Assistant Vice President of Housing & Residence Life Jerry Dieringer has left Towson University after 19 years of service to accept a position as associate dean at Johns Hopkins University. The Towerlight got to speak with Dieringer, whose last official day with the University was April 20, during his April 19 farewell reception in the West Village Commons.
What led you to Towson?
Well, I’ve held varying positions in student affairs, many of them in housing or residence life. I was at a school in Virginia that was rural and a little bit smaller, and I was looking for an opportunity to be in a big city, and Towson was designated to grow. Of course we’ve had tremendous growth since I’ve been here, from 15,000 students to almost 23,000, and on-campus housing has gone from 3,000 to 5,200 come this fall. It’s been a great opportunity.
What’s been your favorite part of working at Towson?
The students. Absolutely working with engaged leaders and students as they learn their way, and watching a freshman come in and then when they’re a senior cross the stage and see what’s changed. That’s been my favorite part.
What’s been the most difficult part of working at Towson?
I think we’ve been good planners, but the resource management has always challenged us. We’ve built seven new residence halls and we’re renovating three, and that has been a great opportunity and there have been challenges with that because resources haven’t always been available when we needed them. We’ve managed and we’ve done well.
What do you think you’ll miss the most when you leave?
Both the students and, of course, all of the great people I’ve worked with. After 19 years, I know so many and they’ve been friends and great colleagues, and it’s just been a fabulous opportunity. The collegiality is tremendous here.
What are your future plans?
I’m going to Johns Hopkins to go over housing, dining, residential life and conferences, which includes their union. So, I have a greater impact on student life, and I’m looking forward to that.
Are you doing anything fun in between leaving Towson and starting at Hopkins?
I am. I’m taking three and a half weeks off and travelling to Asia and Europe.
What are you going to do there?
Bangkok, Singapore, and then London, Lancaster City, Liverpool, Dublin and Belfast. Time and money, and I finally have some time. I’ll make the money work.
How do you hope Towson will continue to grow after you leave?
I have no doubt that things will continue to go well. The programs and the opportunities our students have for leadership, and I know that’s going to happen. The leadership opportunities for our students and the educational opportunities are going to be the most important.
Who’s taking over your position?
There’s a search right now, and sometime this summer I understand they’ll be announcing who. Sometime by the end of the summer or the beginning of the semester they’ll be announcing who it is. So I have no idea.