Dedication to community engagement: A higher education conundrum?

May 1, 2015

This qualitative study reports on the impact of institutional funding for community engagement on faculty and staff’s professional role and practice of community engaged work. The results demonstrate ways that institutional funds impact faculty and staff’s perceptions of community partner capacity, effects on student learning, their own professional roles, and the value of their community engaged work. While many results were positive, such as relevance of academic work in communities and the creation of university-community partnerships, a conundrum was also revealed—a tension between the University’s public articulation of the significance of community engagement and faculty concerns that the traditional research reward structure could undermine their long-term commitment to engaged scholarship. The authors provide many quotes from the focus group interviews, and offer a framework to help institutions deal with this conundrum.

Nocotera, N., Cutforth, N., Fretz, E., & Thompson, S.S. (2011). Dedication to community engagement: A higher education conundrum? Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 4(1), 37-49. Full text.

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