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Unit 1: Planning for Promotion and Tenure

Click here for a PDF of Unit 1.

Introduction
Developing and Sustaining Your Vision
Identifying and Working with Mentors & Communities of Practice
Showcasing Your Work and Soliciting Peer Review

Introduction

Careful and thoughtful planning is essential to the work we do as faculty members. While spontaneity can yield creative ideas for community-based projects or lead to open-ended discussions with students, developing and implementing one's vision for community-engaged scholarship over the long-term (i.e. 5-7 years) requires a more planned approach.

This Unit encourages you to:

  • Be proactive in learning the culture of your institutional environment;
  • Take time to articulate your personal vision;
  • Explore how to translate your vision into a viable career focused on community-engaged scholarship; and
  • Use the resources and a framework for finding mentors that can guide you and enable you to sustain your vision.

The final section in this Unit provides practical strategies for showcasing your community engaged work and soliciting peer review. Faculty in the Scholarship Project [link to Scholarship Project web page, above] consistently noted that faculty need to learn to demonstrate how their work adds value to the institution. One faculty emphasized the need to figure out 'how to toot their horn and find ways to make their work look glorious."
For many, such self-promotion is not an easy task. It seems to be antithetical to the values of faculty who recognize the importance of service and developing community partnerships. Yet, faculty highlighted this strategy as essential to navigating the promotion and tenure system, which is designed to reward the merit and worth of the individual faculty member. In addition to the manuscripts you write for peer-reviewed journals, a strategic way to make the impact of your work stand out is to solicit peer review for applied products. These 'applied products' may include innovative intervention programs, curricula, educational materials for community groups, or policies at the local, state and national levels.

In this Unit, we provide a set of strategies for having these types of applied products reviewed by your academic and community peers. This strategy will enable you to subtly showcase your work over the long-term and open a dialogue with department chairs and mentors.

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