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Faculty Engagement

Faculty Engagement Programs

Faculty will have opportunities to be involved in the RC program through the Faculty in Residence (FiR).  Some commons have Faculty Affiliate (FA) programs as well where faculty interact with the commons, faculty in residence, and student leaders through an affiliated role.  Commons with an FA program engage and communicate differently.  Contact a faculty in residence if you are interested in learning more about becoming a FIR or FA.

Faculty in Residence (FIR)

The FiR program strives to create opportunities for students to know faculty members outside of the classroom to emphasize a culture of mentorship, intellectual discourse, and community that are cultivated in all aspects of the collegiate experience inside and outside of the classroom. The FiR role is a cornerstone of the residential life experience that will create opportunities for students to informally interact with faculty members living amongst them.


FiRs will be expected to: 

  • Serve as the intellectual leader of their residential commons

    • Leading by example: Students will observe and take cues from how FiRs interact with others, how academic or intellectual pursuits are interwoven into the FiR’s everyday life, how the FiR lives their stated values, and how FiRs go about being professional adults.

  • Cultivate and enhance existing RC traditions (individual and vary by community)

  • Build relationships with students in order to become a role model and mentor to those that seek such relationships

    • Build individual relationships with residents by interacting with them regularly; have contact with a majority of students in the community

    • Create opportunities to get to know students informally by hosting students in the FiR apartment, holding office hours in the RC, attending council meetings, hosting regular social events and/or attend programs

    • Build relationships with RAs and student leaders, including peer mentors and Residential Community Chaplains, through social activities and attendance at staff meetings

    • Create an academic environment supported by the residential staff

    • Eat with students at  campus dining facilities (FiR family members are also encouraged to attend)

  • Be present in community

    • Although this varies by week and by time of year, on average FiRs spend about 10 hours/week. Examples of time include: hosting students in the FiR apartment, holding a weekly social, meeting with RCD and RAs, attending Council meetings, hosting a dinner, taking students to hear a campus speaker, office hours in the Residential Commons, attending programs, etc.

    • Be visible in the community by attending programs and events hosted by the residential commons and university

    • Live primarily in the Residential Commons during the academic year

Specific responsibilities (unless granted through exception): 

  • Participate in RA Training and FiR planning days prior to the beginning of fall classes. Typically, this requirement necessitates availability on campus beginning the first weekend of August.

  • Provide Welcome Letter to incoming students (this may be in partnership with the RCD and part of a larger communication plan)

  • Host/facilitate a regular (weekly) event in your Commons (Examples: Sunday Night Snacks, Tuesday Salons, Weekly Smoothie Night)

  • Participate and attend in your RC’s yearly large-scale signature event

  • Participation in Family Weekend event (typically involves an hour of meet and greet with residents and their families on the Friday afternoon of Family Weekend)

  • Attend all RC Dinners (two meals per semester)

  • Welcome parents and students during move-in days (Mustang Corral Move-In is typically the Wednesday prior to the first day of class)

  • Attend First Year Convocation as part of the procession

  • Facilitate a SMU Reads (formerly Common Reading) discussion group in your RC

  • Attend the first floor meeting in your Commons to introduce yourself (Along with RCD; generally evening before first day of classes/Sunday night before classes begin; meetings group by floor/wing)

View full role description (PDF format)

Articles about Faculty in Residence