Loyola’s newest residence hall will not only house several hundred first-year and sophomore students but also Loyola’s first faculty in residence, university officials said.
Francis Hall, set to open in August 2020, will house a professor in an apartment on the first floor of the building, The Phoenix reported.
This new position is intended to “provide both formal and informal resident-faculty interactions,” according to an email from Deb Schmidt-Rogers, the assistant vice president and director of residence life.
There are many benefits to having faculty live on campus that can result in a positive student experience, according to Schmidt-Rogers.
“Faculty can become more engaged in the life of the student outside of the classroom and student[s] may see faculty engaging outside the classroom as well,” Schmidt-Rogers said.
Schmidt-Rogers said she expects the professor who fills the position to go through an adjustment period. Just like students, faculty will have to navigate dorm life, she said.
“Campus living comes with a 24/7 component not found elsewhere,” she said. “This means possible noise, emergencies, fun and programming.”
Francis Hall will also be the new home of the interdisciplinary honors program, replacing its current location at Campion Hall, The Phoenix reported.
Schmidt-Rogers said while the university hasn’t started recruiting for the position yet, it will likely be a current professor and isn’t an honors-specific position. She also said Residence Life is hopeful faculty in residence positions will become more common on campus in the future, though Francis Hall will be the only one for now.
Dr. Claudio Katz, a professor of political science and the director of the honors program, said Campion Hall has had administrative faculty live there in the past. Administrative faculty are different from faculty in residence in that even though they live in the dorm, they don’t teach classes, university officials said.
Campion housed Fr. Justin Daffron, S.J., former vice president for advancement, until he left in 2016, and currently houses Fr. Frank LaRocca, assistant dean of Quinlan Business School and an assistant professor of management, Katz said.
It’s unclear whether current administrative faculty members living in Campion will move to Francis Hall, or if they will be assigned elsewhere.
Some students have said they are apprehensive to the idea of a professor living in their dorm..
“It’ll be a little weird,” said Caroline Wood, an 18-year-old first-year English major in the honors program. “I associate dorm life separately from class.”
Others said since administrative faculty live in some residence halls already, a faculty in residence will not be a challenging transition. Grey Creek, a first-year neuroscience major, said the adjustment wouldn’t make a huge impact because resident directors — part of administrative faculty — live in their respective halls, according to university officials.
“Our resident directors already live with us, so it won’t be that bad,” Creek, 18, said.
Francis Hall will also include a kitchen for students, honors faculty and administrative offices and a cafe, The Phoenix reported.