Survey of Faculty Public Engagement

Faculty are invited to participate in a study designed to identify both the scope of faculty engagement at the university (percentage of involvement, activity produced, areas of focus, etc.), as well as faculty impressions of the value placed upon engaged scholarship and the level of support for the function. Your participation is completely voluntary; all responses will remain confidential and will be reported in an aggregate form. The survey should take no more than ten minutes to complete.

Faculty engagement in outreach and extension work is a priority in Auburn’s 2013-2018 strategic plan. Outlined in “Priority 4: Enhance Public Engagement” of the plan are commitments to increase Auburn’s engagement efforts in three areas: (1) workforce and economic development, (2) community health and wellness, and (3) recognition for faculty and student engagement in the university’s academic culture, as well as increasing support for engagement activities and scholarship.

For the purposes of the survey, “faculty engagement” and “engaged scholarship” relate to the recognized definitions of outreach and extension work in the Faculty Handbook, chapter 3: “the function of applying academic expertise to the direct benefit of external audiences in support of university and unit missions.” 

Engagement is inclusive of work performed through outreach units, Extension, or individual faculty assignments.  Engagement encompasses several areas of activity:

  • Instructional activities, generally non-credit programs, promoting learning over a lifetime and address continuing individual development and improvement of knowledge and skills needed for educational advancement, employment and personal enrichment.
  • Expert assistance, providing information and consultative services extending university expertise and knowledge on request to external constituents (individuals and organizations) in order to advise, solve problems and improve conditions.
  • Civic engagement, encouraging collaboration between the institution and its larger community (local, state, regional, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

Faculty engagement also serves to engage students as well, either as participants in the outreach and extension projects of their faculty mentors or as part of faculty-led curricular engagement in a course of study. This includes formally designated service-learning coursework which combines classroom instruction with meaningful community engagement, balancing academic and civic outcomes, and emphasizing critical thinking and personal reflection. Other forms of recognized curricular engagement may include community-based internships and practica, community-based research, or clinical activities which have significant community engaged components and serve the public at large.

The term “service” is often used synonymously for “outreach or extension.” However the Faculty Handbook distinguishes engagement in outreach and extension work from “service.”  Therefore faculty service activities such as departmental meetings, disciplinary meetings, committee work, and leadership roles such as search chairs and board positions, etc. should not be included as “faculty engagement.”

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Chippewa Thomas at or call 844-5700.

Click here to begin the Survey

Last Updated: September 10, 2014