National Efforts in Public Engagement
It's striking how many national or regional civic/public/community engagement efforts are going on now. They include
- NSF broader impact criterion
- Carnegie reclassification of higher education institutions
- Reports urging changes in graduate education - including more engagement - from the Carnegie, Pew, and Woodrow Wilson Foundations
- Community- Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) promotion and tenure project in health science disciplines
- Imagining America Tenure Team Project in the arts, humanities, and design disciplines
- CIC-NASULGC efforts on definition and benchmarks of engagement
- Tufts/Campus Compact project on "Research Universities: A New Voice in the Effort to Return Higher Education to its Civic Mission"
- Inclusion of a community engagement criterion by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and School in its accreditation standards
- Conferences on civic engagement in graduate education organized by the North Central Consortium of Campus Compact and the Johnson Foundation at Wingspread, and by California Campus Compact
Only the NSF and accreditation efforts have teeth in them, in that they can directly influence institutional behavior. The others are mainly exhortatory, although the CCPH and Imagining America tenure projects aim to provide models for valuing engagement in promotion and tenure decisions. It remains to be seen to what extent exhortation, even from the most respected sources, can actually change behavior.
What we really need is examples of practice from our peer institutions. Who goes first?