n its recent history, American higher education has unfortunately had the tendency to fragment the student experience, especially as major research universities have grown in size and complexity. Faculty, staff, and students often talk about “curricular” and “co-curricular” experiences as separate components of college life.

Academic affairs and student affairs, as divisions of the university, are often contrasted by function: the former responsible for learning and the latter responsible for services. More recent American undergraduate education reform efforts have sought to bring together the curricular and co-curricular worlds of students. In one innovative effort, institutions create holistically oriented learning environments that reorganize student life in ways that foster student learning, nurtured through intentionally structured collaborations among faculty, student affairs professionals, and students.

Virginia Tech, joined a larger national movement in 2011 and 2012 by establishing two residential college communities: The Honors Residential Commons (in East Ambler Johnston Hall) and the Residential College at West Ambler Johnston. Continuing this movement, Virginia Tech is pleased to welcome its third community in the residential college model: the Leadership and Social Change College, which will be located in the newly renovated O’Shaughnessy Hall, opening in August 2018.

The residential college is led by a faculty “principal” who lives on site, and who works closely with student affairs staff, some of whom also live on site. The live-in residence life staff will oversee building operations, including staff supervision, facilities management, and student conduct matters. The faculty principal for the Leadership and Social Change College (and family, including pets, if relevant), will live in the specially designed apartment within O’Shaughnessy.

The faculty principals have an important role in redefining the residential experience by bridging the proverbial curricular/co-curricular gap, thereby strengthening the academic and intellectual climate of the university. Faculty principals are the intellectual leaders of the community, who have the paramount role of creating a culture where students are taught and encouraged to engage intellectually in their college experience inside and outside the classroom.

Might this be an opportunity for you?

Please consider submitting an application to lead a new initiative designed to strengthen undergraduate education at Virginia Tech. As a faculty principal, you will influence the intellectual lives of undergraduate students - freshmen through seniors - and graduate students from across the university, as they build and sustain a transforming community. You will engage them in dialogue and discussion about issues and ideas about which you are passionate, and shape their intellectual and personal growth beyond the classroom.

Some of this meaningful interaction would occur in the 3-bedroom, 2-bath rent-free apartment provided by the university. The faculty residence features a large living/dining/kitchen space designed to support informal or formal gatherings of faculty and students. Faculty principals around the country host a wide range of gatherings such as receptions for guest speakers and artists, weekly discussion salons to discuss issues or topics; or reading groups. Most importantly, the faculty principal’s interests and personal commitments play a major role in shaping the community’s intellectual life.

For this endeavor, a tenured or tenure-track faculty member of Virginia Tech who is extraordinarily collaborative and enjoys a high level of engagement with students is sought. This is a nine month, live-in, year-to-year appointment with an annual evaluation each summer. The aspiration term is for three years, renewable once for a maximum of six years. The principal is provided a $9,000 administrative stipend ($3,000 with negotiated three months summer work), an apartment and partial meal allowance. A one course per year reduction funded by the Division of Student Affairs is provided with the support of one’s dean and department head. An annual programming budget is also provided. The principal is expected to use the partial meal allowance to meet the job responsibilities of the principal position.

If you are intrigued by this opportunity, and would like to learn more about the Leadership and Social Change College, contact Dr. Frances Keene, interim director for housing and residence life (fbabb@vt.edu; 540-231-8893).

To be considered for this position, please send a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, and letters of support from your department head and a student along with the names and contact information for three references by Monday, December 4, 2017 to:

Matt Kwiatkowski
Associate Director for Academic Initiatives
Housing & Residence Life
144 L New Hall West
190 West Campus Drive
Phone (540) 231-3795
Fax (540) 231-6818
mkwi@vt.edu