UVM hires Interim Director of Residential Life


Mac Mansfield-Parisi

Robinson Hall, located on South Prospect Street, is home to UVM’s department of Residential Life, April 29.

UVM appointed an Interim Director of Residential Life, following a vacancy in the position when former director Rafael Rodriguez left the role.

Kevin Hytten, an internal hire, filled the position after Rodriguez left for a position at New York University, according to a Nov. 9 email from Patricia Prelock, provost and senior vice president.

Rodriguez began working as Associative Vice President and Dean of Students at NYU in October 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile. Rodriguez is NYU’s first-ever Dean of Students, according to a Nov. 1 article from NYU Local, New York University’s independent blog.

Prior to his appointment as Interim Director of Residential Life, Hytten worked as manager of the COVID-19 Information and Service Center and has prior experience with student affairs, according to Prelock.

Before returning to Burlington in 2020, Hytten worked for 15 years in various student life capacities at UVM, Syracuse University and Green Mountain College, he said.

“I missed my home,” Hytten said.

Hytten initially came back to work at UVM as Senior Summer Housing Coordinator in March 2020, he said.

“My role would have been to help coordinate the summer housing operations, but because of COVID-19 there was no summer housing,” Hytten said.

Midway through the summer of 2020, Hytten said he organized the COVID-19 Information and Service Center.

During spring and summer of 2021, Hytten helped Residential Life utilize the internal customer service infrastructure he helped create the previous year, which was initially for COVID-19 customer service management, he said.

“I was doing two things,” Hytten said. “I was helping them refine their business processes, and I was picking up the phone and talking to parents and talking to students and closing cases. And to be honest with you, that experience really got me excited about residential life again.”

When an email was sent to faculty asking for self-nominations to be interim director, Hytten decided to apply, he said.

“It’s also been a lot of work,” Hytten said. “I would be lying if I didn’t say that. My average day is probably 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. over the last couple of weeks and then when I go home, what do I do? I look at my email and answer questions and keep things moving along.”

The relationships Hytten had formed working at the COVID-19 center made the transition easier for him than it would have been otherwise, he said.