Five Questions with Bill Gilligan and Jim Hoppe


Bill Gilligan
VP, Information Technology

Q: How long have you worked at Emerson?
A: In 1982, I became an adjunct faculty member and in 1984, at the tender age of 11, I became a full-time member of the faculty. I taught math and computing and was charged with building an Academic Computer Center and curriculum. Since then, my job has evolved in an organic manner, bringing new challenges and continued excitement every year.

Q: What department(s) do you oversee?
A: Information Technology (IT), including Infrastructure, User Services (Help Desk, Lab Operations, Media Services), and Enterprise Systems; Television, Radio, and Film Production (TRF), including TRF Operations (Di Bona TV Studios, Paramount Soundstage, Journalism News Facility, Equipment Distribution Center, Post-Production, Emerson Channel, and Emerson Productions); and WERS, the best college radio station in the USA.

Q: Why did you choose to work at the College?
A: At first, I was offered the rare chance to create a new digital program at Emerson, including facilities and curriculum, at just the right time for both me and the College. Then, opportunities for growth and fulfillment kept coming so I made the choice to stay.

Q: What values guide your work?
A: Building and maintaining trust; striving for work-life balance; the power of listening; empathy and compassion; strong beliefs in the mission of the institution and the importance of our profession; sharing both responsibility and credit; the benefits of joy and laughter mixed in with the work.

Q: What is one change you would like to see at Emerson that would make it an even better place to work or study?
A: Space is one of our biggest challenges and there are countless ways the College could benefit from more of it. One would be space on campus designated for collaboration and innovation, where students, faculty, and staff could come together to create and design in programmed and unprogrammed ways.



Jim Hoppe
VP and Dean for Campus Life

Q: How long have you worked at Emerson?
A: I started on July 1, 2016, and have just finished seven months! I have been working in student affairs for the past 28 years, holding positions at Northwestern University, Saint Louis University, University of Puget Sound, and Macalester College.

Q: What department(s) do you oversee?
A: I oversee the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life. That includes Housing and Residence Life, Student Life, Campus Center, Student Activities, Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, Intercultural Student Affairs, Parent and Family Programs, Off-Campus Student Services, Community Standards and Student Conduct, Athletics, Counseling and Psychological Services, Disability Services, Center for Health and Wellness, and Career Services.

Q: Why did you choose to work at the College?
A: What initially caught my eye was the College’s mission and focus, especially the emphasis on liberal arts and the commitment to diversity and inclusion. After my initial conversation with Sylvia Spears (who was chair of the search committee), I remember going home and saying to my husband, this might be the place. As I learned more about the College and met students, faculty, and staff, I could see myself becoming part of the community. There are so many opportunities and so many people excited about their connection with the College that it was impossible to not be caught up in the energy.

Q: What values guide your work?
A: I try to keep the student experience at the center of what I do. It’s important to me that we are seen as trusted and caring individuals who work with integrity, passion, and purpose. Every decision I make is influenced by how it will impact students and their experiences at the College. Our work needs to be creative and forward thinking. Particularly in student affairs, we are guided by our commitment to diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Q: What is one change you would like to see at Emerson that would make it an even better place to work or study?
A: The various construction projects that will come to fruition over the next few years give us this great opportunity to strengthen our sense of place. As we gain more spaces to gather and connect with each other, our community will become even stronger. We are fortunate to have a unique campus environment in a vibrant urban setting. I hope the physical changes and improvements will give us even more opportunity to come together as a community.