Faculty Integration of Publicly Engaged Scholarship

Understanding how faculty connect outreach and engagement to their other institutional responsibilities

Advocates for faculty involvement in publicly engaged scholarship, particularly at research universities, face the criticism that faculty simply cannot add one more activity to their already overloaded plate of responsibilities. Juggling many responsibilities is a considerable challenge for faculty members, who often opt to focus more attention on research and teaching and less on service, outreach, and engagement. However, some faculty, instead of managing their responsibilities separately, chose to connect their outreach and engagement activities to their other institutional responsibilities. The purpose of this study is to understand faculty motivations and practices related to integrated, publicly engaged scholarship.

This study addresses three research questions:

  1. What individual characteristics influence faculty integration of publicly engaged scholarship?
  2. What approaches do faculty members use to connect their publicly engaged scholarship with their other responsibilities?
  3. What are the qualities of their integrated publicly engaged scholarship?

An NCSUE research team conducted semi-structured interviews with faculty members who were known to integrate their outreach/engagement with their other institutional responsibilities. Researchers coded the qualitative data using both a priori categories from the literature and new categories that emerged inductively from the data through constant comparison. Data analysis centered on individual characteristics of faculty, faculty members' approaches to integrating publicly engaged scholarship, and the qualities of the integrated publicly engaged scholarship. Research results are expected to be shared publicly in Fall 2011.

Please contact Diane Doberneck at connordm@msu.edu with questions, comments, or requests related to this study.

View the reports and presentations from this study: