Community-engaged scholarship: Is faculty work in communities a true academic enterprise?

Diane C. Calleson, Catherine Jordan, Sarena D. Seifer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

155 Scopus citations


Since Ernest Boyer's landmark 1990 report, Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriare, leaders in higher education, including academic medicine, have advocated that faculty members apply their expertise in new and creative ways in partnership with communities. Such community engagement can take many forms, including community-based teaching, research, clinical care, and service. There continues to be a gap, however, between the rhetoric of this idea and the reality of how promotion and tenure actually work in health professions schools. The Commission on Community-Engaged Scholarship in the Health Professions was established in October 2003 with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to take a leadership role in creating a more supportive culture and reward system for community-engaged faculty in the nation's health professions schools. The authors prepared this article to inform the commission's deliberations and to stimulate discussion among educators in the health professions. The authors define the work that faculty engage in with communities, consider whether all work by faculty in community-based settings is actually scholarship, and propose a framework for documenting and assessing community-engaged scholarship for promotion and tenure decisions. They conclude with recommendations for change in academic health centers and health professions schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-321
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


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