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Resident Fellow FAQ

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Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Resident Fellow role.

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Are staff members eligible to be Resident Fellows?

While strong preference is given to tenured Academic Council faculty and academic staff, senior administrative staff are eligible. If expressing interest as a couple, at least one of the Resident Fellows must maintain 50% FTE appointment at Stanford throughout the term of appointment as a Resident Fellow.

What is the term of a Resident Fellow?

The initial term of appointment is four years, with an option to be considered for an additional four years. All appointments are renewed annually, subject to satisfactory performance and programmatic need. Residential Education reserves the right to enact changes in the program during the appointment period.

What accommodations are provided for Resident Fellows and dependents?

Resident Fellows live in apartments or cottages in or adjacent to undergraduate student residences. Resident Fellows and their dependents receive meals in the residence dining halls and housing accommodations at no charge. The dollar value of room and board is not subject to income or social security taxes. Faculty members who are participating in any university residential loan or housing allowance program administered by Stanford Faculty and Staff Housing continue to maintain full eligibility for these programs during their term as Resident Fellows.

What are the specific responsibilities of the Resident Fellow role?

The specific responsibilities of the Resident Fellow role look different for different communities. The expectations for a Resident Fellow in an all-frosh house will be different from those in a theme house. Among the responsibilities that are common for all Resident Fellows, regardless of the type of community they lead, are the yearly selection of student leaders, supervising and mentoring student leaders, planning and leading an autumn retreat for their student leaders, convening weekly student leader meetings, and engaging and building community with residents on a regular basis. While most Resident Fellows are not professional counselors, they are expected to be alert to students’ well-being, help identify support needs, and connect their residents to their Resident Director (RD). Each house receives a budget to fund programing, staff development, community building, and some administrative needs. Resident Fellows are expected to manage this budget with their Community Coordinator. Resident Fellows are also expected to engage with the larger Resident Fellow community and participate in various Resident Fellow events, training, and meetings.

What is the typical time commitment for a Resident Fellow?

Since the live-in dynamic of the Resident Fellow role varies from residence to residence and depends to some extent on the time of year, the time commitment is fluid, so it is challenging to pinpoint a fixed number of hours Resident Fellows are expected to devote to the role. Resident Fellows live in community with, among, and for students, so the needs of students dictate the time commitment. The following are some ongoing activities for which Resident Fellows must budget time:

  • Eating meals (especially dinners) a number of times each week in the dining hall at times when residents know the Resident Fellow is available to talk.
  • Inviting groups of residents into the Resident Fellow apartment or cottage and arranging other times to get to know students.
  • Hosting faculty colleagues for residents and attending house programs. 
  • Developing and executing programs that give residents a sense of the Resident Fellow's work in the university.
  • Co-chairing a neighborhood community council with a Neighborhood Program Director (rotating with other RFs in the neighborhood).
  • Facilitating weekly student leader meetings. 
  • Attending house meetings. 
  • Advising and counseling student leaders regarding appropriate use of house dues.
  • Attending Resident Fellow training, Resident Fellow meetings, and meetings with neighborhood professional staff, the Residential & Dining Enterprises staff, and other offices and individuals connected with the residence. 
  • Collecting and incorporating feedback from residents and student staff.
  • Reading applications and interviewing applicants for student leader selection during winter quarter.

Is my spouse or partner also considered a Resident Fellow?

Yes, if they want to also serve as a Resident Fellow. A spouse/partner of a faculty or staff member with a Resident Fellow appointment can serve as a Resident Fellow and will need to be identified on the interest form, engage in the appointment process with Residential Education, sign their own Resident Fellow Appointment Agreement, and fulfill all Resident Fellow responsibilities. If your spouse/partner does not want to serve as a Resident Fellow, they do not have to. There is a separate agreement for adults living in Resident Fellow housing but not serving in the Resident Fellow role. It is important to know that only Resident Fellows and dependents receive meal plans.

What kind of support is in place for Resident Fellows?

Being a Resident Fellow is a substantial commitment to add to an already full plate, and Residential Education is firmly committed to providing each Resident Fellow with a strong support network of neighborhood professional staff. Resident Fellows receive direct and ongoing support from their local neighborhood professional staff, and from a designated Associate Dean of Residential Education as needed.

What is the deadline to submit the interest form? 

Interest forms are accepted on a rolling basis.  Placements are typically determined in autumn quarter for appointments beginning the following autumn. Except under extraordinary circumstances, individuals are not considered for appointment in their first year at Stanford.