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Faculty Engagement

Residential Colleges Faculty Photo

Interacting with world class faculty inside and outside of the classroom is the hallmark of a Vanderbilt education.

Within the residential college system, students are presented with the opportunity to interact with, learn from, and experience life with a professor who spends their days researching world problems and educating future leaders before coming home to a unique residential community.

Each faculty head brings a distinctive viewpoint to their residential community, infusing their academic interests into the environment and offering connection points to their vast networks and expertise. Each month, they will invite a new faculty guest to share a different perspective on future pathways, provide insights into current world issues, or speak candidly with students about their own life experiences.

In addition to sharing more about their academic pursuits, faculty heads build relationships with students. In consultation with the student council in the community, they host a weekly study break event providing an opportunity to develop friendships and exhale after tackling a full day of classes. These events give students a chance to get to know faculty on a more personal basis. Working closely with the resident advisers, faculty heads will also be actively supporting students and connecting them to campus resources throughout the year.

What makes Vanderbilt distinctive is the interactions that students l have with renowned faculty members. Living in a residential college presents these opportunities regularly as students and faculty pass one another in the hallway or share a meal together.

Faculty Opportunities

Faculty Head

Faculty heads play an essential role in educating the whole student. Living in residence, faculty heads have an opportunity to expand undergraduate learning beyond the classroom, demonstrating innovation, collaborative problem solving, and critical thinking in a way that is accessible and inviting for students.

For residential faculty positions, a list of interested faculty is maintained on an ongoing basis. These faculty members are contacted as new opportunities emerge, and thus there is no set deadline for applications. Letters of interest remain active and on file for five years.

Faculty interested in a faculty head position should complete the application at this link. As part of the application, you are asked to upload:

  • A letter of your interest, including any relevant qualifications, experience or expertise; and
  • A current CV

Faculty VUceptor

Faculty VUceptors offer a non-residential connection point for first-year undergraduates outside of the classroom. Collaborating with an experienced student leader, faculty VUceptors model a dynamic and meaningful student interaction as they foster a mutually beneficial learning environment for a group of 16-18 first-year students throughout the 9-week Vanderbilt Visions extended orientation program.

Faculty interested in applying to be a faculty VUceptor should contact Director Natalee Erb at natalee.erb@vanderbilt.eduFaculty VUceptors serve from March – October and must reapply every year. Applications open in January.

Commons Seminar Instructor

This program is intended to prepare first-year undergraduates to pursue their passions by modeling rigorous, compelling and unique projects in addition to exposing students to a particular seminar theme. Commons Seminar instructors offer one-credit, spring-semester seminars sponsored by the faculties of the university’s undergraduate schools. These seminars have no prerequisites and are open only to 15 first-year students each. They meet for the equivalent of 15 contact hours during the semester.  Instructors have the opportunity to explore team teaching, experimental approaches to instruction, and the creation of unique intellectual experiences not typically offered by a department or school.

Faculty interested in proposing a Commons Seminar should contact Dean Melissa Gresalfi at