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Documentation and Assessment of Scholarship in Extension and Engagement: A National Perspective

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Title: Documentation and Assessment of Scholarship in Extension and Engagement: A National Perspective


1
Documentation and Assessment of Scholarship in
Extension and Engagement A National Perspective
  • Amy Driscoll
  • Associate Senior Scholar
  • Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of
    Teaching
  • Fifth Annual Symposium On The Engaged University
  • North Carolina State University
  • January 2007

2
Scholarship of Engagement
  • the academy must become a more vigorous
    partner in the search for answers to our most
    pressing social, civic, economic and moral
    problems, and must reaffirm its historic
    commitment to what I call the scholarship of
    engagement.
  • Ernest Boyer, 1996
  • The Scholarship of Engagement
  • Journal of Public Service Outreach, 1(1), 11-20

3
Making a Place for the New American Scholar Rice,
1996
  • Rather than fostering careers in which faculties
    are disconnected from society, American higher
    education institutions can form new models that
    encourage faculty to engage in multiple forms of
    scholarship throughout their academic career.
  • Need a new reward system that cultivates
    knowledge anchored in practice, a reworking of
    the tenure systems, and continuous review of
    senior faculty.
  • New Pathways Working Paper (No. 1).
  • Washington, DC American Association for Higher
    Education

4
American higher education institutions need to
engage in a deep examination of their
purposes, processes, and products to assess
whether and to what extent they have aligned all
three with the democratic and civic mission on
which they were established.
  • Universities must entertain and adopt new
    forms of scholarshipthose that link the
    intellectual assets of higher education to
    solving public problems and issues. Achieving
    this goal will necessitate the creation of a new
    kind of action research with norms of its own,
    which may conflict with the norms of traditional
    rationality, the prevailing epistemology built
    into research universities.
  • (Conference on Research Universities and
    Civic Engagement, 2006)

5
The Bottom Line
  • Faculty will not take outreach seriously as a
    mission of the university--particularly the
    research university--until they are confident
    that outreach efforts can be evaluated as
    carefully and reliably as is other peer reviewed
    scholarship.

6
Dilemma
  • Viewing scholarship broadly but evaluating it
    narrowly
  • Traditional notions of knowledge

7
Expectations that faculty will garner
competitive funding, publish refereed articles in
top journals, and develop national reputations in
their disciplinary research remain unchanged.
Scholarly contributions to teaching and learning
(and community engagement) are considered
add-ons.
Shapiro, 2006
8
Barriers to Engaged Scholarship
  • A focus on individual disciplines rather than on
    public problems or issues.
  • An emphasis on abstract theory rather than
    actionable theory derived from and useful for
    real world practice
  • Lack of understanding about what engaged
    scholarship is and how it works
  • Few incentives exist to reward engaged
    scholarship
  • Institutions are organized in ways that prohibit
    engaged scholarship

9
Encouragement for Engaged Scholarship
  • Many of our universities were founded with a
    civic mission and have renewed those commitments
  • Interdisciplinary, collaborative, and
    community-based scholarship is becoming a
    requirement for consideration for funding,
    accreditation, and classification.
  • Students and other higher education stakeholders
    increasingly are asking for engaged scholarship
    curricula and opportunities
  • Demographic, cultural, economic, and knowledge
    shifts in our society are demanding new
    approaches to research and problem solving
  • Engaged scholarship can enhance the credibility,
    usefulness, and role of universities as important
    institutions in civic life

10
Engaged Scholarship Implications for
Documentation and Evaluation
  • Is collaborative and participatory
  • Draws on many sources of distributed knowledge
  • Is based on partnerships
  • Is shaped by multiple perspectives and
    expectations
  • Deals with difficulty and evolving questions and
    complex issues (with constant shifts)
  • Is long term, in both effort and impact
  • Requires diverse strategies and approaches
  • Crosses disciplinary lines
  • (Holland, 2005)

11
Potential New Leaders
  • University Administrators (from the top)
  • Tenured and Full Professors
  • Untenured Newly Hired Faculty
  • Doctoral Candidates

12
University Administrators
  • Speak as easily and as powerfully about community
    engagement as you articulate other goals and
    priorities
  • Lead campus discussions to define community
    engagement as well as evaluate and reward it
  • Align the dialogue in the closed conference
    rooms and the decisions of promotion and tenure
    with the discussions
  • Hold all faculty accountable

13
Tenured and Full Professors
  • Embrace the scholarship of community engagement
    yourself (study, practice)
  • Become an advocate for scholarship of community
    engagement
  • Mentor new faculty and doctoral candidates
  • Practice evaluation of new scholarship

14
Untenured Newly Hired Faculty
  • Study the scholarship of community engagement
  • Identify models
  • Proceed in meticulous scholarly processes
  • Connect with advocates
  • Join support groups for documenting new
    scholarship

15
Doctoral Candidates
  • Study the scholarship of community engagement
  • Identify faculty mentors
  • Be relentless in your commitments
  • Question and reflect

16
Time for New Leadership and New Exemplars
  • Is North Carolina State University Ready?
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