Making it Count: Developing Institutional Strategies for Rewarding Engaged Scholarship in Promotion and Tenure

Pre-Conference Institute for Teams. October 23rd and 24th, 2013. Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA. Facilitated by Drs. KerryAnn O’Meara & Timothy K. Eatman

Please go to or use the following link – ERCC Registration to register

Many of our college campuses struggle with the same challenge. Our academic reward systems have not caught up with 21st century scholarship and teaching, including engaged scholarship and service-learning. Numerous studies of faculty involvement in community engagement show that academic reward systems that do not change to assess and recognize engaged scholarship stand as a formidable barrier to the careers of engaged scholars, recruitment of faculty for this critical work, and campuses truly institutionalizing the work at their core. This is why the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement considers reform in faculty roles and rewards a major part of the application for classification as an engaged institution and why the Eastern Region Campus Compact has developed this institute. These state Compacts wish for member campuses to become role models for the rest of the country in not just talking about faculty roles and reward change but actually doing something to change what is not working. Recognizing the large and increasing number of faculty that are off the tenure track at colleges and universities, we will also give evidence of institutions that have begun to acknowledge and reward non-tenure track faculty for their participation in community engagement and engaged scholarship

In the last 15 years, one of the most powerful and effective strategies for organizational learning and change is the use of teams. In fact this approach has been used to examine national models for change in general education reform, incorporating diversity and global perspectives into the curriculum, and revitalization of faculty development and growth. In October, we aim to use this model of institutional teams to examine academic reward systems for how they support engaged scholarship. See the Appendix A (page 3) case study summary of the Nazareth College team’s progress over the past three years while attending the institute or read a full review at

Institutional Teams of 3-5 individuals should include both tenured faculty involved in the promotion and tenure process as well as untenured faculty and institutional leaders with experience in community engagement. All team members should come with a strong interest in advancing tenure and promotion guidelines to explicitly merit community engaged scholarship.

Additional Policy Consideration for 2013: Recognizing the large and increasing number of faculty that are off the tenure track at colleges and universities, we will also give evidence of institutions that have begun to acknowledge and reward non-tenure track faculty for their participation in community engagement and engaged scholarship


  • Meet as a team and consider the central questions of: how well does our institutional reward system recognize the work of engaged scholars? Going forward, which of our policies and practices with regard to faculty roles and rewards could be improved to better support this work?


  • Work collaboratively on critical areas throughout the day;  be assisted by Drs. O’Meara and Eatman who will share best practices on parallel issues from other campuses, and by the learning of other teams with similarly identified challenges
  • Develop action planning outline from collaborative team work, group reflection on process, and accumulated resources that focus on critical area


  • Report back to their campuses on recommended changes–either to a Deans council, faculty senate, provost or like meeting of key stakeholders and potential allies for reform

NOTE: This kind of approach was also used by the former AAHE Faculty roles and rewards conference for 10 years, is now regularly built into AACU’s process, and was the process for Community Campus Partnerships for Health faculty development programs funded by FIPSE

Objectives of the institute are that every team walks away with:

  • A set of concrete recommendations for how the policies they concentrated on might be changed to better acknowledge engaged scholarship
  • Examples of how similar campuses have approached similar problems
  • A sense of shared energy and momentum for making these changes real and moving them through shared governance procedures
  • A network of colleagues and peers to support ongoing discussions and work

For registration, please go to or use the following link – ERCC Registration




The Importance of Endorsing Team Representation at the Annual Pre-Conference Institute, Making it Count: Developing Institutional Strategies for Rewarding Engaged Scholarship in Promotion and Tenure


June 2013. Dr. Saul Petersen

The following provides a summary of Nazareth College’s review of three year’s work entitled ‘Recent Journey to Institutionalize Engaged Scholarship’ authored by Drs. Marie Watkins, Jennifer Leigh and Saul Petersen. The full review is available on


Over the past 3 years, at the behest of President Braveman, members of Nazareth College’s administration, faculty, and staff have partnered on a journey to institutionalize engaged scholarship.  Participation at the Faculty Rewards Institutes has provided the “team of journeyers” with the time, space and expertise to explore “Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What will it take us to get there?”


The time to engage in peer learning, as well as expert sharing, allowed for exploration of the successes and challenges of institutionalizing and infusing principles of the scholarship of engagement (SoE) into different academic programs.  Therein, a major take-away was the variety of institutional narratives that were focused upon a similar quest: to embed SoE and assure a depth of impact on the faculty rewards systems.


Sequence of Outcomes


In summary:

  • Dr. Donlin-Smith, a representative of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, updated the Nazareth community about the Scholarship of Engagement (SoE) upon his return to campus with the assistance of Dr. Metzger
  • Dr. Metzger met with Dr. Varhus (VPAA), Dr. Shirley Szekeres, Dean of Health & Human Services to provide an update of the 2009 Faculty Rewards Institute and to seek approval to move forward with the action plan that included formulation of a concept paper about the Scholarship of Engagement
  • The  2010 Scholarship of Engagement (SoE) White Paper was shared with Dr. Varhus, VPAA, who indicated her commitment to determine ways to embed or infuse SoE concepts into the work of the Office of Academic Affairs and integrated SoE language into her paper on processes for faculty assessment



The persons chosen to attend the institute were strategically invited because of their high level of knowledge. Prior to the Institute, the team deliberated and determined that the intentional next step in the process was to advocate that Tenure and Promotion policies be inclusive of Scholarship of Engagement. Guided by national experts, Dr. O’Meara (UMD) & Dr. Timothy Eatman (SU), the team drafted a more refined position paper with reasons as to why the Nazareth College Faculty Manual should spell out SoE language, practices, and action steps.



In summary:

  • The Nazareth administration created the Service- Learning Scholars (SLS) whose role is to design, advocate, and further institutionalize service-learning models that are in alignment with the core curriculum
  • The VPAA began to systematically use Scholarship of Engagement (SoE) language as a framework when talking about the work of her division
  • Two out of the five Rank & Tenure Committee members have attended SoE trainings
  • The president, who was very supportive of the Service Learning Scholars concept and practices, encouraged the SLS to continue their work to advance SoE and seek deeper level of institutionalization of service-learning practices in the faculty rewards systems
  • A member of Rank and Tenure Committee, who attended the Service-Learning: Pathway to Tenure and Promotion workshop conducted by Marie, recommended that all R& T members and all departmental chairs attend the workshop



There will continue to be a ‘roll-out’ of strategies that encompass and expand many of the action steps previously explained.  Those strategies include:

  • Meeting with the Faculty Executive Committee to encourage adoption of the recommendations of the White Paper (previously deferred action)
  • Advancement of the president’s agenda related to NACU and service-learning
  • Increased and improved education of deans and departmental chairs about the Scholarship of Engagement and the implications for faculty rewards
  • Strategic positioning of team members on key college faculty committees
  • Attendance at the 2013 Faculty Rewards Institute as a team of Service-Learning Scholars


In conclusion, the Nazareth community have created a foundation of shared vision, shared language, and increased interest related to engaged scholarship to provide faculty rewards practices and policies that truly represent the mission and the vision of Nazareth College.


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