chalk drawing of a koi fish on a sidewalk

About Our Office

For the Public Good, Together

Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) is a university-wide office serving both campuses and all ten colleges and schools. Public scholarship at UC Davis aims to have a positive public impact and is inclusive of different disciplines and diverse forms of scholarship in terms of research and creative activity, teaching and learning, equity and leadership.


We build and support meaningful relationships between communities and UC Davis scholars that work together to solve today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.


A university unbound that seeks to serve the public, equitably and inclusively, resulting in reciprocal and mutual benefit to California’s communities and beyond.


Change is imagined.

Change requires collective action that is informed by our past experiences and present circumstances. It is based on the values we hold and the type of futures we imagine for ourselves, our communities, and the planet.

Relationships matter.

Personal relationships ground the work we do and are based on trust and reciprocity, collaboration and mutual benefit. We seek out and endeavor to build meaningful relationships in ways that begin with humility and empathy, invite curiosity, enlarge our sense of belonging, and bring meaning and purpose to our lives.

Public engagement is vital to the university’s mission.

Our greatest challenges cannot be adequately or fully addressed from a single point of view. Our success depends on our ability to listen and learn, share and generate knowledge with others.

What is public scholarship?

Public scholarship is broadly defined as research, teaching, and learning that has an impact for publics beyond the university. It exemplifies impactful research, teaching, and creative practice that focuses on issues of public concern. It is useful to and developed in concert with diverse audiences beyond the university. 

At UC Davis, we see this work as being broad and inclusive of different forms of scholarship that vary by discipline and types of scholarly activity. This includes academic scholarship that aims to have a positive public impact through research and creative activity, teaching and learning, equity and leadership. It could also be scholarly activity that has impact at different scales to improve the well-being of individuals, communities, and the planet.

We consider public engagement to be the many ways individuals and groups engage one another to listen and learn, share and create knowledge that aims to be publicly impactful and mutually-beneficial through purposeful action.

The three primary roles of Public Scholarship and Engagement are to:

  • Champion public scholarship that advances the university’s production of knowledge, learning, and leadership.
  • Convene individuals and groups to build relationships, partnerships, and networks. 
  • Connect communities to university resources through research and student learning experiences, technical assistance and training, workshops and events.