Types of Publicly Engaged Scholarship

Understanding the many scholarly ways faculty members engage with the public

Despite significant institutional rhetoric about outreach and engagement, scant empirical research focuses on the activities that constitute publicly engaged scholarship from the faculty perspective. This study's purpose is to develop a typology of publicly engaged scholarship based upon faculty descriptions of their scholarly work.

An interdisciplinary team of NSCUE researchers conducted an interpretive content analysis of 173 promotion and tenure forms supplied by tenure-track faculty at a research-intensive, land-grant, Carnegie-Classified Community Engagement institution. The 14-category typology that emerged from the data and literature comprises:

  • 4 types of publicly engaged research and creative activities
  • 5 types of publicly engaged instruction
  • 4 types of publicly engaged service
  • 1 type of publicly engaged commercialized activity

This typology was then used in a second phase of the research to identify patterns in the types of publicly engaged scholarship that faculty conduct. Statistically significant differences were related to age, number of years at the institution, faculty rank, Extension appointments, joint appointments, and college grouping. These findings have implications for institutional leadership for engagement, professional development for publicly engaged scholars, and for the structuring of academic appointments.

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

View the journal articles, reports, and presentations from this study: