Former Ryle Hall Director Laina Porter left her position in Residence Life Aug. 24, putting the current number of Truman State University hall directors at four, with six residence halls and two on-campus apartment buildings under their supervision.
The Ryle hall director responsibilities will be divided among three of the remaining hall directors. Ka-La Harris, Blanton-Nason-Brewer Hall and Dobson Hall director, will oversee students living on the first, second and third floors of Ryle. Missouri Hall Director Lindsay Boggess will oversee students living on the fourth and fifth floors. David Boughton, West Campus Suites Hall director, will oversee facility and resident-related issues.
Ryle Community Coordinator Margo Motes, who was hired by Porter, will continue working in Ryle to mentor student advisers, oversee the hall’s front desk operation and help the hall directors facilitate staff meetings in Ryle.
Residence Life Director Jamie Van Boxel said he cannot speak about Porter’s reasons for leaving or any other personnel-related information.
“I can talk a little about hall directors in general,” Van Boxel said. “Less than 5 years is the average longevity of a hall director in the United States. Laina was here for much longer than average. So often hall directors depart to leave the field of Residence Life or to advance, to take a position with more responsibility, more authority.”
Porter declined to comment on the matter.
Van Boxel said there are currently no plans to hire a new hall director. He said the number of students living on campus decreased by 400 since last year and four hall directors is enough to cover this year’s 1,500 residents.
“Although I would prefer to have five hall directors, certainly, and I would not have hoped that we would have a mid-year resignation, I am very confident that [with] the talent and professionalism and the desire to serve students and do good work that our hall directors and community coordinators have we will manage with this temporary structure in place,” Van Boxel said.
Dave Rector, vice president for administration, finance and planning, said the Residence Life budget had a dramatic drop from $21.876 million last year to $17.819 million this year.
Rector explained that Residence Life is not eligible for any of the state appropriations the University receives and, instead, uses money that students pay for their room and board to pay for its operating expenses. The drop in students living in on-campus this year is likely the reason for the decrease in the budget, Rector said.
“If all goes as planned and everyone stays here this semester and we have a normal semester in the spring, there will be enough revenue to cover what is budgeted,” Rector said.