About Us

What is NCSUE?

The National Collaborative for the Study of University Engagement (NCSUE) seeks a greater understanding of how university engagement enhances faculty scholarship and community progress. How do scholars engage most effectively with their communities, and how, in turn, does such engagement enhance their scholarship?

The Collaborative convenes scholars and community fellows to explore ways of creating institutional support for building truly collaborative arrangements. NCSUE supports research studies and dissemination through publications, a speaker series, conferences, presentations, and workshops.

Ongoing Activities

  • Developing measurement and benchmarking criteria for outreach and engagement locally, nationally, and internationally
  • Defining outreach and engagement and seeking national alignment on the meaning and scope of the nomenclature and typologies
  • Assessing faculty perceptions of their outreach and engagement work and how this work enhances their scholarship
  • Examining faculty reward policies and procedures and the effectiveness of revising promotion and tenure guidelines
  • Investigating policies and practices that enable institutions to weave engagement into their culture
  • Providing incentives for faculty to evaluate their work as engaged scholars
  • Evaluating graduate and undergraduate learning outcomes related to engagement involvement
  • Studying processes and impacts of university-community collaborations
  • Analyzing community contributions to engagement and scholarship

Why Establish the Collaborative at MSU?

In the late 1980s MSU established the office of University Outreach (now University Outreach and Engagement, UOE) and began to focus on the scholarship aspect of engagement: definition, applied community-based research practice, benchmarking and measuring, and national consultation and leadership. This work has, in fact, become a signature area of the University.

University Outreach started formally amassing and assessing the University's internal data resources in 1993, when a faculty report recommended that we conduct institutional research related to outreach and engagement. View the 1993 faculty report.

From that report, UOE developed a checklist of recommendations, among them several on evaluating, measuring, and rewarding outreach and engagement. The first work to result was Points of Distinction: A Guidebook for Planning and Evaluating Quality Outreach (1996). UOE's second effort was revision of the promotion and tenure guidelines (2001), which now utilize the quality indicators recommended by POD. View the Points of Distinction guidebook | View the Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure Review Form

Identifying measures and benchmarks of faculty outreach and engagement was the next major effort. Faculty committees helped to construct a university-wide data collection instrument, the Outreach and Engagement Measurement Instrument (OEMI), launched in 2004. Now in its third year, the Instrument provides rich data for analysis and comparison about faculty effort, types of engagement, social issues, geography, and partnering characteristics. These indicators are helping MSU "tell the story" of exemplary engaged scholarship to administrators, legislators, and other stakeholders.

These efforts—as well as a variety of other initiatives—led MSU to launch the National Collaborative for the Study of University Engagement (NCSUE). View NCSUE current research initiatives.

Several organizations around the country are addressing the various components of scholarly university engagement, but no one organization addresses the full spectrum of issues. This is an opportune time for MSU to expand its already extensive work to include not only MSU-based institutional research but also outreach and engagement scholarship more broadly.