Unfamiliar Territory: Faculty Discomfort about Interactions with Students During Out-of-Class Academic Initiatives

  • Jorg Vianden University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  • Kerri A Smith University of Arkansas
Keywords: faculty, student-faculty interaction, co-curricular initiatives


A considerable body of research exists on successful student outcomes from interactions with faculty.  When such interactions do not take place research often cites issues of student discomfort with faculty members in out-of-class situations as reasons.  This qualitative study with eight faculty members at a Southern research institution explored these issues from the faculty perspective.  Findings show that faculty may have a similar sense of discomfort about interacting with students outside of the classroom.  This has direct implications for the work of student affairs professionals attempting to recruit faculty for co-curricular academic initiatives.  The authors offer recommendations for student affairs practice.

Author Biographies

Jorg Vianden, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

Assistant Professor

Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education

Kerri A Smith, University of Arkansas

Assistant Director for Residence Education

University Housing

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