Ryan Bair joined Bradley in 2008 and serves as executive director, residential living and student conduct for the university’s 5,000-plus students.
1. How would you describe your role as head of residence life and student conduct?
Student conduct is my primary area of responsibility, e.g., in the classroom to overseeing Title IX hearings. Besides managing the rooming system, I decide which facility projects to work on and I keep up with their management. Then there’s the daily ins and outs of working with student staff while they help students grapple with all kinds of issues.
2. What do you find rewarding about working with college-aged students?
I like the ability to help people and be a first responder to make sure the university is safe for students living on campus. I also want to ensure their safety in class and that we’re upholding the (values) of the university through the conduct system.
3. What’s the craziest situation you’ve ever encountered on the job?
Early in my career, I got a call from an RA who tells me a student has a rat in their room.
I found that very alarming, so I asked someone from Facilities to meet me there. When we got to the room it was only a little white mouse. That was my first lesson in “always remember to ask more questions” because there’s the story you get and there’s what you find once you get there.
4. What kinds of challenges will physical distancing requirements bring to your work?
One challenge will be how we convey the importance of following Bradley’s policies and recommendations, since we have a lot of people with different viewpoints on the nature of transmission and of the disease itself. We need everyone to be on the same page and respect the guidelines we’ve been given.
5. You’re also a painter and muralist. How did that come about?
I grew up with my father painting every day in the studio in our home. That was a normal part of life, and I followed along the same path he did. It’s been part of my career, but now it’s more a hobby. I still have a gallery show or two every year. It’s nice to have people see your work and see what they think about it once you present it to the world.
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