John Niven spent the better part of three decades including his entire collegiate experience at Northeastern University, both as a student and as an administrator.
Starting March 4, Niven will be getting used to new surroundings as he takes over as Temple’s new director of University Housing.
“I am thrilled to be coming to Temple. I am eager to begin my responsibilities,” he said. “I have had a strong student-centered background. Being able to have a positive impact on students in the college years has a great deal of satisfaction for me.”
Niven, of Cambridge, Mass., received both his Bachelors of Science in Education and his Masters of Public Administration at Northeastern University. For the last two years Niven was the Facilities Coordinator where he supervised long and short-term activities in Northeastern’s residence halls.
Prior to that, he held associate director positions in a variety of departments at Northeastern.
Niven will be filling the position left vacant by Regina Russo in August of 2001.
He took this job because he feels Temple is a positive and progressive campus that is, “truly committed to the success of its students.”
Living only a few hours north of here, Niven is familiar with the city he will call home beginning March 2. He said Philadelphia, “holds tremendous promise.”
As housing director, Niven will be in charge of making plans for accommodating the housing need and finding additional housing off-campus. He will also manage residential life and maintain work orders for repairs in the residence halls, supervising overall conditions in the residence halls.
He said he is looking forward to helping with the growth of housing and campus life.
“I think working with external departments like Undergraduate Admissions, Enrollment Management, Student Affairs, and the Medical Center will be key aspects of my job responsibility,” he said.
James Fitzsimmons, associate vice president for Student Affairs/dean of students of Temple University took notice of Niven in a 1995 Program Review of the Student Affairs department.
A program review invites professionals from outside institutions to evaluate programs and make suggestions for improvement.
“I saw he was a very experienced, articulate professional with great sensitivity to student life issues,” Fitzsimmons, who is also the housing department supervisor, said. “I was looking for someone with a breath of experience with supervising a comprehensive program.”
He held interviews with six candidates via tele-conference. Of those candidates, two were chosen to come to campus for a two-day interview process with faculty, staff and students.
Fitzsimmons said Niven’s experience with a 6,500-bed university at Northeastern makes him equipped to deal with the housing needs at Temple.
“His experience will greatly assist us in assessing potential relationships with private developers for housing adjacent to campus and/or housing on campus,” Fitzsimmons said. “The staff is anxiously awaiting his direction and leadership.”
Niven said that he understands the demand for housing and wants to see how efficiently the housing selection process operates and if the process works for students.
“I want to roll up my sleeves and get to know what is going on,” he said.