UTSA Profile: John White, director of housing and residence life
(April 6, 2005)--John White is the UTSA director of housing and residence life since spring 2004. He is the first UTSA director of housing and has helped to build the program from the ground up.
Originally from El Paso, Texas, White attended Texas A&M University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in biology and a master's degree in educational administration.
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At TAMU, his interest in housing began when he worked as a resident assistant. This was the beginning of his 25 years of experience in housing.
He left Texas A&M in 1993 to become associate director of housing at Southwest Texas University, now Texas State. He was employed at Texas State until 2000, when he went to work for a private housing firm for three years before coming to UTSA.
Q: What are your primary duties as the director of housing?
A: I am directly in charge of Chaparral Village and I help students with any issues they may have. I also work with students who have problems that need resolving at University Oaks Apartments and Chisholm Hall, which are owned by a private company. I deal with the processing of applications, programming of events and maintenance of all three facilities. Also, I'm in charge of the meal plans for students and overseeing construction of the new dining hall.
Q: Why did you decide to come to UTSA and have you enjoyed your time here?
A: Before I arrived, UTSA had no real housing program. UTSA offered the opportunity to build a whole new department from the ground up. I loved the challenge that doing this would be. I'm enjoying my time here at UTSA because the faculty and the students are great people.
Q: Do you deal with students on a regular basis?
A: Yes, I deal with students daily. I see a lot of the same people most of the time and I enjoy seeing the familiar faces. I deal with students when they have any questions or complaints about the facilities. And, I'm here to help them whenever they have any problems with their financial aid or their meal plans. I make an attempt to find out how they are doing in school and if they need to talk to someone else for help. I let them know that they can approach me, and that I will always do what I can to help.
Q: What are your plans for the coming year?
A: I'll attempt to keep up with the demand that keeps increasing every year. I want to provide great housing to the students and help incoming students to get used to the college environment. We set up activities so the students can meet new friends. It's important because it seems to me that you're closer to the friends that you make in college than to the ones you made in high school. And, we're working on the construction of the second phase of Chaparral Village and exploring the possibility of building housing at the Downtown Campus, either independently or in partnership with a private company.
Q: On a more personal level, what are some of your hobbies?
A: I enjoy gardening and working on my yard during my off time. I love animals -- especially dogs. I currently own five dogs, two of which are show dogs. But, I have not had much time to enjoy my hobbies because I have been so busy with work. I love football and I am trying to help bring football to UTSA.