Monday, November 27, 2023

APLU recognizes UTSA in new report for advancing support of faculty

APLU recognizes UTSA in new report for advancing support of faculty

NOVEMBER 15, 2023  The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has showcased UTSA in a report on the acceleration of publicly engaged research to help tackle vexing challenges facing communities across the globe.

The report, “Modernizing Scholarship for the Public Good: An Action Framework for Public Research Universities,” includes concrete actions public research universities can take in key areas to support publicly engaged, equity-oriented, and publicly impactful scholars and scholarship.

UTSA Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Heather Shipley contributed to the report. She serves as a member of the APLU’s Modernizing Scholarship for the Public Good steering committee.

“As an urban-serving, R1 HSI university, UTSA takes pride in its unique responsibility to contribute to addressing the challenges facing our communities.”

“As an urban-serving, R1 HSI university, UTSA takes pride in its unique responsibility to contribute to addressing the challenges facing our communities,” Shipley said. “By fostering innovation, cultivating critical thinking and driving discoveries, our institutions serve as engines of progress that enrich individual lives and elevate the collective wellbeing of society.”

The APLU’s Action Framework, Shipley added, provides evidence-based approaches for university leaders to engage constituents across their campuses to incentivize, recognize and promote publicly engaged scholarship.

“Public research universities have a distinguished history of working with stakeholders across sectors to advance discoveries, innovations and engagement that push back the frontiers of knowledge and advance solutions to vexing problems,” said Mark Becker, APLU president. “Today’s challenges are increasingly complex and require institutions to engage more deeply with their communities than ever before. The Modernizing Scholarship Action Framework provides institutions a critical roadmap for bolstering their publicly engaged research and impact.”

Drawing on the expertise and insights from stakeholders and public research university leaders from across North America, years of research, and a deep base of academic literature, the Action Framework outlines eight overarching areas for strategic action by institutions to advance publicly engaged, equity-oriented and publicly impactful research:  

  • Develop committed institutional leaders
  • Reform appointment, retention, tenure and promotion practices
  • Invest in institutional structures and networks
  • Establish stronger reporting structures at the institutional level
  • Build capacity for engagement and equity work among faculty
  • Launch and maintain catalytic funding programs
  • Develop awards and programs to recognize and celebrate work
  • Formalize curricular training and professional development opportunities for students

UTSA is featured in the APLU report as a case study for its work in reforming retention and promotion for the university’s tenure-track, tenured and fixed-term track faculty through the division of Faculty Success.

In the past several years, UTSA has prioritized retention of faculty by implementing robust onboarding experiences, revising promotion and tenure principles with clearly defined expectations and criteria, offering competitive salary adjustments, and providing various mentoring programs through initiatives like the Faculty Mentoring Hub. Additionally, UTSA invests in faculty development through programs like the Next-Gen Faculty Leadership Fellow Program and sponsorship of participation in national leadership academies.

⇒ Read the full report on the APLU website.
⇒ Learn more about Faculty Success at UTSA.

The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement.

Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.5 billion in university-based research.

Rebecca Luther

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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