Un consorcio de más de 80 colleges y universidades de los Estados Unidos –conocido como Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life— formula propuestos para la carrera académica en las áreas de humanidades y artes donde los métodos habituales de promoción, basados en el registro de publicaciones ISI, resultan inoperantes.
Bajar Informe aquí 4,10 MB
The Imagining America Tenure Team Initiative (TTI) was inspired by faculty members who want to do public scholarship and live to tell the tale.
Publicly engaged academic work is taking hold in American colleges and universities, part of a larger trend toward civic professionalism in many spheres. But tenure and promotion policies lag behind public scholarly and creative work and discourage faculty from doing it.
Disturbingly, our interviews revealed a strong sense that pursuing academic public engagement is viewed as an unorthodox and risky early career option for faculty of color.
We propose concrete ways to remove obstacles to academic work carried out for and/or with the public by giving such work full standing as scholarship, research, or artistic creation. While we recommend a number of ways to alter the wording and intent of tenure and promotion policies, changing the rules is not enough. Enlarging the conception of who counts as “peer” and what counts as “publication” is part of something bigger: the democratization of knowledge on and off campus.
We want this report to serve as a toolkit for faculty, staff, and students who are eager to change the culture surrounding promotion and tenure. It offers strategies that they can use to create enabling settings for doing and reviewing intellectually rigorous public work.
In her role as co-chair of the TTI, Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor of Syracuse University announced the launch of the Tenure Team Initiative at the IA conference held at Rutgers in October, 2005, responding to urgings from member colleges and universities. Over a two-year period, we surveyed the growing literature on this topic, conducted original research, presented and sought feedback at numerous conferences, and published a substantive background study, available on IA’s web site.
These activities led us to formulate a set of core questions that we posed to members of the Tenure Team in a series of structured interviews conducted by co-investigator Tim Eatman, resulting in over 400 pages of coded, searchable transcripts. This report conveys the priorities and foregrounds the voices of these seasoned, eloquent leaders.
Changing Careers and Cultures
In the fi rst section of the report, after defining publicly engaged academic work, we locate it in a continuum of scholarship. The logic of the continuum organizes four domains and the recommendations pertaining to each of them:
• a continuum of scholarship gives public engagement full and equal standing;
• a continuum of scholarly and creative artifacts includes those produced about, for, and with specifi c publics and communities;
• a continuum of professional choices for faculty enables them to map pathways to public creative and scholarly work; and
• a continuum of actions aimed at creating a more fl exible framework for valuing and evaluating academic public engagement.
In the two sections that follow, the report focuses on the individual faculty career over time and on institutional change.
Audiences and Allies
We address multiple sets of readers, all of them necessary to a robust campus coalition aiming to nourish a responsive environment for public work: association leaders who are essential to the coordinated efforts of campus networks; top university leaders such as presidents and provosts; leaders on the “middle ground”—department chairs, center and program directors, and deans; and engaged faculty and students.
Why are we so interested in chairs, deans, and directors? Departments, and the units with which they interact, are where tensions arise about the value of publicly engaged scholarship at the point of promotion or tenure. They are where all the work of promotion gets done and where the potential for real change is greatest. We are reaching out to department chairs in this report because they have been overlooked as key partners in public scholarship.
1. Define public scholarly and creative work.
2. Develop policy based on a continuum of scholarship.
3. Recognize the excellence of work that connects domains of knowledge.
4. Expand what counts.
5. Document what counts.
6. Present what counts: use portfolios.
7. Expand who counts: Broaden the community of peer review.
8. Support publicly engaged graduate students and junior faculty.
9. Build in fl exibility at the point of hire.
10. Promote public scholars to full professor.
11. Organize the department for policy change.
12. Take this report home and use it to start something.
Sobre Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
Imagining America is a national consortium of colleges and universities committed to public scholarship in the arts, humanities, and design. Public scholarship joins serious intellectual endeavor with a commitment to public practice and public consequence. It includes:
— Scholarly and creative work jointly planned and carried out by university and community partners;
— Intellectual work that produces a public good;
— Artistic, critical, and historical work that contributes to public debates;
— Efforts to expand the place of public scholarship in higher education itself, including the development of new programs and research on the successes of such efforts.
Public scholarship in the arts and humanities integrates all the missions of higher education: research, teaching, service, and public engagement.
Colleges Should Change Policies to Encourage Scholarship Devoted to the Public Good
By AUDREY WILLIAMS JUNE
Chrinicle of Higher Education
June 26, 2008
A national consortium of more than 80 colleges and universities is urging higher education to revamp its tenure and promotion policies so that what it calls public scholarship is recognized and rewarded.
In a new report, the group, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life, details the obstacles that exist for faculty members in the arts, humanities, and design whose scholarly or creative work is done with, for, or about the public, and contributes to the public good. The report, “Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University,” also offers strategies that colleges can use to create attractive environments for such work to be done and reviewed.
“The bottom line is excellent scholarship is just that—excellent scholarship,” said Timothy K. Eatman, assistant professor of higher education at Syracuse University and a co-author of the report, which was produced by the consortium’s tenure team. “What we want to do is make sure there are ways for public scholarship to be evaluated so we can discern what is excellent and what isn’t.”
The report includes examples of public scholarship —like an oral-history project, coordinated by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College, in Maine, in collaboration with a local museum, in which professors at the college oversaw the collection of the oral histories of older mill workers.
However, faculty members are often discouraged from doing such work when it is viewed as “unorthodox” and is unlikely to be counted toward tenure or promotion, the report says. Faculty members of color, who often find public scholarship and creative work especially appealing, see engaging in it as an extremely risky move early in their careers.
“There is definitely a sense of risk and a strong sense of anxiety” related to doing public scholarship, said Julie Ellison, a professor of American culture, English, and art and design at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a co-author of the report.
The 42-page report includes interviews with deans, provosts, department chairs, and national association leaders who make up Imagining America’s tenure team, as well as a group of consulting scholars and artists. The report is written for a wide audience, with an emphasis on department chairs, deans, and the directors of centers and programs. That’s because tense discussions that revolve around whether to count public scholarship and creative works toward tenure or promotion take place on the departmental level, the report says, and “department chairs have been overlooked as key partners in public scholarship.”
The report’s recommendations include that colleges define public scholarly and creative work, expand and document what counts toward tenure and promotion, support publicly engaged graduate students and junior faculty members, and broaden the scope of people who can serve as peer reviewers.
Even though the report focuses on the arts and humanities, “there’s so much enthusiasm in all kinds of disciplines for scholarship in public that I think there are lots of good reason for universities to tackle this issue,” said Nancy Cantor, chancellor and president of Syracuse University and co-chair of Imagining America’s Tenure Team Initiative.
“I think graduate students have much more of an appetite for this kind of work,” Ms. Cantor said, “so it’s important to be able to say with a straight face that this work will be accommodated and rewarded and valued.”
Imagining America will continue the dialogue on the value of public scholarship at its national conference at the University of Southern California in October and at regional conferences held this year and next. However, the report’s authors say that people can use the report to begin the discussion about reshaping tenure and promotion policies now.
Copyright © 2008 by The Chronicle of Higher Education