Publicly- and Community-Engaged Scholarship

A growing number of colleges and universities around the country are thinking through the role of publicly- and community-engaged scholarship (P/CES) in higher education, including how P/CES is recognized  in tenure and promotion processes.  This page links to resources related to this ongoing conversation

P/CES at Rutgers:

Rutgers recently provided a definition of publicly-engaged scholarship and guidelines for evaluating it in the tenure and promotion process. This FAQ describes answers to a series of questions I developed as I thought through how the Rutgers’ guidelines applied to a specific promotion case (my own!). It covers three areas: external letter-writers, non-traditional products of scholarship, and contract funding. The answers are my good faith effort to interpret Rutgers’ policies in the context of the national conversation about P/CES in higher education. It does not reflect an official endorsement by any specific Rutgers entity. I share it broadly in the hopes that a written document can be a helpful addition to the dialogue at Rutgers (or at other universities).

Evaluating P/CES at Rutgers: A Rubric

This document contains the Rutgers Guidelines for evaluating publicly-engaged scholarship in tenure and promotion and a sample rubric that any reviewer might use to assess the quality of a candidate’s scholarly work. The rubric’s eight criteria and variations of the indicators are commonly used at many universities; the specific rubric here is from The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

Perspectives on P/CES in Tenure and Promotion:

  • This report from “The Big 10” provides a succinct history of how views on P/CES in higher education are evolving. It describes what P/CES is and why it matters, and it provides an argument for why tenure and promotion policies must be revised to better recognize P/CES.  Although it is written for the arts, the principles are applicable to social sciences.

  • Imagining America provided a thoughtful analysis of P/CES in higher education, including a nice definition of public scholarship and a conversation about what should count as scholarship and why. 

  • The Guide, from Purdue, is a practical guide for P/CES in tenure and promotion.  A valuable feature is a set of vignettes describing the engaged scholarship of faculty in different disciplines.

  • This longer report from UCLA gives insight into the difficult process of revising processes for recognizing P/CES in thoughtful way that recognizes the complex systems of shared governance in higher education.  My favorite part of this report is the comparison of perspectives at different levels of review.