This paper provides background discussion and information to begin the process of considering a more explicit definition of scholarship at the University in the coming decade and broadly discusses several of the issues that should be reviewed. The benefits to the University in creating a broad formal JWU definition of scholarship and encouraging faculty to engage appropriately in it both as they do at this time and to increase that focus as appropriate over the next decade. This could lead to increased faculty involvement in the various and multiple forms of learning, improved faculty satisfaction and retention, and an improved ability to attract new faculty. It is also important that the context of the definition of scholarship at Johnson and Wales University be placed in proper perspective to the standards of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and that is discussed in this paper.
Ernest Boyer’s work is a typical starting point for many institutions when considering their definition of scholarship and especially when one has the luxury to engage in creating such a focus with a broader definition anew. Boyer’s vision was to encourage colleges and universities to look beyond simply creating research for its sake and to consider a broad range of activities as scholarly (e.g., discovery, integration, service and teaching scholarship. This conceptualization seems to fit such a consideration at JWU.
This paper then presents a review of each of the JWU Eduventures Refined Peer Comparison Group members on their apparent focus on scholarship. Most of these colleague institutions focus on traditional discovery research and sponsored projects. There are interesting examples of teaching linkages and other forms of scholarship examples at these institutions. The key take away from a review of these institutions is that scholarship is recognized, supported and integrated into the culture.
Last, this paper presents a few of the next steps for consideration in formulating an appropriate and mission connected formal definition of scholarship at JWU. The three areas that need to be broadly considered on the way to better defining what scholarship is at JWU are: the support systems, communications and the faculty culture. A first step before discussing these areas and perhaps iteratively with such a consideration is to create a formal definition of what “scholarship” is at JWU based on an iterative and heavily consultation based process.
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Senese, Jeffrey D., "Defining Scholarship at Johnson and Wales University: A White Paper" (2010). Administration Publications and Research. 2.