In “Public Influence Rankings” released today, two members of the CU Boulder School of Education faculty were recognized as among the nation’s top 200 researchers whose scholarship bridges academic and public audiences. Professor Kevin Welner ranked No. 47, and Professor Bill Penuel ranked No. 101.
The Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings are the creation of Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and is published on Hess’ blog in Education Week. He began this project 11 years ago to recognize “scholars who work to move ideas from the pages of barely read journals and to practice and policy. One small way to encourage academics to step into the fray and revisit academic norms is by doing more to recognize and value those scholars who do step out.”
Each scholar on the list was scored by Hess and his colleagues across nine metrics, including Google Scholar, book points, Amazon rankings, syllabus points, education press mentions, web mentions, newspaper mentions, congressional record mentions, and Twitter score.
“Our faculty, researchers and doctoral students in the CU Boulder School of Education are united by a deep-seated commitment to public scholarship,” said Dean Kathy Schultz. "We understand the importance of grounding our research in practice to generate policy-relevant solutions and working with community partners and educators as close collaborators in our work. Together with our partners, we are focused on transforming the educational opportunities in historically marginalized communities and learning from and with our colleagues."
Together with our partners, we are focused on transforming the educational opportunities in historically marginalized communities and learning from and with our colleagues."
Schultz welcomed the Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings as an example of thinking holistically about measures of scholarly impact along with broader impact on public discussions. At the same time, Schultz urged the scholarly community to follow Hess’ lead and work together to create other so-called “alt-metric” approaches to account for public scholarship, that use weights, criteria, and approaches that more closely reflect a community-based set of values and priorities.
“While I imagine many of us don’t believe that these particular criteria or rankings are the only or even best way to recognize public scholarship efforts and influence, I am happy to see our School of Education featured on the list,” Schultz added.
Welner, professor and chair of the Educational Foundations Policy and Practice program and director of the National Education Policy Center housed at CU Boulder, was part an ideologically diverse committee that worked with Hess to nominate scholars to be considered for ranking.