Phases of the Faculty Committee

Initially, interactions entailed faculty members from across the University finding each other and discovering common ground in commitment to engaged research and teaching. As such, it was an emergent group. Participating faculty were pleasantly surprised to learn that colleagues from different colleges generally unbeknownst to each other had been conducting scholarly work that had much in common with their own. After brainstorming regarding research processes and comparable work being done across the country, members of the group recognized that the type of research they were conducting fit nicely within the rubric of engaged scholarship.

Getting acquainted conversations led to a concerted effort to advance the University's recognition of the value and importance of engaged scholarship. To advance this endeavor, members of the Ad Hoc Task Force made innumerable presentations to groups of administrators, faculty, and departments.

Concomitantly, faculty members increased recognition of engaged scholarship within the wider Mid-South Community. Joint efforts to communicate the importance of engaged scholarship across the entire University and publicizing such faculty activities to the wider non-University community garnered attention. While members of the task force appreciated the value of being ad hoc, they also understood the importance of internal and external recognition. Accordingly, the Ad Hoc Task Force Provost Ralph Faudree announced the establishment of the University of Memphis Engaged Scholarship Faculty Committee in 2006.

During this formation period, Tenure and Promotion Guidelines in different colleges were addressed following several visits to departments to discuss the possible place of engaged scholarship within departmental tenure and promotion guidelines. Similarly, certain faculty searches specified a wish to hire new faculty who fit within the engaged scholarship research modality.

In recent years a new generation of faculty members, some tenured and some not yet tenured, have joined the engaged scholarship endeavor with their colleagues who were part of the initial founding group, with many taking leadership roles. Publication ideas that emerged over the years have resulted in books, chapters, and articles published both within disciplinary contexts and within the broader discussion of engaged scholarship with colleagues around the country.