Defining Scholarship at Kalamazoo College
Faculty Personnel Committee
Members of the faculty at Kalamazoo College have all experienced frustration as we prepare descriptions of our scholarly activity for personnel reviews. The questions “what activity counts as scholarship?” and “have I done enough of the „right‟ kind of work?” are often fraught with anxiety. The Faculty Personnel Committee has observed that this tension is due to a perceived lack of connection between two elements: (1) the work each of us actually does in pursuing our careers as scholars, and (2) the kinds of work and the modes of presentation that the committee will deem appropriate for a successful review. The committee seeks to clarify the second point in a way that takes into account the wide variety of scholarly and creative work being done by faculty at the college. Toward this end the Faculty Personnel Committee has adopted the following model for our faculty colleagues to use as a guide when presenting a description of our scholarship to the committee. The model is based on the work of Ernest Boyer, with some modifications that we believe make it most applicable to the broad range of faculty scholarship at Kalamazoo College. It consists of four separate, but in some cases overlapping descriptions, of scholarship. The committee believes that each of our faculty colleagues can profitably make use of one or more of these descriptions when framing their own work for personnel reviews. In some cases, an individual‟s research will fit perfectly within a single description. In many other cases, aspects of several descriptions will be most useful. We want to state emphatically that the committee would never expect any individual to utilize all of the descriptive forms. Untenured faculty are, however, expected to discuss the type(s) and nature of their scholarship, as well as anticipated outcomes, with their Department Chairs and the Provost so that all parties remain “on the same page” throughout the review process.