Population Health

August 29, 2018

Recognizing community-engaged research in promotion and tenure guidelines

Image of community-based researchThe Population Health Initiative seeks to bring the university community and partners together in more interdisciplinary and collaborative ways to improve the health of people here and around the world.

A potential barrier to realizing this goal is the appearance of inconsistent criteria in recognizing interdisciplinary and collaborative research, teaching, public scholarship, mentoring and community engagement for faculty promotion and tenure.

This concern, which is shared by faculty and leadership across the university, was a key focus of the UW Faculty 2050 project, an ongoing effort to strengthen the UW as a public institution of higher education.

One of the major outputs of the UW 2050 effort was the initial analysis and identification by Drs. Janine Jones and Carole Lee of some of the best practices currently being utilized to acknowledge collaborative and interdisciplinary research, teaching and community-engaged scholarship in promotion and tenure guidelines at the UW.

A sample of the best practices identified to support faculty in ensuring that collaborative and community-engaged efforts are valued include:

  • Being transparent about promotion and tenure criteria to new faculty.
  • Identifying unit-level examples of collaborative, community engaged efforts that are aligned with exemplary research and teaching and including these as appropriate metrics in promotion and tenure review process.
  • Defining the values that matter most within the unit based on current and past trends (i.e., sharing what typically drives the discussion of promotion and tenure files).
  • Identifying the range of pathways by which faculty have been successful in securing promotion and tenure (by job class).
  • Ensuring that mentoring committees establish a regular communication routine between the junior faculty member and their faculty mentors.

The team leading the UW Faculty 2050 project is currently working to determine the highest priority goals, strategies and timelines for attaining short-term and long-term objectives captured in their report. The work group developing the UW’s application for the Carnegie Community Engagement classification is also focused on the power of community-engaged scholarship and teaching.

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