EKU has long been known for the close relationships it facilitates between students and their professors.
Beginning this fall, some Eastern students won’t even need to leave their residence hall to interact with a faculty member. Or, to put it another way, one faculty member won’t even need to leave home to interact with students.
The University is in the process of finding that perfect fit for its new Faculty in Residence program, which will launch at the newly opened Martin Hall.
“The Faculty in Residence program provides a perfect opportunity for students and faculty to connect in a more informal way,” said Lisa Mendenhall, assistant director for living learning communities and retention in EKU Housing and Residence Life. “Seeing a faculty member outside of the classroom helps the student connect with them in a different way, which is really impactful for student retention and success. Getting to hear about a faculty member’s favorite television show or how they became a faculty member helps break down a lot of barriers for students.”
The selected faculty member, who can serve up to three years in the position, will host three programs per semester in Martin Hall, as well as fireside chats throughout the academic year. Office space will be available, and the faculty member will have the opportunity to teach classes in the residence hall.
“A typical day,” Mendenhall suggested, “could consist of holding office hours in Martin Hall, teaching their normal course load and coming back to the residence to chat with a few students at the end of the day. I doubt any day will be the same, but we really want this person to be an active member of the Martin Hall community.”
Mendenhall said faculty who have participated in such programs at other universities “often talk about how the experience changed how they interact with students inside the classroom. Research shows that faculty who participate in these programs explore different ways of teaching, and some have also identified new areas of research from the experience. It is also a great opportunity to serve our students in a much different way and connect in a more meaningful way.”
The selection committee is not looking for a faculty member from any specific academic discipline, Mendenhall noted. “The committee is focused on finding a faculty member who is excited to engage with students, as well as someone who has demonstrated a genuine care for students. This individual will be living in a residence hall with 18- to 22-year-olds, so it takes someone who is approachable and willing to be present.”
In addition to the free housing, participating faculty, who will be evaluated at the end of each academic year, will receive a $500 meal plan. Interested faculty should complete an application packet, available at housing.eku.edu/faculty-residence, and obtain a signed statement of support from their department chair. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, March 9, and the choice will be notified by April 30.
For more information, contact Lisa Mendenhall at firstname.lastname@example.org.