Editor’s Note — This story previously published in Nebraska Today with an incorrect event date. It is being republished with updated information.
A retirement reception for Charlie Francis, senior director of housing and dining, will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. July 13 at the Nebraska East Union, Great Plains Room. Remarks are scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Francis is retiring July 15 after 40 years of service in higher education. In addition to 17 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Francis worked at West Virginia University, Plymouth State College, the University of Denver, Notre Dame University, Emporia State University and the University of Wyoming. Prior to accepting his current role in University Housing, Francis served as the director of the Nebraska Unions from 2005 through 2018.
A transformational leader in Student Affairs, Francis oversaw a $2 million renovation of the Nebraska Union, the construction and opening of the Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center and the initial planning of the renovation and expansion of the Nebraska East Union. He also managed the transition and opening of the university Children’s Center in its current location. In Housing, he provided oversight and leadership during the renovations of the Knoll Residential Center to accommodate the Honors Program.
“While I have enjoyed the opportunities and challenges presented in both positions I’ve held here, I have to say I’ve most appreciated working with the UNL students, faculty and staff,” Francis said. “Every university I’ve worked at has been a great experience, but UNL has truly been a wonderful place to be. I will miss the day-to-day interactions with my colleagues and friends on campus.”
Francis says he is most proud of the relationships that he’s built across campus departments.
“Charlie is a natural connector,” said Laurie Bellows, vice chancellor for student affairs. “His daily interactions and were led by a student-first philosophy because it’s the Nebraska experience that matters most. We’re very fortunate to have had him on our team and wish him the best in his retirement.”
Given the time commitments required by his professional roles, Francis is most thankful for the support of his family — his wife, Karen, and their daughters, Jessica and Amanda.
In retirement Francis looks forward to traveling to the Oregon coast to see his daughter and her fiancé; to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia; and to walk the Camino de Santiago in northwestern Spain. He also says he plans to find time for reading and home projects.
The reception is free and open to the campus community.