Emory Report

September 13, 1999

 Volume 52, No. 4

Provost's office seeks faculty input for scholarship study

To find out what faculty believe about the impact of their scholarship in the community, and what are the essential characteristics of such scholarship, the Office of Institutional Planning and Research (IPR) has drafted a survey that is available to faculty both online and in printed form.

There is no comprehensive profile of faculty scholarship in metro Atlanta or the state of Georgia, no clear understanding of faculty research in terms of modes of collaboration, who benefits from their scholarship, type of investigation, length of study, etc. This lack of knowledge prompted Provost Rebecca Chopp to ask the IPR office to compile a first inventory of scholarly projects with connections to greater Atlanta or Georgia communities.

"The image of the research university as an 'ivory tower' unconnected to the broader community of which it is apart is a myth," Chopp said. "Emory faculty and students conduct research and undertake teaching and learning in various places across Atlanta, the nation and the globe. This survey will not only help faculty know where other faculty are engaged in metro Atlanta and the state of Georgia but will enable us all to have a new 'map' of faculty work. Using the information drawn from the survey, faculty will be able to draw upon the knowledge and engagements of other faculty, and collectively we will celebrate the reality that our long and rich engagement with the metro area is alive and well in new ways."

Ernest Boyer, writing in a widely cited 1990 report to the Carnegie Foundation titled "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate," proposed a new paradigm of scholarship, one that not only promotes the scholarship of discovering knowledge, but also celebrates the scholarship of integrating, communicating and applying knowledge through professional service.

As patterns of faculty research suggest, bringing this paradigm into Emory's context means that faculty regularly apply knowledge to real-life problems, use that experience to refine their theories and re-energize student learning by connecting theories taught in class to practice. This broader and energetic view of scholarship has been embraced by Emory's scholars for some time.

The survey instrument was improved over the summer through the review and helpful suggestions of 18 faculty known for their community-based research. Faculty can now complete the survey on the web at <ScholarshipSurvey.cc.emory.edu>.

"IPR is pleased to have developed this survey," said Vice Provost Susan Frost. "Feedback from Emory faculty shaped it, and I look forward to robust participation. The findings will contribute to the body of knowledge we are developing about the nature of faculty work at Emory. I encourage everyone to participate."

Faculty feedback will help the University construct a database of scholarly activity in the region, as well as assist colleagues at Emory and other Georgia universities in establishing collaborative networks. The study also promises to inform University leaders about potential barriers to expanding faculty research opportunities in greater Atlanta and about ways the University can improve support for these activities.

Faculty who wish to complete the paper version of this survey may contact the IPR office at 404-727-5278 to request a questionnaire.

-Daniel Teodorescu

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