Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Judith A. Aiken
College and university mission statements commonly declare contributions for the public good and the development of engaged and responsible citizens as central to their institution's work. Yet, a different narrative is often revealed when rhetoric meets reality in the promotion and tenure policies for faculty. Since Ernest Boyer's seminal work Scholarship Reconsidered (1990) called for an expansion of the way we think about and reward scholarship in academia, a preponderance of studies have considered the degree to which community engagement and public scholarship has been integrated into higher education faculty reward policies. Such research has helped chart the progress that has been made in this area over the past twenty-five years. Many past studies have focused on land-grant and public research universities, both of which have specific mandates informing their institutional missions. Fewer studies look specifically at private or faith-based institutions. This study specifically considers how Catholic higher education is addressing the challenge of recognizing and rewarding community-engagement in its faculty policies.
The overarching research question guiding this study asks: To what extent is institutional mission operational in faculty recruitment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure policies at Catholic colleges and universities designated with the Carnegie Foundation's Community Engagement classification? The study employs a qualitative, content analysis of the mission statements and recruitment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure policies of 31 Catholic colleges and universities. The institutions in this target cohort are members of the Association of Catholic Colleges & Universities (ACCU) that received the nationally recognized Carnegie Community Engagement classification in 2015. These two affiliations suggest that each institution in the cohort has a distinct Catholic identity and demonstrates a high commitment to community engagement. I first explore how these 31 Catholic institutions articulate their mission, values, and identity. Next, I evaluate their recruitment, reappointment, tenure, and promotion policies. Through a comparison of the findings, I determine the extent to which these Catholic institutions align their faculty reward policies with their faith-based foundations and espoused missions through a commitment to community engaged teaching and scholarship. Further, through a cross-case analysis, I reveal policy exemplars from Catholic colleges and universities that can inform institutions interested in strengthening the alignment between their Catholic mission/identity and faculty roles and rewards.
Number of Pages
Wagner, Joan, "The Distinctive Mission of Catholic Colleges & Universities and Faculty Reward Policies for Community Engagement: Aspirational or Operational?" (2017). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 749.