GW Housing will expand its faculty in residence program by two professors next fall.
The University has five faculty members living in upperclassmen residence halls across campus this semester, and will place one in both Guthridge Hall and 1959 E Street next year.
This will be the second year in a row GW has expanded the program. When West Hall opened on the Mount Vernon Campus this fall, two professors – a married couple with children – moved in.
Professors who live in residence halls engage students and provide a more rounded academic experience said Andrew Goretsky, director of house life for GW Housing. By increasing the number of faculty in residences, Goretsky said the University will be able to give students more opportunities to develop these relationships.
“Some students arrive at the University and are reluctant to go to the office hours of their professors and to engage with them,” Goretsky said in an e-mail. “Residents that interact with faculty in the residential community have the opportunity to engage in intellectual discussions and to learn more about them as people and not just their professors.”
University spokeswoman Jill Sankey declined to give an exact cost for hiring the new faculty members.
Steven Kelts, a political science professor has been a faculty in residence for the past four years. Previously a resident of International House, Kelts now lives in City Hall. He said he decided to participate in the program after seeing that students wanted to incorporate academics into their lives beyond the classroom.
“There were students all across campus who were yearning to bring their intellectual life out of the classroom and into the dorm, and I thought that I could facilitate that as a faculty in residence,” Kelts said.
As faculty members living in residence halls, Kelts and other professors are meant to provide a forum where students can discuss politics, current events and careers on a more informal and individual level.
“I think it would be great to have a faculty member living in each dorm. This would show the students that we are not your high school teachers and we are not your pastors.we are ordinary people giving you your own space to live but offering expertise outside of the classroom,” Kelts said.
Other D.C.-area universities have similar faculty in residence programs. Georgetown University currently has five professors in their program and Catholic University has six faculty members, according to their respective websites.