Faculty Involvement in University Residences

The Faculty Fellow program is celebrating its 50th birthday this academic year. That is five decades of tradition that Purdue University has upheld since President Frederick Hovde first established this program as a way for students and faculty to interact with each other outside of the classroom in an informal environment. What started as a three-year trial became 50 years of faculty and students participating in activities throughout the semester. Roughly 200 faculty fellows, consisting of faculty and staff, are paired with each floor of a residence hall. Meals and activities are a regular occurrence, as well as events such as Homecoming and move-in weekend. Students are immediately welcomed into this program beginning on their first day on campus, which is one of the many reasons this tradition has endured. Throughout the years, students who were surveyed said that the Faculty Fellow program provided them with benefits such as networking, opportunities to ask advice of successful adults and learn more about Purdue itself.

Favorite Faculty EventSince the Faculty Fellow program has been a part of Purdue University for such an extended amount of time, dynamics of the program have changed over the years. “Nobody has what we have,” said Carl Krieger, director of Residential Life. “The fact that we have 50-something faculty (in addition to staff) who meet with their floors regularly – nationally, that is an anomaly. But, it can be better.” This is why the idea of a Faculty Fellow Chair was created. This position will be in charge of the Faculty Fellow program, charged with “creating a vision, to maintain consistency, to give expectations, to bring the group together, to talk with their peers about the program, to intentionally place faculty members into buildings, to go out and be a peer who can explain what the faculty fellow program is and the positive impact that it can have both on the student and on the faculty member,” Krieger said. Ideal applicants will have served as a senior faculty fellow and have a position that aligns with the educational mission of the institution, Krieger said.

The Faculty Fellow program is not the only avenue for faculty to be involved in University Residences. Last year, students in UR created the Favorite Faculty Banquet as a way to honor those faculty members who greatly connected with students. The awards presented at the banquet include Most Distinguished Faculty for Research, Most Distinguished Faculty for Academics, Most Outstanding Faculty and the Hovde Outstanding Faculty Fellow Award, which is presented annually. Students not only set the criteria for these awards, but also nominate and choose the winners as well. This banquet brings together two sides of Purdue, reinforcing the bond between academics and residential living.

Writer: Matt Vader | Editors: Elizabeth Hartley, Tammy Loew, Danielle Fawbush

Editorial Board: Barb Frazee, Tammy Loew, Elizabeth Hartley | Inquiries Contact: studentlifemarketing@purdue.edu