Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Encouraging faculty community engagement at UNC Charlotte

(The photo shows students involved in Janni Sorensen's project to help rescue the Windy Ridge neighborhood in Charlotte.)

From the attached article from Inside Higher Education, UNC Charlotte is in the vanguard nationally in proposing that the extensive and deep-seated community engagement research and initiatives underway by faculty members be counted in the formal promotion and tenure considerations that so strongly affect faculty compensation and career progression. Here's an excerpt. Read the full story below.

"As part of Janni Sorensen’s community planning class, students work at a troubled neighborhood in the Charlotte suburbs every semester, trying to help residents hard-hit by foreclosures and absentee landlords. They have helped form a stable neighborhood association and a crime watch group, and work with residents when they have questions for a property management company or utility providers. Sorensen, an assistant professor of geography and earth sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, says that such partnerships help her students reap the full benefits of service learning while helping the community.
What such work does not do, at least right now, is qualify as "research" work toward Sorensen's pending bid for tenure. As at many institutions, UNC-Charlotte's tenure criteria often favor traditional books and journal articles in leading publications in her field. But that could soon change, as UNCC, which has been recognized as a Carnegie Engaged Institution for its work in the community, aims to take this kind of engagement one step further by revising its tenure and promotion guidelines to take such work out of the sole realm of service..."

Read more:
Inside Higher Ed

Ramping up community engagement at UNCC | Inside Higher Ed

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