Resident Faculty Position Description


Resident Faculty provide an intellectual presence in the residence halls and connect the residential communities with the academic campus core.  Resident Faculty promote a spirit of intellectual inquiry in the residence halls by modeling and discussing all aspects of academic life; sharing their teaching, research and personal interests in a manner that engages students; involving their faculty colleagues in residence hall programs; and encouraging critical thinking, questioning and dialogue about important issues.  

Resident Faculty devote at least eight hours per week toward the goal of helping students bridge academic and residential aspects of the undergraduate experience.  They are partnered the student and professional Residential Education staff for that unit in order to carry out their work through three main components: 1) Serving as a model and mentor to undergraduate residents, 2) Initiating and participating in residence hall programming, and 3) catalyzing the involvement of other campus faculty colleagues in residence halls.  

Benefits of Participation for Resident Faculty

  • Furnished apartment and office in residence hall, and full meal plan
  • Modest programming budget
  • Opportunity to gain deeper understanding of student life and serve as an intellectual model and mentor for undergraduates
  • Opportunities to build relationships with faculty colleagues from other disciplines

Resident Faculty Program Components                            

1. Serving as Model and Mentor

Countless research studies have confirmed the hypothesis that a close student-faculty relationship positively affects academic achievement, occupational decisions, educational aspirations, institutional persistence, intellectual and personal development, academic and non-academic satisfaction and attitudes toward college.  In a residential unit that houses upward of 1000 people, each and every personal interaction can have an impact on students’ lives. Resident Faculty are in a unique position to model a balanced life of academics and personal interests/activities among students in a residential living community, positioning themselves in a social context so students can learn to approach faculty in confident, comfortable and appropriate ways throughout their college careers.  Informal interactions with individual students are at the heart of the Resident Faculty program; the nature of each interaction will vary and be influenced by the intellectual and developmental maturity of the student.

Examples of possible individual interactions might include:

  • Eating meals frequently in the dining commons, and establish regular dining with unit residents to discuss topics of personal or current interest
  • Inviting students into the Resident Faculty apartment for programs or mentoring sessions
  • Holding office hours in the residence hall (each Resident Faculty is provided a fully-equipped office in the unit)
  • Participating in programs and strategies organized by hall staff
  • Attending Hall Staff meetings monthly and occasional floor meetings (these serve multiple purposes: to get to know hall staff and residents, to advertise/promote Resident Faculty programs, to learn more about current issues in the unit, to plan collaborative programs, etc.)
  • Organizing recreational activity (e.g., tai chi, tennis tournaments, yoga, music, etc.) for Faculty and students to participate in together
  • Hosting game or movie nights (provide snacks, dessert, non-alcoholic beverages, etc.) at the Faculty apartment and invite residents and hall staff to participate
  • Attending Theme Program meetings, seminars or community activities

2. Resident Programs (also called “Event” or “Strategies”)

Resident Faculty assist the hall staff in creating programs each semester that foster curiosity and interest in educational and/or cultural activities beyond the classroom, that take advantage of the vast resources of the campus and surrounding Bay Area, and that facilitate student/faculty interaction. Programming can be based on demonstrated resident needs, faculty interests or particular events happening in the world or on campus. Some programs may stem from or specifically involve the Resident Faculty, while for others the Faculty may consult or act as a resource advisor. In order to assist Resident Faculty in developing collaborative programming, Resident Faculty are oriented early in their appointments to the developmental and transitional needs of first-year students and the structures and goals of Residential Living and Academic Services.

Examples of possible individual interactions might include:

  • Meeting groups of residents for dinner or brunch in the Dining Commons
  • Organizing field trips to local galleries, museums, ethnic restaurants, etc.
  • Sponsoring a Welcome Week activity such as a BBQ or dessert buffet
  • Developing a film series
  • Hosting study breaks (e.g., Late Night Snacks at the DC during finals)
  • Offering workshops on topics of personal and/or academic interest (e.g., Nutrition, Buddhism, Tai Chi, Q & A about graduate school, Office Hours 101, etc.)
  • Holding ongoing newspaper reading and discussion sessions

3. Involvement of Faculty Colleagues

Resident Faculty are expected to assist staff in catalyzing other faculty participation in residence hall programs. Their role as Resident Faculty enables them to act as a resource and create opportunities for informal interactions between faculty and students to enhance the personal growth and development of students, and to assist faculty in gaining a deeper understanding of students’ developmental, academic and transitional needs to improve their interactions in the classroom.

Examples of possible individual interactions might include:

  • Faculty panel to discuss undergraduate research opportunities, a current international issue, or another topic of interest
  • Freshman seminars taught in the residence halls
  • Theme Program Seminars –faculty are invited to participate in Theme Program academic seminars
  • Fireside Chats – small-group discussions held at a lounge area in the residence hall, or the Faculty apartment, centered upon a topic of mutual interest to the students and the faculty guest (a small group setting allows for a rich interaction)
  • Faculty Chef Nights – 2-3 faculty are invited to cook their favorite dish and share dinner with a small group of student residents
  • Faculty dinners – invite a faculty colleague to have dinner in the DC, in the Unit All-Purpose Room or at the Faculty apartment (can be catered by Cal Dining if held outside the DC) and discuss a selected topic

Resident Faculty Participation Requirements

  • Spend at least 8 hours per week engaged in residence hall activity (eating in DCs, office hours, meeting with students and staff, participating in hall staff programs, etc.)
  • Participate in staff training and orientation for new Resident Faculty
  • Maintain, support, and comply with RSSP: goals, objectives, regulations
  • Attend some training with Residential Education staff at the start of each semester (July/August and/or January)
  • At the start of each academic year, provide a welcome letter to residents describing your academic expertise, personal interests, hobbies, office hours and possible program plans
  • Be available as a support and resource for the Res Ed professional and live in student staff
  • Participate in recruitment and selection process as requested for Resident Faculty, Faculty Fellow and other residential faculty involvement programs
  • Meet monthly with the Director of Residential Education and other Resident Faculty to plan, evaluate and troubleshoot program components
  • Attend Hall Staff meetings on a regular (monthly) basis to become familiar with the organization and structure of the residential community, and to interact with individual hall staff members

Eligibility Criteria for Resident Faculty

  • Employed as tenured or tenure-track UC Berkeley faculty member teaching undergraduate courses
  • Demonstrated interest in the undergraduate educational experience, particularly for first-year students
  • Interested in working/living in an undergraduate community setting
  • Willing to engage students in their own environment
  • Sensitive to and knowledgeable about the needs of underrepresented students


An initial Resident Faculty appointment is for three years, with the option for one 3-year renewal up to a maximum of six years served. All appointments are renewed annually subject to satisfactory performance and programmatic need.

The Director of Residential Education is responsible for leading the recruitment, selection and orientation of all Resident Faculty, with the support and participation of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Residential Student Service Programs.   The Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs makes all final decisions pertaining to appointments and renewals of appointments for Resident Faculty.  

Living in the Residence Halls

Resident Faculty and their families are provided an apartment in the Residential Unit and 19-meal-per-week board plans.  The faculty member is also given “guest meal points” to be used for inviting faculty colleagues to have a meal in the dining commons.  Apartments are fully furnished and generally have two bedrooms, a study and 1.5 baths, full kitchens and washers and dryers. At this time the University of California Office of the President has determined that these room and board amounts are not subject to income or social security tax. Resident Faculty and their families are expected to abide by the guidelines in the residential apartment agreement.

Each Resident Faculty also is provided with an office in the Unit, equipped with a personal computer, printer, telephone and other typical office amenities.