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Outreach Scholarship: The Key To Promotion And Tenure

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Tenure and Promotion Tricks of the Trade

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.910.1 - 8.910.19



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Paper Authors

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David Cottrell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2475

Outreach Scholarship: A Valuable Key to Promotion and Tenure

David S. Cottrell Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg

1. Introduction

Teaching, research, and service – these three words traditionally encompass the functional mission of the college professor. But as the 21 st Century dawned, many universities have awakened to a call to reconnect to those who benefit substantially from our scholastic activities – our constituents. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) echoes this realization with newly revised accreditation criteria requiring program goals to address the needs of employers and students as well as the institution as a prerequisite for developing and sustaining a program characterized by continuous improvement.1 Certainly, a commitment to quality, continuous process improvement, and customer satisfaction is not new within management circles. Nevertheless, its current creative extension into the day-to-day activities of academia has significantly changed the way programs self-assess their effectiveness; they have slowly begun measure success as an institution and as faculty in terms of their ability to engage and subsequently satisfy the needs of their “customers.” The engaged university by definition uses its scholarly resources to address the needs of society, including the various constituents it serves,2 but beyond this collective application, Universities are now working to not just recognize but also to express expectations of its faculty to be individually engaged, pursuing scholarly endeavors ultimately aimed at connecting to the outside – that is, outreach.

This article documents a work in progress – the efforts of the leadership of the Pennsylvania State University including the Faculty Senate, the Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the Outreach Committee to formally revitalize its commitment to the community it serves. First, the paper will discuss the historical and current policies that tend to encourage outreach among University faculty. Then the paper presents the results of an initiative to formally develop a scholarship model that extends outreach beyond its traditional position under service into the other components of teaching and research. Finally, the paper addresses the ongoing efforts to implement the model and to truly integrate outreach as a viable tool for assessing and granting tenure for qualified faculty.

2. Current Outreach Programs

In fact, the Pennsylvania State University is but one of many institutions of higher

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Cottrell, D. (2003, June), Outreach Scholarship: The Key To Promotion And Tenure Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12131

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