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Research Articles

Vol. 14 No. 4

From Rhetoric to Reality: A Typology of Publically Engaged Scholarship

December 14, 2010


Despite significant institutional rhetoric about engaged scholarship,scant empirical research focuses on the activities that constitutepublicly engaged scholarship from the faculty perspective. This study's purpose was to develop a typology of publicly engaged scholarship based upon faculty descriptions of their scholarly work. An interdisciplinary research team conducted an interpretive content analysis of 173 promotion and tenure forms provided by successful tenure-track faculty at a research-intensive, land-grant, Carnegie Classifed Community Engagement institution. The 14-category typology that emerged from the data and literature comprises four types of publicly engaged research and creative activities, five types of publicly engaged instruction, four types of publicly engaged service, and one type of publicly engaged commercialized activity. The typology may be useful as a basis for cross-institutional comparisons, institutional responses to public accountability, more effective faculty development programs, and strategic career decision-making by individual faculty members and emerging engaged scholars.