New housing study and committees seek creative solutions to crowded housing market

A new study is underway to assess the current and future housing needs of Vanderbilt faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and graduate and professional students. Launched by Vanderbilt’s Office of Real Estate and Office of Faculty Affairs, the study’s findings will be reviewed by two committees—one of employees and the other of graduate and professional students—that will make recommendations to university leadership. 

The study is the latest in a series over the past five years that are helping the university adapt to the housing demands brought on by Nashville’s rapid growth. Conducted by Brailsford & Dunlavey, this study is specifically focused on Vanderbilt University faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars, graduate and professional students. The study will include stakeholder interviews, listening sessions, case studies and surveys.  

“We want internationally leading scholars, students and staff to experience a great start to their careers at Vanderbilt University. While Nashville itself is great destination, our current housing market can make the move to Vanderbilt a challenge,” said C. Cybele Raver, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. “I am confident that this committee and our institutional partners will discover creative solutions for housing for our employees and students.” 

The study, which began in August 2022, is expected to run for the remainder of the 2022–23 academic year. Results will be submitted to the two committees for feedback and recommendations in spring 2023. Actionable recommendations will be presented to university leadership by summer 2023. 

“Over the past decade, Vanderbilt has set the national standard for the undergraduate residential experience,” said Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration. “Our goal for this process is to conceptualize, fund and implement equally innovative and appealing housing solutions for our employees and graduate, professional and postdoc communities.”   

Both committees are tasked with engaging with Brailsford & Dunlavey, understanding the study’s findings, providing recommendations and giving feedback on proposed solutions. Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs Tracey George and Director of Real Estate Margaret Emley are co-chairing both committees, and Raver and Kopstain serve as executive sponsors. Other committee members include: 

Employee Committee 

  • Nicole Allen – professor and department chair of Human and Organizational Development 
  • Kwasi Appiah – assistant director of finance and operations, Office of the Chancellor 
  • Faith Bishop – associate director of postdoctoral affairs and graduate and professional student housing, Graduate School 
  • Eben Cathey – senior director for local government relations 
  • Sanjiv Gokhale – engineering endowed director of construction management and professor of the practice in civil engineering 
  • Chris Serkin – Elisabeth H. & Granville S. Ridley Jr. Chair in Law 
  • Kiley Stokes – senior director, Auxiliary Services 
  • Katie Young – postdoctoral researcher, Department of Biomedical Engineering 

Student Committee 

  • Stephanie Akoto Bamfo – J.D. student, Law School 
  • Jessica Collins – biochemistry Ph.D. student, School of Medicine Basic Sciences 
  • John Gillespie – history Ph.D. student, College of Arts and Science 
  • Kristen Hughes – pediatric nurse practitioner–primary care master of nursing science student, School of Nursing 
  • Shreyas Krishnapura – doctor of medicine student, School of Medicine 
  • Joshua Livingston – chemical engineering Ph.D. student, School of Engineering 
  • Josh Martin – MBA student, Owen Graduate School of Management 
  • Joshua McDuffie – civil engineering Ph.D. student, School of Engineering 
  • Paige Oliver – English Ph.D. student, College of Arts and Science 
  • Isaac Rosenthal – human development counseling master of education student, Peabody College 
  • Kyra Smart – biomedical engineering Ph.D. student, Engineering School 
  • Jiaxin Jessie Wang – special education Ph.D. student, Peabody College 
  • Jay Williams – master of divinity student, Divinity School 
  • André Christie-Mizell – dean of the Graduate School and vice provost for graduate education, ex officio 

For more information about the housing study and committees, please email the vice provost for faculty affairs at