Faculty Interviews

Faculty and academic staff perceptions about engagement

In 1989, MSU undertook a massive effort to transform the culture of the institution to promote and foster engagement as scholarship. Both creating an environment that encourages a broad and inclusive definition of engagement and working to expand faculty conceptions of engagement beyond service-oriented work have been pivotal to this effort. Rather than assume that the work faculty were defining as engagement was aligned with the institutional definition, NCSUE set out to learn how faculty conceptualize their work as engagement and the impact of that work on their scholarship.

Drawing data from the annual responses to the Outreach and Engagement Measurement Instrument (OEMI), NCSUE researchers are conducting in-depth interviews with faculty and academic staff across multiple disciplines and across a variety of engagement and social issues. The purpose of the interviews is to understand more about how faculty perceive engagement as it relates to their own teaching and research and how the work of the faculty is influenced, if at all, by changes implemented at the institutional level.

From the findings, NCSUE will engage MSU stakeholders and other institutions in a dialogue about improving institution-wide alignment efforts, stimulating engagement, and understanding individual faculty perceptions of their engagement work. Those conversations could include the means of acknowledging such work, the importance of setting academic standards, various measures of faculty contributions, and institutional facilitation of and barriers to engagement work.