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Resident Fellow FAQ

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

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Are staff members eligible to be RFs?

While strong preference is given to Academic Council faculty followed by academic staff, senior level administrative staff are eligible. At least one of the Resident Fellows must maintain 50% FTE appointment at Stanford throughout the term of appointment as an RF. 

What is the term of an RF?

The initial term of appointment is four years, with an option to apply Residential Education to continue for an additional 4 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 RFs and their families?

Resident Fellows live in apartments or cottages in or adjacent to student residences. RFs and their families receive their meals in the residence dining halls and their 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 Faculty Staff Housing continue to maintain full eligibility for these programs during their term as Resident Fellows. Some departments provide course relief for untenured faculty serving as Resident Fellows.

What are the specific responsibilities for RFs?

The specific responsibilities of Resident Fellows look different for different communities. The expectations of a Resident Fellow in an all-frosh house will be different than those of a Resident Fellow 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 hiring of the house’s student staff positions, supervising and mentoring student staff, planning and leading an Autumn retreat for their student staff, convening weekly staff meetings, and engaging with residents on a regular basis. While most Resident Fellows are not professional counselors, they are also expected to be alert to students’ wellbeing to help identify who needs additional support. 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 the help of their ResEd support staff. Resident Fellows are also expected to engage with the larger RF community and participate in various RF events, trainings, and meetings.

What is the typical time commitment for an RF?

Since the demands of the Resident Fellow position vary from residence to residence and depend to some extent on the time of year, it is virtually impossible to fix the number of hours Resident Fellows are expected to devote to the role. However, 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's apartment or cottage and arranging other times to get to know students.
  • Facilitating weekly staff meetings. 
  • Attending house meetings. 
  • Advising and counseling house governance regarding appropriate use of house dues.
  • Presenting programs that give residents a sense of the Resident Fellow's work in the University.
  • Hosting faculty colleagues for residents and attending some house programs. 
  • Attending Resident Fellow training, Resident Fellow meetings, and occasional meetings with the Residence Dean, Program Associate, the liaison  from Counseling and Psychological Services, the Residence & Dining Enterprises staff, and other offices and individuals connected with their residence. 
  • Reviewing residents’ evaluations of residence staff and residence life, and providing student staff with feedback from the residents and an evaluation of their performance.
  • Reading applications and interviewing applicants for staff selection during the Winter Quarter.
  • Helping with Resident Fellow recruitment and selection.

Is my spouse or partner also considered an RF?

Yes. A spouse or partner of a faculty or staff member with a Resident Fellow appointment is considered to be an additional Resident Fellow in the house; most RF pairs share the responsibilities of leading the community.

What kind of support is in place for RFs?

Being a Resident Fellow is a substantial commitment to add to an already full plate, and ResEd is firmly committed to providing each Resident Fellow with a strong support network through our professional staff. Resident Fellows receive direct and ongoing support from their local Program Associate and Residence Dean.

When is the application deadline? 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, but placements are typically determined in Autumn Quarter for appointments beginning the following Autumn. Except under extraordinary circumstances, individuals are not considered for placement in their first year at Stanford.