Whither engagement? Challenges for community engagement within academia

Star, Cassandra (2007) Whither engagement? Challenges for community engagement within academia. In: 2007 International Women's Conference: Education, Employment and Everything... theTriple Layers of a Woman's Life, 26-29 Sep 2007, Toowoomba, Australia.

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Despite the commitment to engagement with the broader community that is central to understandings of the role of academics within the university tradition, there are now significant barriers to the performance of this role.

Significant changes in the management, funding and priorities of universities (prompted by government policy) have created conditions where community engagement is placed a distant third in the professional lives of contemporary academics behind research and teaching. Some have suggested that community engagement is not just a low priority activity in modern academia, but one that is consciously discouraged through questioned academic freedoms, more tenuous employment circumstances, and restrictive codes of conduct conditions at several universities. In addition, the widespread work intensification that has accompanied these other changes in University management has created significant disincentive to engage in community engagement for early career academics, women with children, and those seeking a healthy work-life balance.

This paper argues that while there has been much discussion of the privileging of research over teaching, the value and commitment to community service remains at the margins of reality and debate in Australian universities, and will continue to be while these challenges remain.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Copyright is retained by the author.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (1 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2010)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance (1 Apr 2007 - 31 Dec 2010)
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2007 00:20
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: academics; community engagement; role of the university
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160599 Policy and Administration not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4499 Other human society > 449999 Other human society not elsewhere classified
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4407 Policy and administration > 440799 Policy and administration not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520599 Social and personality psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9304 School/Institution > 930402 School/Institution Community and Environment
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/3314

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