Policies for Encouraging and Assessing Engaged Scholarship in RPT Processes

August 2, 2012
  • Campus Compact, Strategies for creating an engaged campus: Faculty development, an advanced service-learning toolkit./advancedtoolkit/faculty.html
    • Creating faculty reward and evaluation systems that take faculty community based work into account is a critical step in moving a campus toward engagement. Here you will find a wealth of material, including handbooks, policies, and criteria, from colleges and universities that have grappled with this issue, some of which are research institutions.
  • Cruz, L., Ellern, G. D., Ford, G., Moss, H., & White, B.J. (2012). Navigating the Boundaries of the Scholarship of Engagement at a Regional Comprehensive University. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 17(1), 3-26.

    • In this study faculty members at Western Carolina University examine their university’s experience with integrating the Boyer scholarship model (with an emphasis on the scholarship of engagement) into the institution’s departmental and institutional culture. Their study analyzed promotion and tenure documents from across departments. The authors conclude that the adoption of the Boyer model was a semi-radical process, with unique definitional, conceptual, and logistical challenges that resulted in a diverse array of practices and approaches across the university’s departments and colleges. Nevertheless the process also gave rise to a campus actively engaged in productive and stimulating conversations to discover what it means to be an engaged institution.
  • Engaged Scholarship: Research/Scholarship/Promotion and Tenure Subcommittee Of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on University-Community Engagement, University of South Florida, Report. http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/CommunityEngagement/What_Is_CEScholarship.html
    • The University of South Florida (USF) Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on University-Community Engagement issued this report to promote ways in which to align academic policy with the University’s institutional commitment to community engagement. The creation of a “culture” of community engagement in the faculty, staff, and students is essential to align practices with the institution’s strong community commitment; culture is more likely to develop if rewards, recognition, incentives and institutional support for focused community engagement are provided on a regular and sustained basis. The report offers guidelines for annual review, promotion and tenure, asserting that scholarship should be viewed broadly with both rigor and as containing multiple expressions. Significance of results is a critical component, but their assessment should include their impact on others outside conventional academic environments. Additional considerations of community based-scholarship are discussed, such as allotting adequate time to create and sustain partnerships, co-authorship, and ensuring mutual benefit. The report calls for institutional support mechanisms to engage faculty in partnerships such as annual rewards for engaged scholarship and mentoring to help faculty understand how to establish and maintain community partnerships.
  • Fitzgerald, H., Burack, C. & Seifer, S. (2011). Handbook of engaged scholarship, Volume 1: Institutional change; Volume 2: Community-campus partnerships. Lansing, MI: Michigan State University Press.
    • In these two volumes contributors capture the rich diversity of institutions and partnerships that characterize the contemporary landscape and future of engaged scholarship. Volume 1 addresses such issues as the application of engaged scholarship across types of colleges and universities and the current state of the movement. Volume 2 contains essays on such topics as current typologies, measuring effectiveness and accreditation, community–campus partnership development, national organizational models, and the future landscape.
  • Foster, K.M. (2010). Taking a stand: Community-engaged scholarship on the tenure track. Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 3(2), 20-30. http://jces.ua.edu/taking-a-stand-community-engaged-scholarship-on-the-tenure-track/
  • This article explores the path to tenure for faculty focusing on engaged scholarship. It presents examples of contextual and structural interventions (actions by University agents that create space for engaged scholarship in tenure) and describes how structural transformation can effectively promote and support community-engaged scholarship. In conclusion, the author examines a contextual intervention that has allowed him to work within local communities while fulfilling standards of research and teaching that move him toward tenure.
  • Franz, N.K. (2011). Tips for constructing a promotion and tenure dossier that documents engaged scholarship endeavors. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 15(3), 15-29. http://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/jheoe/article/view/571
    • As more faculty practice engaged scholarship and as more institutions value this work, scholars are eager to improve engaged scholarship dossiers for promotion and tenure. This paper focuses on how to strengthen the engaged scholarship dossier. The author overviews the engaged scholarship dossier context, explains the significance of documenting engaged scholarship, presents four steps for documenting engaged scholar¬ship in the dossier, and provides a list of best practices for faculty to build their engaged scholarship dossiers.
