Consumatory Scholarship

Bruce Henderson in The Chronicle of Higher Education calls faculty to be more proactive in defining their contributions to educational institutions. In this time of cuts to education, university and secondary school faculty must help the general public understand the nature of their contributions. The public has a distorted view of the faculty workload. They believe that faculty teach only 6 to 12 hours in the classroom per week for only 30 weeks a year at the university level or only 6 hours per day for only 9 months at the secondary level and do not work in the summer. The public must be made aware that the majority of the faculty’s time is spent on being scholarly, not on producing scholarship or teaching. The name for this ubiquitous activity is "consumatory scholarship". Consumatory scholarship is fundamental to up-to-date teaching, to the initial stages of research projects, and to institutional and community service based on expertise rather than just good intentions. The general public must be educated on the importance of consumatory scholarship and the educational institutions required to formally evaluate and promote consumatory scholarship. Faculty are called to promote this aspect of academic time that is poorly accounted for.

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Publication Date: 
Monday, June 11, 2012