Students affairs hires new residential life director

By Katelyn Canon

January 15, 2014

Residential Life will welcome a new director at the end of the month.

After Mark Stier left Missouri Western in October, a nationwide search began to find a replacement that would provide Residential Life with diverse experience. After only a couple months, Nathan Roberts was named the new director.

Roberts is a Kansas-native and earned his undergraduate from Emporia State University. He has had a variety of residential life experience, which started at Emporia. Roberts has also worked across the nation at different universities, such as Chico State and, most recently, Oklahoma State University.

Roberts begins work on Jan. 27. Before making any changes, he is focused on getting to know how Western residential life works.

“I’m just excited to see what kind of atmosphere we are already creating, and what little things we can make along the way to tweak that, and making sure the staff has the support and the resources they need to continue doing the good job that they are probably already doing, and then we can plan as a team how to make things awesome later on.”

Vice President of Student Affairs Shana Meyer is eager to see what Roberts will bring to campus as the chief housing officer.

“He comes from a big institution, so his area at Oklahoma State is actually bigger than our housing as a whole,” Meyer said. “He just brings in a wealth of information, a wealth of experience. He’s been at several previous institutions, and I think he’ll be able to enhance our services to students, our customer service to students and our professional development for our staff as well.”

Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Judy Grimes, who headed the search committee, was impressed with Robert’s level of expertise in residential life.

“We were very impressed with his experience in a diverse setting, different settings he has been involved in across the country, and we thought that would be extremely helpful to us on this campus,” Grimes said.

While Roberts wants to offer his full support to the Residential Life staff, he also emphasized the importance of getting to know the students. Roberts said that he practices an “open door policy”, and students are welcome to stop by and chat.

“I don’t want to create a bunch of layers between myself and the student population,” Roberts said. “Obviously, I want to support my staff, who are running the halls and supervising the students… but if someone wants to come in and shoot the breeze and chit chat that’s perfectly fine too. I’ve always operated that way, from the time that I was a grad. hall director up until now.”