The Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1 - 50

Jordan P. Fullam * Andrew J. Hughes

book clubs, film series, speaker

cal knowledge by developing a nuanced view
of exemplars of faculty-student interaction in a
particular FIR program (Flyvbjerg, 2006).

series, outdoor activities, music

Case Site

groups, and open houses that

During the study, the FIR program was in its
first and second years of existence, and four
to five faculty served as FIRs during each
of the two years. For the first year, the FIR
program recruited four first-year, non-tenured
faculty to serve as FIRs; two of these faculty
members were male, and two were female.
For the second year of the program, the FIR
cohort included two returning, non-tenured
faculty, two non-tenured faculty new to the FIR
program, and one tenured faculty new to the
FIR program. This second cohort of FIRs included three male FIRs and two female FIRs.
Both cohorts of FIRs were diverse in terms of
race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation.

FIR programming . . . has included

serve the larger goal of building
community and enhancing the
student experience.

in this manner is useful for generating a
process in case study research that allows for
the development of theory (George & Bennett,
2005; Thomas, 2011).
The above literature review raises several
theoretical problems related to the dynamics
of faculty-student interaction in the context of
FIR programs. Do social interactions benefit
students, or are only academic interactions
beneficial? What do other types of interactions,
such as sustained interactions and deeper life
interactions, look like in practice, and how do
these impact the student experience? Do students distinguish between formal (programmatic) and informal (non-programmatic)
interactions, and what, if any, are the implications of these distinctions?
This subset of questions connects our
central research question to prior research on
faculty-student interaction. Further, it provides
an analytical frame (the object of study) that can
be illuminated and explicated through close examination of the FIR program (the subject of
study; Thomas, 2011). In this manner, the case
study design is suited to generating theoreti50

Faculty were required to implement two
cocurricular programs per quarter and participate in a variety of functions in the residential
community, including student staff trainings
and meetings, move-in day activities, open
houses, and receptions for students and their
parents, as well as walking the halls of the residential villages and eating meals with students
in the dining hall. Faculty serving as FIRs were
also expected to maintain visibility in the residential community and be accessible to students for advising, support, and referrals.

Participants
As the primary method of data collection, an
interviewer conducted one semi-structured interview with each of six undergraduate students
and one graduate student who interacted with
FIRs (Manning, 1992). Consistent with a case
study design, purposeful sampling was used to

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 1

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