Truman searching for hall directors

Residence Life is looking to hire up to two hall directors this semester.

Currently, there are four hall directors at Truman State University, which is two fewer than last year. However, with Dobson closed, the University is looking to have a total of five hall directors this year: one for Ryle and the apartments, one for Blanton-Nason-Brewer Hall, one for Missouri Hall, one for Centennial Hall and one for West Campus Suites. 

Laina Porter is the director of Ryle Hall and the apartments, but she is expected to take maternity leave this semester. Residence Life Director Jamie Van Boxel said Porter will remain on staff in accordance with federal law, and would be expected back by the spring semester. While the start date of Porter’s leave is unclear at this time, Van Boxel said he anticipates a short window of time between Porter’s leave and adding a new staff member.

Bailey DeVetter is the hall director of BNB, but she is resigning Aug. 30 because of health concerns, according to an email sent to BNB residents.

Zach Hollstrom is now the hall director of West Campus Suites and Centennial Hall after Megan Swingle took a position at the University of Missouri before the semester started. 

Van Boxel said there are two focuses in trying to manage the responsibilities of the missing hall director positions. The first is how the rest of Residence Life staff can collectively ensure operations continue to run smoothly.

“Collectively the team comes together to make sure that all students that live on campus are offered an experience that is safe, welcoming and conducive to an experience that all Truman students should have, which is being able to focus on being academically and personally successful,” Van Boxel said. 

He said even though hall directors are assigned to particular communities, when the position is left vacant the responsibilities are split between the other hall directors, community coordinators and other Res Life staff.

Van Boxel said the larger focus would be on getting fully staffed. He said he has every intention of being fully staffed in hall director positions by the time the fall semester ends, and could have them filled as early as a few weeks. 

The two hall director positions were posted to Truman’s Human Resources website about two weeks ago. The priority deadline for applicants, the date in which all candidates will be considered and evaluated at the same time, was Aug. 26. 

Human Resources Director Sally Herleth said the search is going well considering it is off cycle. As of Aug. 27 there were 16 candidates. She said the University would normally post a position for hall directors in spring, but they didn’t know there would be a need back then, and the number of applicants is still good. 

While Human Resources facilitates the search process, hiring decisions would be sent back to the department that houses the position. 

Van Boxel said that his past experience indicates that vacancies on the hall director level can be common because they are marketable individuals with leadership experience, especially after three to five years in the position. 

“Every few years we know that we’re probably going to hire a hall director,” Van Boxel said. “Then there will be years like this year where we’ll hire a couple hall directors, which is fairly normal and routine.”

The hall directors could not be reached at this time.