Binghamton University’s residential communities are organized under the collegiate structure, which originated in the 13th century at Oxford University in England. In the traditional collegiate structure, students are grouped into academic colleges that are led by collegiate professors and operate as independent units within the larger structure of a university. When applied to the residential environment at Binghamton, “collegiate structure” means each residential community on campus has its own student government, atmosphere and loyalties; organizes community-specific academic and extracurricular activities and programs; and is led by the assistant director of Residential Life in conjunction with the collegiate professor.
Collegiate professors are an essential part of the residential life experience, as they bring together living and learning, helping students connect their academic life with their life outside the classroom.
Collegiate professors serve as role models, advisors and leaders. They give students a place to turn when they have questions about academic issues and other, non-academic concerns. Collegiate professors also connect students to campus programs and services, and foster faculty and student interaction. They work closely with Residential Life staff to help plan and implement educational, academic, social and cultural programs, and strive to build strong and supportive residential communities.
Helping a student on academic probation create a plan to bring his grades up, providing guidance to a student as she decides on a major, or just being there to explain how to approach a professor for extra assistance — these are just a few of the ways collegiate professors help students. They also play a unique role on campus since they serve two completely different departments: Academic Affairs and Residential Life. Collegiate professors say this gives them unique insight into students’ lives, since students also operate in these diverse environments.