SIU alumni could become 'student mentors' in proposed project

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Volunteer professors could be coming to Southern Illinois University under a newly proposed pilot project.

The project was developed in collaboration with the SIU Alumni Association.

According to the chancellor's office, it would connect qualified alumni with students as mentors. The alumni could then deliver an individual lecture or lead a seminar discussion, but they would not teach entire courses.

The goal, according to the chancellor's office, is to create a pool of potential, volunteer adjuncts with advanced academic degrees who might contribute as needed for up to three years after their approval.

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Meera Komarraju, interim provost and vice chancellor for SIUC academic affairs, talked about the project on the university chancellor's blog.

"At SIU, we also have a formal policy to grant adjunct status to a 'professional person engaged in instructional and research programs of the university but who is not employed as a member of an educational unit of the university.' These individuals in no way replace our faculty."

She went on to say these individuals, whether or not they are alumni, must meet the same academic standards as any member of the graduate faculty.

"Unless they are SIU professional staff members with terminal degrees and appropriate qualifications, they are not eligible to direct dissertations," Komarraju said. "Adjunct faculty have been appointed routinely through these processes in the past in support of our students' academic success."

For more information on how to apply to the program, you can click here.

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