As students return to campus, they may be surprised to find the "D" missing from HDRL. 

Duke’s Housing, Dining and Residence Life office has been condensed into just Housing and Residence Life, explained Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs. The name change was spurred by the retirement of Rick Johnson, associate vice president of student affairs for HDRL, at the end of the Spring 2017 semester. Johnson announced his retirement in November, after serving in his position since January 2011. 

Instead of finding a replacement for Johnson, Moneta explained that he decided to separate Dining from HDRL. Joe Gonzalez—dean for residence life—will take on some of Johnson's responsibilities and become interim assistant vice president for student affairs as well as the head of HRL. 

However, Gonzalez will not be involved in dining, as Johnson had been. Robert Coffey, executive director of dining since 2012, will keep his current position in charge of Duke's dining operations.

The need for a new head of HDRL in its original sense was diminished by the completion of most major campus projects relating to dining and residence life, Moneta noted.

"At this point, most of the significant capital improvement plans for housing and dining have been completed or are in progress (e.g. Brodhead Center, Hollows, etc.) and the need for that role is unclear to me," Moneta wrote in an email to The Chronicle. 

Moneta explained that the new HRL title does not reflect much change in what HRL and Duke Dining actually do. Both HRL and Dining will remain under Student Affairs, which means that Gonzalez and Coffey will still report to Moneta directly.

"This is an organizational adjustment," Moneta wrote. "There's no change in our principle and practices involving housing and dining."

Gonzalez explained that HRL is still going to work very closely with Duke Dining on certain issues, but that HRL and Dining have different priorities.

"[HRL is] very focused on student housing and the bedrooms and the life there. [Coffey] and Dining are very focused on nourishment and feeding our students, so while there’s some overlap there, those things still stand alone," Gonzalez said.