The newly formed department of Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality (EMDH) will combine responsibilities of the Bone Student Center and Campus Dining Services as of December 1.
“This consolidation brings together two strong departments with several areas of overlap into one dynamic department, providing a full continuum of services,” said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Danielle Miller-Schuster. EMDH will become one of the 13 departments within the Division of Student Affairs and the largest University department, with roughly 1,300 employees. “Both departments include highly skilled and talented staff who place the highest value on the student experience,” said Miller-Schuster.
According to Vice President for Student Affairs Levester “LJ” Johnson, this significant change within the Division of Student Affairs centers around synergy and efficiency. “Student Affairs desires through restructuring to become a higher functioning organization via developing synergies among like areas while identifying efficiencies in operations and personnel that fit with the strategic direction of the University,” he said.
Miller-Schuster appointed Bill Legett as interim director of EMDH. Legett, who previously served as interim director of Campus Dining Services, has nearly 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry in the Bloomington-Normal community.
The department will manage seven facilities, including the Bone Student Center, Braden Auditorium, Bowling and Billiards Center, Student Services Building, Marketplace at Linkins, Watterson Dining Commons, and the John Green Building as well as the retail dining options across campus.
According to Miller-Schuster, the consolidation will offer a more efficient shared use of facilities and space that will coincide with the renovations of the Bone Student Center and the Culinary Support Center in Watterson Dining Commons. “The new department will offer increased opportunities for training and collaboration between units, creating cross-functional teams who can better respond to the changing needs of our students, faculty, staff, and guests,” she said.
The new department will strive to enhance student life by providing safe and inclusive places to study and gather with friends, high-quality meal options, and customized event services. Visitor experiences will also be enriched by the direction and leadership of the department’s skilled professionals. When discussing the excitement surrounding the new department, Johnson said, “I look forward to seeing the positive impact this new department will have on the student and guest experience at Illinois State. The innovative work by Student Affairs staff and our campus partners has been nothing less than extraordinary.”