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Understanding Scholarly Disengagement

Understanding Scholarly Disengagement

Textbook Chapters:

Chapter 11: The Weight of the DNA in  The innovative university: Changing the DNA of higher education from the inside out.

Chapter 12: Even at Harvard in  The innovative university: Changing the DNA of higher education from the inside out.

Discussion Question:

Please provide at least a 250-word response, utilizing references from the text and/or supplemental reading. Please also be sure to respond to at least two of your peers on the forum.

In this learning module you had the opportunity to study both the power of scholarly engagement and the challenge of scholarly disengagement in the face of a great deal of change. In previous learning modules you’ve had the opportunity to evaluate some of the challenges that faculty face in trying to both maintain the quality and integrity of the program while simultaneously not being accused of being in the way of change. The authors discuss the fear of scholarly disengagement and how it can emerge and the challenge it can bring to the university or institution of higher education. Please describe what is meant by scholarly disengagement and how it emerges and likewise how it can be avoided.

Discussion Question:

Please provide at least a 250-word response, utilizing references from the text and/or supplemental reading. Please also be sure to respond to at least two of your peers on the forum.

In this learning module you have the chance to explore some of the changes in educational programming that have emerged as a result of an era of what the authors have called disruptive change. Describe some of the changes in programing that have emerged and how it has ultimately impacted institutions of higher education.




Scholarly disengagement refers to the phenomenon where faculty members, researchers, or other academic professionals become disconnected or detached from the core mission of scholarly engagement within higher education institutions. It can emerge due to various factors, including institutional bureaucracy, lack of support for research initiatives, and resistance to change.


One way scholarly disengagement can manifest is through faculty members feeling undervalued or marginalized within their institutions. When faculty members perceive that their research or scholarly contributions are not adequately recognized or rewarded, they may become disengaged from scholarly activities and focus solely on teaching responsibilities. This can lead to a decline in research productivity and innovation within the institution.


Another factor contributing to scholarly disengagement is institutional resistance to change. In some cases, academic institutions may prioritize administrative tasks or financial considerations over scholarly pursuits, leading to a disconnect between the institution’s goals and the interests of faculty members. This can create a sense of frustration and disillusionment among faculty, further exacerbating scholarly disengagement.


To avoid scholarly disengagement, institutions must prioritize supporting and empowering faculty members in their scholarly endeavors. This can include providing resources for research, creating opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary work, and recognizing the importance of scholarly contributions in tenure and promotion decisions. Additionally, fostering a culture of innovation and openness to change can help prevent scholarly disengagement by encouraging faculty members to explore new ideas and approaches within their fields.


In summary, scholarly disengagement poses a significant challenge to institutions of higher education, as it can impede research productivity and innovation. By addressing the underlying factors contributing to scholarly disengagement and prioritizing support for faculty members, institutions can create an environment that fosters scholarly engagement and contributes to academic excellence.


**Discussion Question 2: Impact of Disruptive Change on Higher Education Programming**


Disruptive change has profoundly impacted educational programming within institutions of higher education, leading to significant shifts in curriculum, pedagogy, and delivery methods. One notable change is the rise of online and hybrid learning formats, which offer greater flexibility and accessibility for students. Institutions have expanded their online course offerings and developed innovative instructional technologies to enhance the learning experience.


Additionally, there has been a growing emphasis on interdisciplinary and experiential learning opportunities. Institutions are increasingly integrating real-world applications and hands-on experiences into their curriculum to better prepare students for the workforce. This includes initiatives such as internships, service-learning projects, and collaborative research opportunities with industry partners.


Furthermore, there has been a shift towards competency-based education, where students demonstrate mastery of specific skills or competencies rather than completing a predetermined set of courses. This approach allows for greater customization and personalization of learning experiences, catering to the diverse needs and interests of students.


Overall, disruptive change has challenged traditional notions of education and forced institutions to adapt and innovate in response to evolving student needs and societal demands. While these changes present numerous opportunities for growth and improvement, they also pose challenges in terms of implementation, resource allocation, and faculty development. Nevertheless, institutions that embrace change and proactively respond to emerging trends are better positioned to thrive in an increasingly dynamic and competitive higher education landscape.

Understanding Scholarly Disengagement


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