A look at public engagement, publication outputs and metrics in the tenure review process

Presented October 11, 2018 at FORCE 2018.

After revising the policy guidelines that inform the tenure review process in 129 institutions of higher education across the United States and Canada, an interdisciplinary team of researchers asked this question: Are we serving the public, or are we serving ourselves? Our ongoing research project revised 864 documents and forms that guide the promotion, tenure and review process in several Canadian and American institutions to identify the mentions to public and community engagement in research and scholarly work. We found that, although there are high levels of broad interest in public and community engagement in scholarship, such an interest is not precisely aligned with the specific scholarly outputs required from faculty, and the metrics for evaluating publication impact. Thus we would like to discuss with the academic community: How should we transform these guidelines, and the overall tenure review process, to ensure that public and community engagement in scholarship becomes a more meaningful requirement in faculty promotion and evaluation?