The departure of two of Virginia Tech’s dining services leaders has coincided with a plan to reorganize three departments that support student life.
Rick Johnson, former director of housing and dining services, and Robert Coffey, former senior associate director of housing and dining, both left to fill other posts at Duke University and the University of South Carolina, respectively.
Johnson, who was at Tech for 15 years, took the position of assistant director of housing and dining at Duke. Johnson had only positive things to say about Tech’s dining programs. He said he hopes to bring the experience he gained here to Duke.
“I loved housing and dining at Tech,” he said. “You build a program and you become attached to the people and to the school, but I had a good opportunity and I took it.”
Coffey was not available for comment on his departure from Tech.
Frank Shushok, Tech’s associate vice president for student affairs, said Johnson and Coffey’s departures have created an opportunity for Tech to look at how dining, housing and residence life work together on campus.
This summer, housing and residence life will combine to form a single department under a new director. Dining will become a separate department under the control of a director of dining services.
A third party recruiting team, Spellman and Johnson, will take on the national search to find candidates to fill the new director of housing and residence life position. The search for a new director of dining will not begin for a few months.
Leon McClinton, current director of residence life, and Ken Belcher, current associate director for occupancy management, will remain with their departments in their current positions. They will both eventually report to the new director of housing and residence life.
Ted Faulkner has been hired to be Tech’s next senior associate director for dining services, replacing Coffey.
Faulkner said he hoped dining services would continue to bring the best services and facilities to Tech while working with SGA and other student organizations on campus.
Tech has one of the largest dining and residence life programs in the country, with about 9,000 students living on-campus and holding dining plans, along with more than 9,500 students living off-campus and also holding dining plans.
Donna Ratcliffe, the current director of career services, is serving as the interim director of dining services while Tech conducts the search for a new permanent director.
Shushok said he hoped the restructuring would enhance every student’s experience with residence life at Tech.