University News

Brown to look for new head of ResLife after Bova, Basil depart

Assistant VP for Campus Life Marylou McMillan currently serving as interim head of ResLife

Senior Staff Writer
Friday, October 7, 2016

Due to the departures of both former Senior Associate Dean of Residential Life Richard Bova and former Director of Residential Experience Natalie Basil, the University will begin searching for a new head of the office.

Assistant Vice President for Campus Life Marylou McMillan has taken charge of the Office of Residential Life as interim head of the office this semester. The administrative shift follows the summer departures of both former Senior Associate Dean of Residential Life Richard Bova and former Director of Residential Experience Natalie Basil.

The Herald confirmed Bova’s departure with Director of News and Editorial Development Brian Clark Sept. 27, and Basil’s departure was later confirmed by McMillan after both of their names were removed from the University’s directory.

Bova left Brown after 13 years as director of ResLife to “engage in consulting work and continue his education,” according to an email sent out to faculty and staff members announcing Bova’s departure in June that Clark provided to The Herald.

Bova “really did start us on a new path of yearly attention to renovation and renewal,” McMillan said.

While leading the office, Bova improved many aspects of ResLife, including the introduction of Community Directors, and oversaw the major renovations of Keeney Quadrangle, residential halls on Pembroke campus and 315 Thayer Street, according to the email.

Along with overseeing residential life, Bova was also in charge of Dining Services and was “actively involved” in a wide range of projects during his tenure, including the creation of Andrews Commons, according to the email.

The University will be conducting a national search for the next head of ResLife, McMillan said, adding that it has not yet been posted.

“I would love (a new director) for next semester, but you never know how quickly the searches are going to work,” McMillan said.

Under McMillan, staff at ResLife are “trying new things,” including new programming ideas from Community Directors and changes to Residential Peer Leader training, she said. There was also a change to the off-campus lottery process, she added.

“In this particular year, one of the things I have said to people is ‘let’s try some stuff,’” McMillan said. “If it works, great — and if it does not, we will try something different.”

McMillan added that ResLife has been trying to listen to what students are asking about and see how their suggestions match up with current office priorities and goals, she said.

She is also emphasizing transparency while at the helm of ResLife, she said.

“I really enjoy the department,” she added. “I know that students do not get to see often the camaraderie and commitment to the experience of students. … But it really is a group of people committed to the student experience here at Brown.”

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