June 23, 2023

New AVP for Student Auxiliary Services and Chief Housing Officer takes leap of faith

Headshot of Trish Romer
Trish Romer

DETROIT – As a college student, Trish Romer and her friends made road trips up I-75 to watch her favorite teams play at the iconic Tiger Stadium and Joe Louis Arena.

Thirty years later, she’s returning to Detroit. But this time, it’s about writing a new chapter in her life.

“I went to school at the University of Toledo, and we used to come up for Tigers and Red Wings games, so I’m excited to come back,” she said. “It's time for me to do something new and different, and why not do it in Detroit?”

Romer will have ample opportunity to cheer on her favorite teams when she begins her new career in the Motor City as Wayne State’s Associate Vice President for Student Auxiliary Services and Chief Housing Officer (AVP/CHO). She begins her new role on Aug. 1.

As AVP/CHO, she will be responsible for the university’s Housing and Residential Life, McGregor Memorial Conference Center, and Wayne State University Dining & Catering Services. Getting a jump on the fall semester, Romer said, will help her learn the WSU operations and settle in before the full student body returns to campus.

“It will give me a little bit of a window to find out what we're doing for move-in, where we're at,” she said. “Staffing wise, it gives me an opportunity to meet with the student staff and with the housing resident life staff, to understand the dining operation. So, I'm just looking forward to hitting the ground and starting to run.”

Romer comes to Wayne State following a 25-year career at the University of Virginia, where she served as director of operations for Housing & Residence Life and Student Affairs since 2011.

Romer admits the decision to leave UVA is a leap of faith, but she’s excited to become a Warrior.

“I looked at the job and thought to myself, ‘Well, I have a skillset that I think matches and the opportunity gives me places to grow in,’” she said. “So, I thought it looked like a win-win.”

Throughout her career in Charlottesville, Va., Romer built and sustained positive collaborative relationships that allowed her to meet job requirements and advance her department’s strategic plans. By doing so, she managed to meet students’ needs and ensured the alignment of university goals and objectives so operations were efficient, effective, and fiscally sound.

Now, Romer is prepared for a fresh start. She’s ready to pack up a life’s worth of belongings – including her two-year-old poodle, Benny – and make the life-changing move 600 miles west from the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Motor City.

Born and raised in St. Henry – a small, rural farm community in western Ohio – Romer is thrilled that Detroit puts her closer, geographically, to family, including her father.

“It changes that nine-hour drive to three, which is appealing, especially because my dad’s not getting any younger, and I want to spend as much time as I can with him,” she said.

Romer said it’s also important for her to be near her three sisters, and 11 nieces and nephews, many of whom are in college.

“The college-aged ones are like, ‘I wonder if I can get an internship in Detroit,’ because they’d now have a place to stay,” Romer said. “I was like, ‘Yeah, whoever wants to come live with me, have at it. I have the room.’”

During the interview process, Romer said she felt it was important to let Wayne State officials know that she loved her role at UVA. But after 25 years, she feared complacency.

“I don't want to be stagnant,” she said. “I told them I’m looking because there may be something more, or I can contribute in new ways that I haven't been able to, and I think that was really the draw for me to start looking.”

Romer brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to her new role. Her experience in student engagement, student center facilities services, and project planning and execution will be a welcome addition to Wayne State’s Midtown campus.

“I think that Wayne State offers an opportunity to really connect into Detroit, the city, and what it has to offer,” she said. “And while Charlottesville has things to offer, it's not as robust as Detroit.”


Bill Roose
Phone: 313-577-5699
Email: bill.roose@wayne.edu

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