Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Report on Recognizing Community-Engaged Scholarship

Image: Loyola.edu
One of the sticky problems with advancing community-based learning at institutions of higher education is that faculty have difficulty finding reward structures that support their important community-based work. Many faculty have mentioned the need for change in the reward structures, but university-wide systems have been resistant to such change. The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) has recently released a report that addresses these issues in the University of Massachusetts system and provides some guidance for universities who are interested in changing the reward structures on their campuses.

One of the guiding statements from the report is that the, "... policies and cultures that
shape faculty behavior for career advancement have not kept pace with changes in
knowledge production and dissemination."   Please see the note below from the authors of the report. The hyperlink below provides access to the full report.

"It is our pleasure to send you the report The Challenges of Rewarding New Forms of Scholarship: Creating academic cultures that support community-engaged scholarship (http://www.nerche.org/images/stories/working_papers/Challenges_of_Rewarding_New_Forms_of_Scholarship_FINAL.pdf),
which is the result of a meeting of that took place on May 15, 2014 involving over 30 faculty and staff from all five campuses of the University of Massachusetts system. The seminar was funded with a grant from Bringing Theory to Practice and was hosted by the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) and Boston URBAN (Urban Research-Based Action Network).

"The purpose of the seminar was to examine a wide range of faculty rewards (including promotion criteria, awards, faculty development support, and policies at various levels) that provide incentives and rewards for faculty to undertake community-engaged scholarship. Community-engaged scholarship focuses academic knowledge to address real-world issues through mutually beneficial, reciprocal collaboration with peers outside the university who have locally grounded knowledge and experience.

"The report provides a set of findings and concrete recommendations for both the system office and the individual campuses for measures that can be implemented to advance community-engaged scholarship.

"Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  It is our hope that the report can serve as a tool for catalyzing a deeper conversation on campus about supporting and advancing community engaged scholarship. 


John Wooding and John Saltmarsh

John Wooding
Department of Political Science
University of Massachusetts, Lowell

John Saltmarsh
University of Massachusetts, Boston"

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