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The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Faculty defines initiative

This fall, President Sidney Ribeau announced an initiative to connect the University and community resources to satisfy social and economic needs of the region.

The initiative named “Organizing for Engagement: Working Together to Build a Strong and Vital Ohio,” is also designed to recognize and reward faculty who are involved in engagement scholarship through their research, teaching and service.

A task force was formed in Oct. 2004 and given 10 charges to address. This committee consisted of 16 faculty members and administrators, chaired by Deanne Snavely, associate dean of the graduate college.

Part of the scholarship of engagement is to improve the quality of life not only at the University but in the community as well, Ribeau said.

“We were asked to look at the integration of scholarship of engagement across the areas of teaching, research and service,” Snavely said. “I believe that we have provided a nice guideline for recognizing faculty work in the scholarship of engagement and that we’ve given Dr. Ribeau a set of proposals that can be used to proceed.”

After a little over three months of research and meeting, the task force assigned to examine the charges made by Ribeau has produced a report outlining the results and proposals for the spring semester. The report was submitted to Ribeau last week. New groups and committees will be formed to carry out the task force’s proposals on the scholarship of engagement at the University, said President Sidney Ribeau at the Faculty Senate meeting held yesterday.

The task force also developed a working definition of the scholarship of engagement that contrasted between scholarship and engagement, Snavely said.

“I think the entire time we were working, we were working on a definition. We weren’t given a definition, but we designed it by reading about scholarship of engagement at other universities and thinking about what we wanted it to be at BGSU,” Snavely said.

Scholarship has to do with what faculty do with research, whereas engagement refers to more service-oriented, she said.

Both are parts of faculty roles and work, added Snavely.

The three proposals developed by the committee are raised awareness, expanded role and University wide integration of scholarship of engagement, Snavely said.

Each of the proposals was organized around four dimensions; involvement of the BGSU community, policy and procedures, organization and structures and communications of the scholarship of engagement.

“I feel very good about our accomplishments and that the task force members worked very hard,” Snavely said. “We tried very carefully to go back and look at the ten points. I think we have completed and fulfilled the charge to the best of our abilities.”

Despite a tight schedule, the task force was able to complete their assignment in a timely manner, Ribeau said.

“I’m amazed that they [the task force] met the timeline and did it with a great deal of rigor.” he said. “They were asked to identify policies, structures and other factors at BGSU so that different areas of recognition could be rewarded and to identify those that serve to promote the scholarship of engagement.”

Several actions will be taken following the submission of the report, Ribeau said.

Carrying out the proposals will start soon, beginning with assembling a standing committee, said Ribeau.

“This committee will consist of faculty members who develop systematic, rigorous ways as a template to look at the scholarship of engagement,” he said.

In addition, the deans of the colleges will begin to discuss how to implement the scholarship of engagement campus-wide and a number of on-campus paid positions will be established to increase awareness of the scholarship of engagement. He will also be appointing a committee to get students involved in the initiative as well.

“These are in direct response to the challenges addressed by the task force,” Ribeau said.

The report should be online and available for the campus community to see by the end of the week, Ribeau said.

The goal will be to make a final recommendation to present to the Board of Trustees by the end of the spring semester, and implement a University policy to be adopted in fall 2005, Ribeau said.

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