Call for applications: Faculty co-director of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Residential Learning Community

Call for Applications: Faculty Co-Director
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Learning Community
Deadline: March 1, 2024
Tenured faculty preferred

Seeking a faculty member to join in the shared leadership of the Women in Science and Engineering Learning Community (WISE), a residential program located in Waters Residence Hall. Each year, approximately 135 first-year undergraduates participate in WISE. The faculty co-directors, with the assistance of a program manager and Residence Life staff, lead this diverse community that serves as a welcoming environment where female-identifying students interested in STEM fields build a strong community with each other and UW–Madison staff and faculty who share their interests. The faculty co-directors are responsible for instruction in the 1-credit WISE First Year Seminar. This faculty co-director appointment will begin July 1, 2024. Preference given to candidates who can provide a two-year minimum commitment. The appointment is renewable annually for up to four years of continuous service. Salary support information is below.

About WISE:
WISE was founded in 1996 as a partnership between the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the College of Engineering and University Housing to support UW female undergraduates majoring in STEM fields. The community provides students a place where they can thrive socially and academically, developing lifelong friendships with each other as well as supportive relationships with peer mentors, faculty, staff and Madison-area professionals. WISE integrates support for new students with an academic seminar and a regular schedule of social and enrichment activities including lab and research tours, performing arts events and community building events. Students have opportunities to network with professionals in the STEM fields while also developing relationships and discovering a variety of interests across diverse topic areas. WISE residents benefit from personal, academic and social networks designed to help them take advantage of all that our large research university offers.

The WISE seminar is a one-credit, graded class offered each fall and spring, that fulfills the CALS first-year seminar requirement. The seminar helps WISE learning community members network to build their professional and social community by developing connections with other WISE residents, as well as to a large and diverse group of women professors and corporate professionals in STEM fields. Students may enjoy a guest speaker, a round table discussion with women professors or corporate STEM professionals and/or discussions on a particular topic relevant to women studying or working in STEM. A few times each semester, students take field trips such as a corporate visit, lab tour, movie or performance. The seminar is only open to WISE Learning Community members.

Revenue for WISE comes primarily from tuition dollars, University Housing auxiliary funds, the co-sponsoring colleges (CALS and Engineering) and the housing student fee.

Ongoing annual support for each faculty co-director of up to $10,000 will start in July 2024. The application of these funds will be negotiated with the faculty co-director’s home department to provide a temporary base adjustment (TBA), summer salary and/or temporary release of other duties to facilitate the faculty member’s work at WISE. WISE also provides salary for a part-time academic staff program manager, who will assist the faculty co-directors and attend to the day-to-day administration of WISE.

WISE Faculty Co-Director Responsibilities:
The major responsibilities of the faculty co-directors are to:

  • Actively serve as core members of the “Leadership Team,” which leads and is responsible for the development and implementation of the program. This team typically meets weekly and also includes the WISE program manager and University Housing/Residence Life staff. The annual cycle includes many critically important tasks, beginning with new student recruitment and ending with program evaluation.
  • Develop and offer a seminar course(s) for the community each semester. These seminars serve as the foundation for the learning community experience and typically meet later in the afternoon/early evening to maximize enrollment. The WISE seminar for fall 2024 is tentatively scheduled for Tuesdays, 5:30-7:00pm. The faculty co-directors typically work together in offering the seminar courses.
  • Work with the program manager on a regular basis; provide an annual performance review to the supervisor of record in the CALS Academic Affairs office.
  • Facilitate the involvement of additional faculty and staff to enhance faculty/staff-student engagement in the community.
  • Attend co-curricular signature events.
  • Facilitate engagement/investment by key campus stakeholders (especially co-sponsoring units for funding, seminars and program coordinator appointment) in the present and future of WISE. Often, this takes the form of a “steering committee” consisting of faculty, staff and students that meets at least semiannually.
  • Work effectively with the other faculty co-director, currently Aurelie Rakotondrafara, Department of Plant Pathology.

To Apply:
Faculty who wish to be considered for this important role on campus should send the materials listed below to Brett Schieve (, Assistant Dean for International and Experiential Learning in CALS, by March 1, 2024:

  • A CV
  • A brief statement of interest, including a description of your experience working with undergraduates, your interest in working with WISE, and an explanation of how you would be effective in meeting the responsibilities outlined above. Please limit your response to 1000 words.

Questions about the position or WISE program may be directed to Brett Schieve or:
Aurelie Rakotondrafara (, continuing faculty co-director
Rebecca Larson (, outgoing faculty co-director
Jacqueline Whitley (, WISE Program Manager