WISR’s success over the years is due in large part to our having attracted an especially talented, knowledge and committed group of core faculty. Most WISR core faculty remain involved at WISR for well over ten years, and involvements over 25 years are not uncommon. Very small proportions of WISR’s budget are spent are administrative staff, and key administrative tasks are performed by WISR’s President and the Executive Assistant to the President, both of whom are core faculty and who spend over half of their time advising students, leading seminars and being engaged in further developing WISR’s learning community and in making refinements to WISR’s teaching-learning methods.
WISR has deliberately sought faculty members whose range of ethnic backgrounds, academic disciplines, work experiences, and community involvements allow them to act as mentors, coaches and resource people for WISR’s adult, community-involved students in ways that go beyond traditional intellectual specialization and unite the pursuit of academic interests and skills with professional and community engagements.
WISR faculty generally have very broad, interdisciplinary social science expertise beyond their particular areas of specialization, which enables them to work with our varied student population. They have many years of teaching experience, both in traditional academic settings and at WISR. Many have been teaching at WISR for well over 10 years. There is a very low rate of faculty turnover at WISR, and indeed, faculty are enthusiastically committed to working at WISR in creative and personalized ways with the diverse and talented population of mature adults who enroll at WISR.
WISR is strongly committed to supporting the development of all WISR faculty. WISR considers faculty to be lifelong learners as well. WISR faculty are academicians and professionals who are devoted to improving themselves in their areas of expertise, and also to further expanding their capabilities to engage in the learner-centered instruction and the multidisciplinary inquiry that are distinctive qualities of “learning the WISR way.”
WISR faculty also have a rich wealth of experience with community organizations, other educational institutions, and in their own consulting practices and scholarly pursuits. This practical experience further enriches their contributions to student learning, given the strong practical community concerns of most of our students.