Memorial Union Dining operations have also been combined, with Robert Hiltunen being named general manager of campus dining operations and reporting to Theresa Coleman-Kaiser, director of Memorial Union and Rozsa Center operations.

"We expect to realize tremendous efficiencies from this consolidation," said Ellen Horsch, vice president of administration.

The university's catering operations will now be able to draw on staff from all food service areas, including the residence hall kitchens, making staffing more efficient and benefitting catering clients. Administrative tasks among the various facilities, including event scheduling and ordering, will be consolidated, which will save both time and money. "Our goal is to enhance and streamline all the university's food service operations and, ultimately, to increase student, faculty and staff satisfaction," Horsch said.

Another key change allows the university to aggressively pursue another strategic objective: "to provide world-class and aesthetically pleasing physical facilities."

John Rovano, formerly director of residential services, will take over responsibility for Campus Facilities Operations, which includes Grounds, Building Operations and Skilled Trades.

Bill Blumhardt, former director of facilities management, will lead a newly created area, Campus Facilities Planning, which includes the engineering group and the Central Heating Plant.

Both units will report to CFO Dan Greenlee. "This change will allow Bill to focus more energy on strategic areas such as building planning and construction, energy conservation and development of a maintenance plan, which we sorely need," Greenlee said. "He also has an excellent rapport with state officials, and these relationships will be key as we move toward accomplishing these larger goals."

Rovano demonstrated an outstanding ability to manage large-scale projects while working with Blumhardt on the renovation of Wadsworth Hall, Greenlee said. "John put forth a great effort on the Wadsworth project, and I'm confident that he will bring that same skill and enthusiasm to bear on the care and beautification of Michigan Tech's campus.

"Both Bill and John have done a superb job, and this reorganization should allow them to accomplish even more in the future."

Mroz also praised Blumhardt and Rovano's efforts. "These are two high performers," he said. "They have worked well as a team in the past, and we look forward to them accomplishing even more in the future, especially as we implement our strategic plan and the recommendations of various campus committees.

"It's clear that top-quality facilities on an attractive campus are critical to attracting and retaining excellent students, faculty and staff."

"I'm also excited about the synergy between Student Services and Housing brought about by these changes," he added. "This should be a seamless transition resulting in higher-quality service to our students."

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.