Tenure & Promotion
The Tenure Team Initiative on Public Scholarship (TTI) seeks to change campus policies related to tenure and promotion to recognize publicly engaged art and scholarship as legitimate scholarly and creative activity, and to ensure faculty, administrators, and students are free to take up this work. The TTI advances the democratization of higher education by working toward the full participation of diverse faculty and diverse students and by strengthening the public and civic mission of colleges and universities.
This initiative advances the democratization of higher education by working toward the full participation of diverse faculty and diverse students and by strengthening the public and civic mission of colleges and universities.
In 2005, under the direction of co-chairs Nancy Cantor and Steven Lavine, two advisory groups were convened to draw on their experience and expertise: the Tenure Team, composed of key campus and disciplinary-association leaders, and consulting scholars and artists.
Over a two-year period, principal investigators Julie Ellison and Timothy Eatman surveyed the growing literature on this topic, conducted original research, presented and sought feedback at numerous conferences, and published a substantive background study. From these activities, a set of core questions were posed to Tenure Team members in a series of interviews.
In May 2008, Imagining America (IA) released the report based on this extensive research, “Scholarship in Public: Knowledge Creation and Tenure Policy in the Engaged University,” by Ellison and Eatman. The report includes 12 recommendations for expanding promotion and tenure guidelines so public scholarship can receive appropriate institutional recognition.
IA conducted a series of Regional Meetings from 2008-2010 to disseminate the report’s findings and to encourage local action related to expanding tenure and promotion policies.
About the Report
“Scholarship in Public” is organized around the idea of a continuum of knowledge and knowledge-making practices. The continuum contains four domains:
- 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 specific 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 flexible framework for valuing and evaluating academic public engagement.
Impact Study Research Group
The TTI Research Group (TTI-RG) is documenting changes in faculty rewards policies at a wide variety of colleges and universities; mapping the impact of the Scholarship in Public report on efforts by higher education and disciplinary associations to value publicly engaged scholarship; and creating capacity for ongoing change by making findings from the impact study broadly available.
The TTI-RG aims to present evidence-based recommendations and a plan for more ambitious multi-institutional efforts aimed at connecting different communities of effort around these issues. Download Scholarship in Action below:
Scholarship in Action
Engaged Scholarship and Faculty Rewards: A National Conversation, by Timothy K. Eatman in AAC&U’s Diversity & Democracy
Colleges Should Change Policies to Encourage Scholarship Devoted to the Public Good, by Audrey Williams in The Chronicle of Higher Education
Taking Public Scholarship Seriously, by Nancy Cantor and Steven D. Lavine in The Chronicle of Higher Education
The TTI Knowledge Base, includes influential publications, web resources, presentations, speeches, and case studies.