Housing, dining director to take over Study Abroad

Ethan Metcalf

Michael Mills, director of housing and dining services. Photo from video by Cody Samples
Michael Mills, director of housing and dining services. Photo from video by Cody Samples

As Larry Williams, sociology professor and director of the Study Abroad Program, reaches retirement this May, Michael Mills, director of housing and dining services, will take over Williams’ position June 1 this summer.

“I’m very fortunate and very honored to have the opportunity to take over after him when he retires in May,” Mills said. “Dr. Williams has done a fantastic job of building Midwestern’s culture of study abroad. He started this 28 years ago just as a sociology professor and has built this into a consortium now that Midwestern leads.”

It will be a short move physically—the housing and study abroad offices share a building—but this marks Mills’ first foray into the academic side of working on campus.

“I’ve worked my whole career in student affairs. I’ve had the opportunity the last couple of years to teach a little bit in the Dillard College of Business, and I think it’s just a wonderful opportunity to experience the academic side of the house and also to give these students a life-changing opportunity,” Mills said.

Mills said a national search for a new housing and dining director will begin next month, ideally filling the position on the same day he transitions into his new job.

“Just because of the nature of new housing coming online, it being a record year where we’re going to have unprecedented demand for university housing, and managing of that and off-campus [housing], I think they’d want someone in here as soon as they could,” Mills said. “When I came in 2003 of having 700 beds on campus to now when we have 1,320. If you count our off-campus beds, we’re at 1,500, and by next fall of ‘16, we’ll have over 1,800 beds.”