The repository is designed to be useful for faculty seeking to document their community engagement for the purposes of promotion and advancement as well as higher education administrators interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of how community-engaged scholarship (CES) can be incentivized and rewarded through tenure and promotion policies.

In this collection, you will find information about various ways to make the case and create incentives for faculty to participate in CES, strategies to evaluate and assess CES, and examples of how policies have been designed at a range of institutional types to incorporate CES in to tenure and promotion guidelines.

To suggest additions to the repository, please contact the collection curator, Clayton Hurd, at

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Section 1. What is Community-Engaged Scholarship?

We define the Community Engaged Scholarship (CES) as the creation and dissemination of new knowledge to address social issues through collaborative relationships and shared activity between those in the university and those outside the university that are grounded in qualities of reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation.  

Knowledge, in this sense, is conceived of as transdisciplinary (transcending the disciplines and the college or university) and asset-based (where the strengths, skills, and knowledges of those in the community are validated and legitimized). 

One important manifestation of CES is community-engaged research. While such research falls under a broader category of public scholarship (often framed as scholarly and creative activities that are public-facing and oriented toward problem-solving), CES is further defined by its essential grounding in relationships of shared knowledge production with those outside the university and its emphasis on qualities of reciprocity, mutual respect, shared authority, and co-creation.  In this sense, CES is not simply “applied research” where knowledge is generated within the college or university and applied externally to a community. Instead, the collaborative and transdisciplinary orientation of CES brings together academic knowledge and community-based knowledge to generate new knowledge and address social issues in communities.

As with all research, CES requires rigorous evaluation to assess quality. This includes review by knowledge experts. However, with CES, the peer review processes is often reframed due to the recognition that, in certain circumstances, experts will include community collaborators who may or may not have extensive academic credentials. 

Finally, CES aims for impact beyond publication in specialized academic journals and the number of citations in faculty publications. Research that is community engaged aims for the advancement and utilization of knowledge with societally-relevant outcomes and therefore is inclusive of a range of products that have value and relevance to public audiences. 

While research is an important feature of CES, it should not be considered synonymous with it. Faculty take part in a broader range of creative intellectual work in the name of community engagement, collaborating with community partners outside the campus for the purposes of addressing community issues, improving teaching and learning, creating new and relevant knowledge, and developing civic learning opportunities associated with the public relevance of disciplines. Indeed, these scholarly activities connect the core functions of higher education – the generation and dissemination of knowledge – to the needs of the public. In this sense community engagement can be clearly articulated, and should be valued and rewarded, in all areas of faculty scholarly work, including teaching, research and creative activity, and service.

Section 2: How to Make the Case for Community-Engaged Scholarship
Key Readings and Resources
Section 3. How to Create Incentives for CES in Faculty Rewards
Key Readings and Resources 
Section 4. How to Evaluate CES
Key Readings and Resources
Section 5. How to Revise Promotion and Tenure Policies
Key Readings and Resources: 
Section 6. Tools and Strategies for Engaged Scholars to make their own case in T&P
Section 7. T & P Policy Exemplars

Updated April 2020

California State University-Monterey Bay

College of Charleston

Elon College

Golden Gate University

Kansas State University 

Kennesaw State University

Michigan State University

Middle Tennessee State

Nicholls State University

North Carolina State University

Sam Houston State University

Southern Arkansas University

University of California-Davis

University of California-San Diego

University of Georgia 

University of Illinois

University of Memphis

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

University of Utah

*University of Wisconsin-Madison

University of South Florida

University of Victoria