Faculty Engagement to Enhance Student Attainment

This paper introduces five premises central to improving student attainment: 1) no one size fits all; 2) quality is essential; 3) faculty are central to quality and completion; 4) attainment equals but is more than completion; and 5) strategic public investment is required. In this paper, the author outlines challenges impacting faculty engagement followed by a review of how colleges and universities can promote fuller faculty engagement to enhance student attainment. The paper concludes with identifying new strategies that can achieve broader faculty engagement in enhancing student attainment.

Faculty Incorporating Diversity-Related Course Content

This paper identifies factors that affect faculty decisions to incorporate diversity-related content into their course materials. In this study, the researchers consider variables such as demographics, professional characteristics, personal believes, and participation in diversity-related workshops, to predict whether or not faculty used diversity-related material in the classroom. Findings suggest that there are racial and gender distinctions regarding a faculty member’s decision to incorporate diversity-related content in the curriculum. Additionally, this study provided evidence that faculty decide to incorporate diversity-related material into their courses based on their perceptions of their departments’ commitment to support diversity-related initiatives. This has implications at the departmental level, as departments, and therefore faculty, become the “gatekeepers” of the curriculum.

Faculty Involvement in Outreach & Engagement

This article examines the engagement movement of the 1990s and the extent to which this movement has shaped faculty at institutions of higher education. Through a survey, the authors aim to understand faculty activity and attitudes towards outreach and engagement, in response to pressure for institutions to focus on their civic mission. Findings from this study, based on a model proposed to conceptualize faculty engagement, show that faculty participation is very high, with over half of faculty participating in more than one activity. Additionally, this study suggests that faculty make decisions around the outreach and engagement activity they pursue based on the time commitment with such activities. As such, incorporating this type of involvement into promotion and tenure policies may incentivize higher participation in outreach and engagement.

Institutionalizing Faculty Engagement

The purpose of this study is to determine the motivation and accomplishments of faculty pursuing a scholarly research agenda and the supports and barriers they encounter at a research university. Through interviewing 20 faculty members, the authors of this study determine that there are a number of supports and barriers for faculty involvement in community-engaged work. These barriers include funding and boundaries on what is considered “scholarly” work. As such, the researchers provide recommendations for changing institutional policies and practices so that structures are put into place to support faculty engagement. These recommendations include an encouragement for more mentoring, and a revision of promotion and tenure guidelines to reflect campus commitment for community-university engagement.