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Reflective Essays

Vol. 26 No. 3

A Framework to Understand and Address Barriers to Community- Engaged Scholarship and Public Engagement in Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Across Higher Education

November 16, 2021


Scholarship addressing public and community engagement in tenure and promotion often invokes Ernest Boyer’s landmark 1990 report, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate, and goes on to lament the lack of progress made in the three decades that have followed. This review intervenes: We synthesize extant scholarship on community-engaged scholarship and public engagement (CES&PE) in appointment, tenure, and promotion (APT); lay out three central challenges to the advancement of CES&PE; review the strategies institutions and individuals have leveraged to advance more equitable and effective processes; and caution against potential inadvertent, damaging consequences of reforms focused solely on CES&PE. We argue not only that recognition for CES&PE in APT is essential for fulfilling the institutional missions of universities for the public good, but also that it is essential to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice on college and university campuses.