National Survey of Faculty Engagement

The public dimensions of academic disciplines

The National Collaborative for the Study of University Engagement is currently supporting a study designed to examine the intersection between academic disciplines, faculty work, and engagement. In this study engagement is defined as activity that links the professional responsibilities of faculty (teaching, research, and service) to audiences external to the university. Such audiences may include local communities, the general public, practitioners/professional, and the private sector.

More specifically, this study was designed to address two research questions:

  1. What factors influence faculty involvement in engagement?
  2. What is the relationship between academic disciplines and audiences external to the university?

About 8000 faculty working in approximately 80 disciplines across the country are being recruited to participate in the study. A range of colleges and departments within these universities were selected to represent disciplines across the natural and social sciences, humanities, and professional fields.

By drawing on existing literature, the survey was designed to capture areas identified by the literature as shaping faculty engagement, such as individual and institutional/department characteristics. The survey also asks faculty about their level of involvement in engaged activity (teaching, research, and service), their target audiences, and why they engage with external audiences.

For additional information about the study please contact the lead researcher, Crystal Lunsford, Ph.D. at