Veteran director managing I-HouseBy Josh Schonwald
Bill McCartney, a veteran housing services director with extensive experience in developing international programs, has been appointed Director of International House.
McCartney, who previously directed the housing system at the University of Mississippi, began his appointment at I-House Tuesday, March 1.
Having served for several months in a consulting role, McCartney is now the full-time director, managing both real estate and programming at I-House. He also is supervising the largest and most costly reconstruction plan that has been undertaken in I-House’s more than 70-year history.
“Bill has deep experience in housing management, marketing and occupancy, and has overseen the planning and first phase of an $85 million facilities renovation project,” said Hank Webber, Vice President for Community and Government Affairs.
Webber noted that McCartney was involved in the construction of a 100-person International House at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington earlier in his career. “I think he’s the ideal choice to lead I-House at such a crucial time in its history.”
In addition to serving as a director of housing at several universities, McCartney has extensive experience in cultural exchange and international program development. While at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and the University of Mississippi, he coordinated the National Student Exchange Program, and during the past decade, he has served as chair of the international relations committee of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International.
McCartney, who earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and an M.A. in student services administration from Ball State University, described the I-House directorship as a fortunate marriage of his personal and professional interests. “Throughout my whole life, I’ve helped build environments that are conducive to learning, social interaction and personal growth,” he said. “That’s exactly what I-House represents.”
McCartney will lead I-House during a major reconstruction of its physical structure. The quality of student housing will be vastly improved, he said. Rooms will be modernized with the addition of a telecommunications infrastructure, new electrical service, and modern furnishings and finishes, and the building’s plumbing will be replaced.
McCartney said that although the physical structure of I-House is in great need of wholesale repair, another aspect of I-House needs little tinkering. “The shining star of I-House is its programs,” McCartney said. “Programs such as the Global Voices Series provide a great resource to our community.”
So far, McCartney has had the opportunity to hear two I-House speakers: the bureau chief of Al-Jazeera and Great Britain’s ambassador to the United States. “The opportunity to be exposed to world leaders and thinkers is rare. It’s certainly something that’s unique about this job.”
In 1932, John D. Rockefeller Jr. funded construction of the striking neo-gothic building that is I-House. Currently it houses approximately 200 people, many of whom are graduate and advanced undergraduate students.