Story Idea: College Faculty, Staff Living in Student Dorms

In a new piece for The Washington Post, higher ed. reporter extraordinaire Jenna Johnson identifies a growing trend at colleges nationwide: faculty, staff, and their spouses and kids living among students in the dorms.

In my stint overseas, I saw faculty and family regularly provided with on-campus housing, although in separate buildings.  By comparison, here in the states, the tenured and untenured alike are occasionally residing directly down the hall from the student contingent- acting as counselors and companions in part so schools can “create a more personal, small-campus feel.”

According to Johnson, “In exchange for free rent, these professors agree to live among the masses, answer questions, attend floor meetings, endure odd noises at late hours and host small gatherings in their quarters, which typically are larger than the dorm rooms shared by students. Some students never stop by, and others form lifelong friendships with their older neighbors.”

It is an interesting trend, one worth localizing.  Does your school have any on-campus non-student housing options?  And if so, how do they work?  Would profs. and other staff consider a campus domicile?  What would university employees need or want as extras to a typical dorm?  And of course, what do students think- the RAs, the honors elite, and the oft-inebriated?

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