  • Glass, C., Doberneck, D., & Schweitzer, J. (2008). Outreach and engagement in promotion and tenure, National Center for the Study of University Engagement, Michigan State University
    • In 2001, Michigan State University’s Office of University Outreach and Engagement significantly revised the university’s reappointment, promotion, and tenure review form to embed opportunities to report outreach and engagement throughout the form. The revisions reflected MSU’s definition of outreach and engagement as a form of scholarship that cuts across institutional missions of teaching, research, and service; emphasized the use of multiple forms of evidence to document quality; and encouraged reporting of integrated scholarship. Six years later, researchers examined how and to what extent outreach and engagement activities were reported on the revised form. The study focused on over 200 forms of current MSU faculty who successfully underwent promotion and tenure between 2002-2006. Data from the faculty section of the forms were analyzed by demographic variables (i.e., gender, ethnicity), appointment variables (i.e., college, recommended rank) and engagement variables (i.e., type, intensity, degree). Study findings are summarized in a poster, http://ncsue.msu.edu/files/PT_Poster.pdf, and the research process is explained in a Powerpoint presentation (http://ncsue.msu.edu/files/OutreachEngagementPromotionTenure.pdf.).
  • Lowenstein, S. & Harvan, R. (2005). Broadening the definition of scholarship: A strategy to recognize and reward clinician-teachers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In O’Meara K.A. and Rice, R.E, Eds. Faculty priorities reconsidered: Rewarding multiple forms of scholarship (pp. 230-251). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
    • This chapter describes a school of medicine’s attempt to reform policies and procedures for promotion and tenure in ways that recognize and reward teaching and clinical practice. By restructuring faculty appointments on a single track and redefining scholarship to include teaching, integration and application (Boyer, 1990), the school sought to reform a practice that consigned faculty who emphasize teaching and clinical practice to second-class status. The authors provide profiles of clinician-teacher promotion candidates, both successful and not, which include alternative forms of scholarship in teaching, integration and application. While this case study was not focused on recognition and rewards for community-engaged research, those concerned with strengthening recognition and rewards for this kind of scholarship may wish to pursue a similar change in RPT policies.
  • Lowry, L. W., & Ford-Paz, R. (2013). Early career academic researchers and community-based participatory research: Wrestling match or dancing partners? Clinical and Translational Research, 1-3. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cts.12045/abstract
    • Early career faculty members at academic medical centers face unique obstacles when engaging in CBPR. This paper discusses challenges and opportunities for solutions pertaining to mentorship, time demands, unfamiliarity of colleagues with CBPR approaches, ethical review regulations, and publication and promotion.
  • Marrero, D. G., Hardwick, E. J., Staten, L. K., Savaiano, D. A., Odell, J. D., Comer, K. F., & Saha, C. (2013). Promotion and tenure for community-engaged research: An examination of promotion and tenure support for community-engaged research at three universities collaborating through a clinical and translational science award. Clinical and Translational Research, 6(3), 204-208. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cts.12061/abstract
    • This study measured faculty perception of how three institutions funded by a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) support community-engaged research in the promotion and tenure process. The study found that faculty view support for community-engaged research with some reserve, with only 36% agreeing that community-engaged research is valued in promotion and tenure process. The authors conclude that more faculty members will conduct community-engaged research when it is rewarded by their institution’s promotion and tenure committees.
  • Michigan State University Committee on Evaluating Quality Outreach. (1996, 2000). Points of distinction: A guidebook for planning & evaluating quality outreach, Michigan State University, available at: http://outreach.msu.edu/documents/pod.pdf
    • MSU’s Committee on Evaluating Outreach defines outreach “as a form of scholarship that involves generating, transmitting, applying, and preserving knowledge for the direct benefit of external audiences in ways that are consistent with university and unit mission.” It encourages units to “adopt specific operational definitions, as needed, to establish consensus on what types of activities will be viewed as outreach, the relative value of those activities compared to other aspect’s of a unit’s mission, and how these activities will be evaluated and rewarded.” The Committee’s Guidebook seeks to develop a campus-wide understanding of what constitutes high quality outreach, assist units in articulating definitions and expectations consistent with their mission, values, and context, and suggests ways of rewarding outreach achievements in tenure, promotion, and annual salary reviews.
  • Nyden, P. (2003). Academic incentives for faculty participation in community-based participatory research. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 18, 576-585.
