Book cover for The Faculty Factor: Developing Faculty Engagement with Living Learning Communities
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ISBN: 9781642672534

January 2023

  1. Are there key mechanisms in place on campus to build and then deepen the relationship between faculty and professional staff? For example, are there regularly scheduled opportunities to collaborate, share work or work in partnerships?  At Elon, the campus hosts a “Campus Conversation” on the first Friday of each month to discuss key topics that impact constituents across campus. Free lunch is provided to drive attendance, and the residential campus effort has been a frequent topic. Do senior leaders model this collaboration? For example, at Elon an Academic and Student Affairs Deans Luncheon is held once a month between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Topics at this luncheon have often included the residential campus goals.
  2. As we noted, conducting team-based campus site visits was an unexpected way that deep collaboration began between faculty and staff at Elon. Surprisingly, we find human connection when we “get on the road” together. Just like on a family vacation, traveling together—getting lost, experiencing a new restaurant or standing in line at the airport—builds a sense of community! We highly recommend building faculty partnerships through dedicated retreats. Even if the retreats are on campus, bring in something fun, like a cooking demonstration (we even brought the cow that delivered the ice cream we were eating!), to demonstrate how the residential campus can bring learning to life.
  3. Has the campus developed a layered engagement opportunity for faculty to connect with the residential campus? Is engagement with the residential campus scaffolded to recognize how faculty, like staff, have different requirements, and therefore different amounts of time for service, at different stages of their careers? Faculty and staff can help to create a continuum for engagement across a spectrum of time commitments.
  4. Does the standing committee structure of the faculty recognize the residential campus effort? Ensuring that the faculty handbook recognizes these efforts will add visibility and legitimacy to the vision of the residential campus, the essential role of faculty in delivering student success, and the value of the service to the overall campus.