Faculty lounge added to Gelman Library

Updated: Feb. 6, 2017 at 4:46 p.m.

A new faculty lounge for professors to meet and socialize with each other is coming to Gelman Library.

The lounge will share space with the Instructional Technology Lab, which helps faculty and teaching assistants with educational technology, located on Gelman’s lower level. It is the first area dedicated to faculty members since an on-campus faculty club shut down years ago.

Geneva Henry, the dean of libraries and academic innovation, said the lounge will be a place for faculty across departments and schools to meet and work on projects together.

“In conversations with faculty on how to enhance this learning experience, we often hear their need for a central place to discuss teaching and learning strategies with colleagues as well as make connections across disciplinary boundaries,” she said in an email.

Henry said that at an open house Tuesday, faculty can give feedback on suggested furniture arrangements in the lounge.

The lounge will remain open in its current set-up while the the room’s design is finalized based on faculty feedback, she said. The room is currently filled with clusters of chairs and a few coffee tables.

Henry said library administrators and staff decided that the technology lab could maintain its function and while also creating room for a faculty lounge.

I think it’s very good for faculty and students to interact socially and sit down and talk about big issues or just get to know each other better.

“The Instructional Technology Lab on Gelman’s lower level was already a space for faculty to receive assistance with academic technology,” Henry said. “After an assessment of that area’s usage, we determined that the ITL could continue to offer the same services with a smaller footprint, freeing up the remainder of the space for a faculty lounge.”

Charles Garris, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and the chair of the Faculty Senate’s executive committee, said he hopes the lounge will create a social and interactive environment for faculty to meet.

“I think it’s very good for faculty and students to interact socially and sit down and talk about big issues or just get to know each other better,” Garris said.

Garris said when he came to the University in 1978, there was a faculty club with a restaurant and drinks located in the Marvin Center.

In 1999, the University Club, which served faculty and students over 21, moved from the third floor of the Marvin Center to a townhouse next to Thurston Hall where the Alumni House is currently located. The club has since shut down completely.

“It was something in those days, you know the 70s and 80s, that all universities had,” Garris said. “It promoted interaction and when I came to GW it was really nice to have such a club.”

This post was updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that students would be allowed into the lounge. It will be reserved for faculty. We regret this error.

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