The FiR program strives to create opportunities for students to know faculty members outside of the classroom to emphasize a culture of mentorship, intellectual discourse, and community that are cultivated in all aspects of the collegiate experience inside and outside of the classroom. The FiR role is a cornerstone of the residential life experience that creates opportunities for students to informally interact with faculty members living amongst them.

In the fall of 2014, SMU transformed the residential experience into a Residential Commons model, which places greater emphasis on students engaging with faculty inside and outside of the classroom. The Faculty-in-Residence (FiR) role is an integral part of this model.