Rationales for Giving Engaged Scholarship Standing in Research Universities RPT Processes

August 2, 2012
  • This PowerPoint presentation will help faculty convene constructive conversations about engaged scholarship and promotion and tenure. The slides focus on the following topics: challenges/criticisms of engaged scholarship and promotion and tenure, the importance of dialogue, language associated with engaged scholarship in particular disciplines, degree of collaboration, type of activity, type of product, faculty motivations, and career stage. Each slide contains questions to help faculty cultivate and advocate their unique position as an engaged scholar.
  • Doberneck, D. M., & Schweitzer, J. H. (2012). Disciplinary differences in engaged scholarship: What research tells us. Proceedings from the 13th Annual National Outreach Scholarship Conference. http://www.ncsue.msu.edu/research/disciplinaryvariations.aspx
    • This conference presentation shares a research study that investigated the disciplinary differences in engaged scholarship. The study analyzed RPT documents from 173 faculty members in three universities to determine disciplinary variations in faculty reports of their publicly engaged scholarship with regards to the types of activities, the intensity of activity, and the degree of engagement. The presenters discuss the study’s findings, and make recommendations for changes to institutions, departments, and faculty and graduate student professional development based on the findings. One recommendation made is to modify reappointment, promotion, and tenure policies.
  • Dowdy, D. W. & Pai, M. (2012). Bridging the gap between knowledge and health: The epidemiologist as accountable health advocate (“AHA!”). Epidemiology, 23(6), 914-918. http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Abstract/2012/11000/Bridging_the_Gap_Between_Knowledge_and_Health__The.25.aspx
    • This paper discusses how, despite the growing need for academic epidemiology to rediscover and adapt its historical skill set to emphasize knowledge translation, its existing incentive structures continue to emphasize knowledge generation. To address this issue, the authors propose a useful heuristic—the epidemiologist as Accountable Health Advocate (AHA), who enables society to judge the value of research, develops new methods to translate existing knowledge into improved health, and actively engages with policymakers and society. The authors also suggest useful changes to incentive structures, including novel funding streams (and review), alternative publication practices, and parallel frameworks for professional advancement and promotion.
  • Ellingson, L. L. & Quinlan, M. M. (2012). Beyond the research/service dichotomy: Claiming all research products for hiring, evaluation, tenure, and promotion. Qualitative Communication Research, 1(3), 385-399. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/qcr.2012.1.3.385
    • This article discusses the current reluctance in the academy to value work that steps outside of the traditional report format for hiring, evaluation, tenure, and promotion. Devalued genres include writing for the general public (e.g. op-eds, blogs), embodied performances, reports for community organizations, and non-profit website material. The authors argue that universities’ processes for evaluating research should be revised, in order to enable faculty to respond to the increased demand for qualitative, interpretive, and engaged research.
  • Ellison, J & Eatman, T. (2008). Scholarship in public: Knowledge creation and tenure policy in the engaged university, Imagining America, Syracuse University. http://imaginingamerica.org/fg-item/scholarship-in-public-knowledge-creation-and-tenure-policy-in-the-engaged-university/?parent=442
    • In this comprehensive report Imagining America’s Tenure Team discusses and recommends rationales, policies, and strategies for strengthening public engagement within a continua of: 1) scholarship with which academic public engagement has full and equal standing, 2) scholarly and creative artifact, 3) professional pathways for faculty, including the choice to be a civic professional, and 4) actions for institutional change Emphasis is on enabling engaged faculty to prepare for and successfully gain tenure and promotion. Curricular models are also provided.
  • Freeman, E., Gust, S., & Aloshen D. (2009). Why faculty promotion and tenure matters to community partners. Metropolitan Universities Journal, 20(2), 87-103. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=EJ866775&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=EJ866775
    • The production and sharing of knowledge by communities and higher education institutions is a critical part of community improvement. Community-engaged faculty, who effectively represent the university to the community and bring the community into the university, must therefore be valued and retained. In this article three community partners consider the challenge of review, promotion, and tenure for community-engaged faculty.
  • Freeman E, Gust S, Aloshen D. (2009). Why faculty promotion and tenure matters to community partners. Metropolitan Universities Journal; 20(2), 87-103. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Why+Faculty+Promotion+and+Tenure+Matters+to+Community+Partners&hl=en&btnG=Search&as_sdt=1%2C10&as_sdtp=on
    • Three community partners, experienced with and engaged in partnerships between universities and communities with varying challenges of success and failure, examine the specific challenge of review, promotion, and tenure for community-engaged faculty and its impact on the community. They explain how retaining and valuing community-engaged faculty who can both represent the academy to the community and bring the community into the academy are essential to helping secure the common good.
  • Holland, B. & Bennett, H. (2009). Metropolitan universities. 20(2).  Indianapolis: Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. http://muj.uc.iupui.edu/abstracts/v20_n2.html
    • This issue of Metropolitan Universities includes papers emanating from the work of the Community-Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborative, a three-year (2004-2007) initiative designed to build capacity for community-engaged scholarship (CES) in health professional schools, several of which address issues related to review, promotion and tenure of engaged scholars.  Of note is one article (Freeman, E., Gust, S., and Aloshen, D.) that provides perspective from community partners.
  • Jordan C. (2006). Developing criteria for review of community-engaged scholars for promotion or tenure, Community- Engaged Scholarship for Health Collaborativehttp://depts.washington.edu/ccph/pdf_files/Developing%20Criteria%20for%20Review%20of%20CES.pdf
    • This document provides edited, distilled information from the websites of several institutions (including research universities) and entities that have recognized and seek to reward community-engaged scholarship (CES). Most are health science schools or departments. Three are not: one represents an entire university, one a social science department and the other a national body. For the most part, the information gathered from each institution’s website is organized into three general headings—definition of scholarship or faculty work, criteria for review, and documentation. In some areas, such as teaching, sections are skipped as they did not appear directly relevant to CES.
  • Scott, J. (2007). Engaging academia in community research: Overcoming obstacles and providing incentives, Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES), Florida Atlantic University,http://consensus.fsu.edu/bog-fcrc/pdfs2/Engaging_Academic_in_Community_Research_FAU.doc
    • In 2007, in order to learn more about the disconnect between university goals to be engaged in their home community and a university culture and structure that devalue or lack support for that engagement CUES initiated a scan, summarized in this report, highlighting an upward trend: An increasing number of universities (particularly land grant and urban universities) are emphasizing the importance of engaged-community research and starting to address the mismatch between university goals for engaged-community research and the university culture and structure that typically do not value and nurture such research. The core information for this report was gathered through a review of literature on engaged-community research and a scan designed to identify what a sample set of universities across the country are doing to create a more supportive environment for community-engaged research.
  • University of Illinois at Chicago. (2000). Report of the task force on the scholarship of engagement,http://www.uic.edu/depts/oaa/TFSEreport.pdf
    • The Task Force on the Scholarship of Engagement, appointed by Provost Elizabeth Hoffman in 2000, met and discussed how UIC could better evaluate and reward the scholarship of engagement as one aspect of the mission of UIC as a public land grant university. In this report, the term scholarship of engagement is used to highlight a way of thinking of what is often called public service: a focus on partnerships, not one-sided outreach; the co-creation of knowledge; and involvement in real-world problems that can enrich research and teaching rather than be separate from them.
    • Drawing heavily on “A Faculty Guide for Relating Public Service to the Promotion and Tenure Review Process” (1993), prepared by the UIC Senate Committee on Continuing Education and Public Service, the report discusses characteristics of the scholarship of engagement and suggests ways to document it in order to evaluate and reward it.
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