What challenges does civic engagement face?
Among the most difficult challenges is recognizing and rewarding scholars for their work in support of civic engagement. Already, though, 42 percent of Campus Compact member campuses reward faculty who participate in community-based research or service-learning by factoring their involvement into tenure and promotion decision-making processes.
Formal recognition of faculty work in civic engagement is crucial, because lack of recognition is one of the biggest barriers to obtaining faculty buy-in, especially during the “formative years” of a young scholar’s career. At present, individual achievement, especially publication in academic journals, is still the most important path to promotion and tenure. Colleges and universities should adopt civic engagement as a core value and purpose, and decisions regarding retention, tenure, and promotion should recognize the contribution faculty make to their profession and their disciplines through strengthening service and civic learning.
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