Reshaping University Governance

Title of Proposal

Reshaping University Governance to Enhance Community Engaged Scholarship

Presenter Name(s)

Byron Sheldrick, Linda Hawkins, Kerry Daly


This paper will examine how the structures of University governance (both institutional and procedural) affect the practice and development of community engaged scholarship. The organization of universities into departments and colleges structured along disciplinary lines, combined with P&T guidelines that reward particular forms of scholarship tends to create disincentives to the development of community engaged scholarship. The latter relies on principles of collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and the breaking down of silos of expertise and knowledge. CES also demands the sharing of responsibility and decision-making in scholarship with community partners outside the hierarchical structures of the university.

The development of CES within the university, the paper will argue, requires both changes to the existing institutional and governance structures. However, these sorts of changes are both difficult to achieve and slow to develop. Consequently, we will argue, that the creation of new organizational structures within the university is vital to the development of CES as an active and vibrant element within the scholarship of the university. The paper will detail the types of organizational and structural changes necessary, with reference to specific case studies and the experience of the University of Guelph.

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