In an effort to be more accessible to students, recently appointed provost and vice president of learning Jody Funion announced that he will be relocating his office to a yurt on Schaaf lawn for the 2017-18 academic year.
“Too many of us in administration have offices on the second floor of Yochum,” Funion said. “And like I said when I accepted the position, I want to focus on student success, so I figured why not put my office where my mouth is.”
When fully completed, the new yurt will contain ornamental rugs for Funion and students to sit on during meetings. There will also be a fire pit in the center to allow for the boiling of water and the preparation of coffee and tea.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said Sarah Mills, a junior psychology, sociology, and criminology triple-major. “It all sounds so inviting. I can’t wait to talk to Dr. Khan about all of my concerns over a nice cup of green tea.”
The yurt is expected to be completed by the beginning of the fall semester.
“It’s just great what Jody is doing. It’s right in line with Capital’s mission,” said University President Paula Bethany. “He has such passion for helping students. I hope the rest of administration takes after his lead.”
Funion said that the location of the yurt is very important as a lot of students will go by on their way to and from the Student Union.
“If anyone needs to meet with me there will be a gong out front,” Funion said. “All they have to do is ring it and wait five minutes. If I don’t come out then it means I’m in another meeting.”
The yurt construction is part of a larger project to redevelop Schaaf, which will also include a campus garden operated by Aramark.
“I’m excited to tend to the garden when I’m not working with students or in committee meetings,” Funion said. “Serving fresh greens in the dining hall will be a great way to help students succeed.”
Some students are not happy with the new construction, however.
“I don’t think my tuition dollars should be going toward building such an eyesore,” said Lambdon Miller, a fifth-year music technology major. “This is just another thing in a long list of ways Capital lets it students down.”
In response to these criticisms, Funion said, “I encourage students to come and share their concerns with me in my new office. My door is always open. Literally.”