Faculty masters to be in all freshman dormitories

A resident of the University Park campus for more than 20 years, Stanley Rosen tells students to call him “Stan.”

Rosen, the faculty master of the University Residential College at Birnkrant, eats alongside freshmen every day at Everybody’s Kitchen and says he encourages students to join him.

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“The main thing is to make them comfortable with faculty members outside the classroom,” said Rosen, a professor of political science.

Rosen is one of 15 faculty members living in student housing this year. Administrators plan to create three more residential colleges like Birnkrant starting next school year, said Lynette Merriman, senior associate dean for Student Affairs.

“What we’re trying to do here is really blend the living and learning experience,” Merriman said.

Faculty members currently live in the North, South, East and Parkside areas. In fall 2012, the residential college program will expand and a new faculty master be placed in both Flour and Webb Towers, and added to the two already in the South Area — which includes Pardee Tower and Deans Halls.

What distinguishes faculty masters from other resident faculty members is that masters have tenure and are active on campus and in their field, Merriman said.

“We would like [residential colleges] to be a common experience among all students,” said Merriman, who also said USC is pushing to become an even more residential campus in coming years.

Gene Bickers, vice provost for Undergraduate Programs, said the idea for residential colleges stems back centuries ago in England with some of the oldest universities such as Oxford university.

“We’re not trying to imitate anyone in particular, but we know that there are benefits that come with having students and faculty live together,” Bickers said. “We’re trying to give everyone those benefits.”

Jay Lee, a freshman majoring in theatre and living in Birnkrant, said one of the things he was most excited about when coming to USC was living alongside a faculty member.

“They’re so intelligent here and it’s just a great set-up and opportunity to just kind of connect and bond with some of the adults here on campus,” Lee said.

Priya Jaikumar, associate professor in the School of Cinematic Arts who lives in Parkside Arts and Humanities, said she believes significant teaching happens beyond the classroom.

“If the university wants to contribute to the larger life of students, it’s important to take responsibility for what the students are doing once they’re leaving the classroom,” Jaikumar said.

Merriman said the recruitment process for new resident faculty members will begin in coming weeks.

1 reply
  1. DS
    DS says:

    This is wonderful! I can’t wait till the new UV is built and this expands. USC will truly be a peer among the elite.

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