    • Recognizing the need to overcome the obstacles of traditional university- and discipline-oriented research approaches, a variety of incentives to promote community-based participatory research (CBPR) are presented. Experiences of existing CBPR researchers are used in outlining how this methodological approach can appeal to faculty: the common ground shared by faculty and community leaders in challenging the status quo; opportunities to have an impact on local, regional, and national policy; and opening doors for new research and funding opportunities. Strategies for promoting CBPR in universities are provided in getting CBPR started, changing institutional practices currently inhibiting CBPR, and institutionalizing CBPR. Among the specific strategies are: development of faculty research networks; team approaches to CBPR; mentoring faculty and students; using existing national CBPR networks; modifying tenure and promotion guidelines; development of appropriate measures of CBPR scholarship; ear- marking university resources to support CBPR; using Institutional Review Boards to promote CBPR; making CBPR- oriented faculty appointments; and creating CBPR centers (Nyden, 2003. p. 576).
  • O’Meara, K.A. (2001). Working Paper No. 25 Scholarship unbound: Assessing service as scholarship in promotion and tenure, New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE). http://www.nerche.org/images/stories/working_papers/wp25.pdf
    • This paper examines how four colleges and universities with exemplary programs for assessing service as scholarship implemented these policies within colleges of education. Case studies suggest that policies to assess service as scholarship can increase consistency among an institution’s service mission, faculty workload, and reward system; expand faculty’s views of scholarship; boost faculty satisfaction; and strengthen the quality of an institution’s service culture.
  • Report of the UNC taskforce on future promotion and tenure policies and practices. (2009). University of North Carolina. 1-25. http://provost.unc.edu/files/2012/10/Taskforce-on-Future-Promotion-and-Tenure-Policies-and-Practices-FINAL-REPORT-5-8-09.pdf
    • This report features the recommendations of the UNC Task Force on Future Promotion and Tenure Policies and Practices. The main recommendations include: faculty engagement outside the traditional scholar community should be valued, new forms of scholarly work and communication should be evaluated as scholarly products, working across disciplines should be supported, expectations and procedures of the tenure process should be clear, and mentoring of faculty should be the responsibility of chairs and senior faculty.
  • Seifer, S.D., Blanchard, L.W., Jordan, C., Gelmon, S., & McGinley, P. (2012). Faculty for the engaged campus: Advancing community engaged careers in the academy. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(1), 5-19. http://openjournals.libs.uga.edu/index.php/jheoe/article/view/747
    • In response to faculty concerns about institutional barriers to engaged scholarship, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) launched national initiatives with two core strategies: support community engaged faculty members up for promotion and tenure in structures unlikely to benefit them and work for long-term system change. This article describes the challenges that exist for engaged scholarship and discusses both the lessons learned from the national initiatives and observations for the future of community-engaged scholarship.
  • Task Force on the Institutionalization of Public Sociology (2007). Standards of public sociology: Guidelines for use by academic departments in personnel reviews, http://www.luc.edu/media/lucedu/curl/pdfs/pubsocstandards20090402.pdf
    • The American Sociology Association encourages public sociology activities, public sociology research, and the education of future sociologists who will engage in such work. In this context, this Task Force developed and recommended standards of public sociology to insure continued rigorous research and professional development. The standards are intended for use by sociology departments as they review departmental academic personnel guidelines, and as they advise colleges and universities on elements of broader university tenure and promotion guidelines that relate to public scholarship. The standards do not reflect any official policy of the American Sociological Association, but should be treated as a working document that can be of value to departments considering revision of tenure and promotion guidelines.
  • Vogelgesang, L.J., Denson, N. & Jayakumar, U.M. (2010). What determines faculty-engaged scholarship? The Review of Higher Education, 33(4), 437-472.
    • This paper reports on a study of the role and impact of higher education institutions’ organizational and disciplinary culture on the inclination and ability of faculty members to undertake sustained, community-engaged scholarship.  The authors found that while disciplinary and organization culture shapes the ways in which faculty are socialized and influences their behavior, including their commitment to service and scholarship conducted in and with local communities, their findings also suggest that “faculty commitment to community can transcend a non-conducive reward structure.” (p. 467).  An extensive review of relevant literature is included.
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