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ERIC Number: EJ775944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 14
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0271-0560
Student and Residence Life: Planning a Campus around Students
Oehler, Valery
New Directions for Higher Education, n139 p87-100 Fall 2007
This article details the challenges that UC Merced faced in building up the critical areas of student and residence life. The new institution held great promise for achieving the ideal of a student-centered university, but certain bedrock problems proved difficult to overcome. One was that at the beginning, both administration and faculty saw academic development as the sole priority for investment of all-too-scarce dollars. Even with administrative enthusiasm for the unique programs proposed, endowed chairs trumped co curricular opportunities in the competition for donor dollars. Here the author details her journey to create student life unhindered by tradition, and "this is how it's always been done" thinking. She shares 7 lessons learned along the way, and candidly discusses results of having been provided those lessons. The student life and residence life programs at UC Merced, while not yet fully formed, have already become what they are at other college campuses around the nation: a complex combination of relationships, interactions, social development, and personal growth. The carefully constructed combination of services, programs, mentoring, interventions, opportunities,and celebrations brought the campus to life. Although now convinced that there is no way to achieve an ideal organization in higher education, the author has cemented her conviction that committed, seasoned, student centered professionals are the key to success for any student affairs endeavor.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Subscription Department, 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California