SSN Commentary

Revitalizing University Missions with Community-Engaged HyField Teaching

Policy field

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CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College

Originally published with Amanda Copkov in Faculty Focus on May 29, 2024.

In the past year’s news cycle, we have seen university presidents arraigned before Congress and levels of student activism unseen in decades. Whether spun positively or negatively in media coverage, unfortunately such events are now the only types of public engagement some individuals and communities associate with universities.

At a time when universities are under attack on multiple fronts, many point toward a need for publicly engaged scholarship to reframe adversarial agendas, tackle the perceived insularities of higher education, and build trust with communities. Some disciplines are already heavily invested or recovering their roots in publicly engaged research, promotion of “pracademic” models, and the necessary reforms to incentivize such work. With community engagement often relegated to faculty members’ service or outside activities, these projects seek to shift public work to the center of scholarship.