The UO Faculty in Residence program will host a remote information session about an open position in the university’s new residence hall in the fall.
The session will give interested faculty members a glimpse into the program. It will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 3.
The program is designed to encourage faculty members to create a dynamic living and learning environment in the UO residence halls by forging a network of academic connections and support for undergraduate students. Faculty members are able to develop strong connections with students just beginning their college careers.
“The FIR program offers students an opportunity to get to know, and be known by, faculty early in their undergraduate careers,” said Kevin Hatfield, director of academic residential and research initiatives for University Housing, referring to the Faculty in Residence program. “The fourth FIR will enjoy a robust collaboration with the academic residential communities and academic partners committed to fostering an engaging first-year experience.”
The new resident faculty member will join a dynamic community in the new residence hall, with the Women in Science and Math and Sustainable Communities and the Public Good Academic Residential Communities debuting in fall 2021 along with two new “exploring students” Flight Path Residential Communities. A mezzanine-level learning commons with multipurpose social and academic spaces will support the resident faculty member’s programming and engagement with students.
The Division of Undergraduate Education and Student Success and University Housing currently co-sponsor three residence positions at the UO: professors Jina Kim in Kalapuya Illihi Hall, Matthias Vogel in Global Scholars Hall, and Robin Hopkins in Justice Bean Hall. The new position will start in fall 2021 with a summer move-in date. Faculty members are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline, Feb. 15.
Kim, an assistant professor of Korean literature and culture, said she has enjoyed her five months as a faculty member in residence.
“Being a faculty in residence has allowed me to see other aspects of student life that I did not see just as a professor,” she said. “Living in the same community as students, I see how students are part of various other aspects of university life. They are not only students in my classes, but they are athletes. They are members of student groups. They are volunteers at local organizations.
“In witnessing and realizing this, I have thought more about how I could bring their rich backgrounds and experiences into creating more enriching learning objectives, teaching strategies, and research opportunities,” she said, noting that she sometimes hosts afternoon tea and karaoke nights in her residence hall.
Vogel, a senior instructor of German, said he enjoys the company of his students on regular explorations of the Eugene trails, for dog walks and for the occasional afternoon lunch.
“This is a two-way street,” Vogel said. “As they have shared their lives with me, I share my life with them. That means academics on the one hand, but it also means exercising together, watching films together, attending plays they star in. It has led to truly deep exchanges on academic and life topics, and it has motivated me always to strive for the best and to lead by example.”
Resident faculty members design co-curricular plans for programs, events and activities, which may align with their disciplinary expertise and personal interests but generally appeal to all residents. University Housing will provide the faculty member with administrative support to let them focus their work on mentoring, advising and engaging undergraduates.
Faculty members follow the live-in staff-faculty housing agreement and are compensated with a year-round furnished apartment, including utilities, as well as a meal plan and $3,000 annually in programming funds to facilitate engagement with students.
Vogel strongly encourages his fellow faculty members to consider the program.
“It is wonderful to live on campus; the hustle and bustle of campus life is all around me,” he said. “I am reminded of all the wonderful aspects of life and its promise and potential by living on campus.”
—By Cheyenne Thorpe, University Communications