The position of housing director is currently vacant at USD.
Ashley Hartnett, previous housing director, left her position on Feb. 13. Since then, the housing department has divided Hartnett’s responsibilities while the job search for the new director begins.
John Howe, associate dean of student services and head of the job search, said the job application will have been posted for three and half weeks by Monday, which will be the first day of consideration.
“That’s the first time that we’ll come together as a committee and look at the files,” Howe said. “We want to honor what we’ve put out there that we’re not kind of poking around and looking around. We’re waiting truly for that first day of review.”
The committee has not been selected yet, but will be comprised of four to five people including department heads that housing typically works with and a resident assistant, Howe said.
Until then, Howe said the goal is to make sure everything runs seamlessly until a new director is found. As a result, Cody Burggraff, assistant director of housing, has taken on some of Hartnett’s roles.
“Cody’s team now is working so that from a student’s perspective you wouldn’t be aware that we’re missing this key leadership role right now,” Howe said.
Burggraff said in addition to him and Howe splitting some of Hartnett’s responsibilities, the housing staff has been able to pick up a few extra tasks to make the transition go smoothly.
“You always look at it with a positive spin; yeah some days are quick and you don’t know what’s up or down,” Burggraff said. “Ultimately I think it’s super important you look at it through a lens of ‘hey this might be my job someday anyway, so what can I do now to get a little bit of insight and learn a little bit more.’”
The job posting requires “a master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education, College Student Personnel or closely related field and a minimum of 5-7 years of experience in housing.” Burggraff meets both requirements.
“I’d never say no,” Burggraff said. “It’s always an option but we got to let the process play out, so you never close a door on your own until somebody closes it for you.”
However, Burggraff is still satisfied with the job he has now.
“I’m by no means in a hurry to get anywhere professionally… I really like what I’m doing because I still have a lot of contact with students,” Burggraff said. “Whatever is best for the institution is ultimately (best)… I really like working here.”
Howe said the ideal candidate would be someone who has a passion for their work and that puts students first particularly in this role.
“University housing is a place where students live and we know that’s critically important for their success at the university,” Howe said. “So we’re looking for a leader that can not just keep the status quo of university housing but push it forward.”
In an email interview with The Volante, Hartnett said her family relocated to Iowa due to her spouse’s new job there.
“I will greatly miss the staff and students at USD,” Harnett said. “The professional and student staff team have a passion for creating an environment in the residence halls that fuels student success.”