Faculty in Residence: Commonwealth Honors College

CHC Faculty in Residence (FiR) Position

All Faculty in Residence Positions for the 2023-2024 academic year are currently filled. 

Purpose | Overview | Qualifications | Responsibilities | Terms | Compensation | Annual Review

Purpose, Goals, and Justification of the FiR Program

Residential Life, Commonwealth Honors College (CHC), Student Affairs and Campus Life, and leaders in undergraduate Academic Affairs value the Faculty in Residence program as a well-defined, learning centered initiative that augments classroom instruction, promotes student interaction with faculty, and helps establish the celebration of learning as a cornerstone of the undergraduate honors residential experience.

The Commonwealth Honors College Residential Community was designed as an academic learning community in which students, faculty and staff co-create a community of scholars. The Commonwealth Honors College and Residential Life aim to identify shared learning goals for students and provide planned initiatives to support student learning and student success.

Position Overview

The Faculty in Residence program seeks faculty members who have interest in and ability to relate well with students and possess an abiding interest in their academic and personal learning. FIRs serve as positive and visible mentors to undergraduate students living in the residential community. They facilitate student intellectual development and provide support to students in achieving their academic goals.

Top of Page


  • The Faculty in Residence position is open to University of Massachusetts Amherst faculty holding academic appointments covering the period of FiR appointment. To be eligible for appointment, nominees/applicants must have:
    • Tenured full-time faculty status; or,
    • Full-time lecturer status; or,
    • Retired faculty status
  • Prior experience engaging students outside of the classroom
  • Demonstrated interest in the undergraduate experience
  • Prior experiences teaching and/or mentoring honors students.
  • Knowledge of general academic requirements, procedures, and campus resources
  • Knowledge and understanding of Commonwealth Honors College academic requirements, procedures and resources preferred
  • A successful Faculty-in-Residence must be interested in students and have the desire to relate to students in a residential setting, outside of the classroom, must be able to articulate, develop, and implement living and learning academic initiative ideas that will enhance the experience of students living in the residence halls.

Top of Page

Responsibilities and Expectations

  • Support the mission of CHC and Residential Life and associated learning goals and outcomes
  • Reside in the designated 3-bedroom/2 bath Faculty-in-Residence apartment throughout the appointment period
  • Develop strong understanding of and support for the Commonwealth Honors College academic requirements, including the thesis requirement
  • Demonstrate a commitment to supporting and engaging with a diverse student population
  • Develop and implement initiatives to support the academic success of sophomore and transfer students
  • Potentially teach as ad-comp an Honors Thesis seminar annually or other honors course(s) to be discussed with the Dean of Commonwealth Honors College. Alternately, collaborate with CHC Assoc. Deans in implementing Thesis preparation workshops
  • Be a presence within the residence hall(s) to support initiatives hosted by hall staff as best as possible. Attend hall welcome events, move-in activities, and floor meetings as feasible. Provide content for community newsletters distributed to students.
  • Meet individually and in small groups with students, including meeting individually with students identified as needing academic guidance and mentoring
  • Share significant student successes and concerns with the Residential Life Assistant Director
  • Collaborate with the CHC Associate Deans to be in concert with academic programming as needed.
  • Attend CHC events such as Induction, orientation, ceremonies and awards, move-in welcomes, and other CHCRC signature events and encourage student participation.
  • Serve as a positive role model for students by understanding and following guidelines for behavior in the residence halls outlined in the Apartment License Agreement.
  • Participate in meetings that support the success of the program collaboration including monthly CHCRC Residential Life staff meetings with the Assistant Director and Residence Directors, August and January Residential LIfe staff training sessions, once per semester CHC/Residential Life leadership meetings.
  • Attend Faculty in Residence Program Overview, planning and training sessions during first month of appointment year.
  • Participate in twice annual performance assessment meetings with program administrators; additional meetings may be scheduled as needed.
  • Follow Student Affairs and Campus Life guidelines for utilizing FIR initiative/event funding.
  • Complete summary report/portfolio at the close of each semester.

Top of Page

Terms of Assignment, Contract, and Benefits

  • Initial Appointment to the Faculty in Residence position is for one academic year, with a two-academic year renewal at the discretion of the FiR program administrators and with approval of the respective Department Head and College/School Dean. Approval of the two-year renewal will be determined no later than March 1 of the initial one-year appointment.
  • After the initial three-year FiR term of appointment, reappointment to the Faculty in Residence position is by FiR request. Requests will be considered on an academic year-to-year basis and will be informed by past performance, and by the FiRs passion and capacity to continue in the role. FiRs seeking reappointment must first secure approval from the respective Department Head and College/School Dean. Decisions regarding reappointments will be made jointly by the Dean of the Commonwealth Honors College and the Director of Residential Life. Non-reappointment notifications will be provided to FiRs no later than March 31. Non-reappointment decisions will be final and not subject to appeal or grievance.
  • Appointments can be terminated within the term of appointment as follows:
    • By the FIR (one semester’s notice is expected)
    • By the Program Administrators for reasons of unsatisfactory performance or if FIR is no longer eligible for appointment
      • Reasons for termination will be provided to the FIR in writing
      • Termination decisions may be appealed in writing to the Provost by the FiR within two weeks of being notified of the termination.
      • The Provost will make a decision and notify the FIR in writing within two weeks of receiving the appeal request.
      • The Provost’s decision will be final and not subject to further review or grievance.
  • Appointment Term will be from August 15 to May 31 each academic year; dates will vary slightly from one academic year to the next based on the academic calendar as well as residence hall staff training dates. PLEASE NOTE: This is not an academic appointment, thus the Faculty in Residence will still maintain their departmental faculty status and contract obligations.

Top of Page

Compensation and Benefits

  • Compensation – $1000 stipend per month for nine-month appointment period.
  • Furnished on-campus apartment provided in which FiR is expected to reside during the appointment period. FIR is expected to sign the Apartment License Agreement that outlines expectations for apartment residency. Heating, cooling, electricity and university wi-fi access included. Apartment condition assessment will be completed upon move-in and at move-out; FIR will be billed for any significant damages incurred upon vacating the apartment; security deposit is not required.
  • One Residence staff parking space available at the FiRs’ expense.
  • Apartment residents including family, domestic partners permitted; FiR expected to notify Residential Life of apartment residents and long-term guests.
  • Residential Life Full-Time Staff Pet policy applies to the FiR. Pets are permitted within the guidelines of this policy.
  • Office space (maybe shared) will be provided within the residential community.
  • Limited Meal Plan provided to facilitate connections with residential students.
  • Program Administrators will provide letter annually for inclusion in Annual Faculty Report (AFR) that outlines the FIRs’ contributions to the university.

Top of Page

Annual Review Process

  • Portfolio/report to reflect on goals and highlights achieved. Supporting documents are welcome.
  • Reflection and recommendations with proposed goals and objectives.
  • Annual review meeting with the Director of Residential Life and/or Residential Life designee and CHC Dean and/or Assoc. Dean designee.

Apply here: CHC FiR Application

 Question? Contact us.