Provost’s Work Group

mrak hall landscape shot with green grass in front and four people walking in different directions

What is the Provost’s Work Group

Public scholarship encompasses and exemplifies the mission of UC Davis as a public land-grant institution and demonstrates impact through research, teaching, and creative practice. Although not all faculty engage in public scholarship, there exists a need for greater understanding, recognition, and incorporation of public scholarship at the university.

In 2020, a group of faculty representing all four colleges and six professional schools convened to explore ways to achieve greater recognition of public scholarship at UC Davis. Their specific charge was to: a) identify barriers to public scholarship, b) explore strategies to reward and recognize public scholarship, and c) recommend changes to institutional policies and practices, where appropriate.

This work group met four times, beginning in January 2020, to examine barriers and challenges, review the literature on public scholarship, as well as identify strategies already in place at UC Davis and at peer institutions. Collectively, they developed recommendations centered on the following five themes.

  • Merit, Promotion, and Tenure: Develop and implement strategies to facilitate the inclusion of public scholarship in merit and promotion at department/program, college/school, and university levels. 
  • Faculty Development: Create opportunities for faculty to deepen knowledge and successfully integrate public scholarship into research and teaching. 
  • Education, Awareness, and Recognition: Increase the awareness and understanding of public scholarship’s value and impact. 
  • Faculty Resources: Create dedicated funding sources to support public scholarship activities.
  • Faculty Recruitment and Retention: Incorporate public scholarship into faculty recruitment, orientation for new faculty and department chairs, and retention programs. 

Background

While public scholarship is woven into our institutional mission, faculty at all ranks perceive that it is not sufficiently recognized and rewarded by the university. In November 2019, former Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Ralph Hexter formed the Provost’s Work Group on Public Scholarship to frame issues around increasing reward and recognition of public scholarship and determining possible recommendations to institutional policies and practices, where appropriate. The work group included faculty representing all four colleges and six professional schools.

In drafting recommendations to reward and recognize public scholarship at UC Davis, the Working Group considered the following questions: What are the goals and purposes for UC Davis to reward and recognize public scholarship? How is public scholarship being rewarded and recognized relative to other forms of scholarship? What are the challenges in rewarding and recognizing public scholarship?Where are faculty finding obstacles to incorporating public scholarship into their research and teaching?What disincentives exist that preclude greater participation in public scholarship activities? What types of changes and at what levels, i.e., department, college and school, and university-wide, should be considered?


Work Group Members