director of Residential Life, enjoys working with students.
Director of Residential Life Interested in What Students Have to Say
|After working in a
variety of roles in higher-education, Fran Koerting has found her niche.
“I love working directly with the students,” says Koerting, director of
Residential Life. “I want to help make their Wesleyan experience a positive
Koerting spent the past eight years working as the director of Residential
Life at Fairfield University. She came to Wesleyan in July.
Koerting holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and biology from the
University of Rhode Island and a master’s in college student personnel from
Bowling Green State University. The Long Island, New York native says she
wanted to work at Wesleyan because of its “excellent reputation.”
“I love the caliber of students here,” she says. “Here, they are able to
engage with the faculty and staff, and their input is valued.”
The Fauver Field residences and prototype homes on Fountain and Warren
Streets are two examples of facilities designed with students’ input.
Upcoming decisions that students will be involved in include furnishing the
senior wood frame houses, additional laundry facilities and renovations to
Foss Hill residences, to name a few.
Within her own department, Koerting actively seeks student input to better
student life. In addition to Residential Life’s 99 student employees, she
meets with individuals to address their concerns and find solutions. She
serves on several committees with students, which discuss issues that affect
“There’s lots of living options for students here, and we try to make each
one unique,” Koerting says. “And now that almost all students are living on
campus, this can help them take advantage of all that’s offered in their
Koerting says the residential requirement underscores Wesleyan’s emphasis on
the development of students outside of as well as in the classroom. By
living on campus, students learn to build community, respect others and be a
Maria Cruz-Saco, dean of the college, says in the short time that Koerting
has been with Wesleyan, she has already made a strong impact in handling
"Wesleyan has a diverse housing stock which brings a variety of options to
students," Cruz-Saco says. "We are designing ways to further
faculty-staff-student interactions and conversations in residential halls
and Fran's experience and leadership will be key. "
Koerting manages the department’s operating budget, meets with the Physical
Plant staff, deans and department heads to discuss issues. She also deals
with parents, who often call in with questions and concerns.
“Residential Life benefits from a collaborative relationship with other
departments,” she says. “If someone has a concern that I cannot help them
with, I’ll refer them to the person who can, or often we’ll work with that
department, to get the student’s problem solved.”
Maureen Isleib, associate director of Residential Life, says Koerting’s
personality and energy has given the department new direction and goals.
“Fran has worked in a number of different roles in student affairs and
brings a fresh perspective to the office,” Isleib says. “She also has
boundless energy and enthusiasm, and her commitment to student development
is evident in her interactions with students.”
The biggest challenge in Residential Life is being prepared for the
unexpected, Koerting explains. This can range from transition issues to
crisis management – quite possibly dealing with the death of a student.
“We deal with the lives of 2,700 students, and you never know what is going
to come up,” she says. “In Residential Life, you’re always having curveballs
thrown at you, and that’s what makes it so interesting.”
On her days off, Koerting spends time with her husband, Walter, and children
Katrina, 16, and Stephen, 14, and her Shepard-Black Labrador mix, Kukla at
their home in Shelton, Conn. When she’s not busy attending her children’s
soccer games and marching band performances, Koerting enjoys sewing, crafts,
reading, and teaching Sunday school.
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection