"The university is chartered by the larger society to cultivate the life of the mind for the public good."
--William Sullivan, Work and Integrity
By Public Scholarship we mean bringing the best thinking and research to bear on the most critical issues facing society today. Public Scholarship also entails a commitment to publishing letters, op-eds, and articles in newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, and other forms of social media to raise awareness about these issues, to stimulate broad discussion, and to explore the role timely scholarship can play in addressing our most challenging problems. Public scholars strive to communicate simply and clearly to a wide audience, and therefore adopt a journalistic style in which sentences are crisp, paragraphs are brief, and jargon is employed sparingly. While public scholars embrace theory and sophisticated research approaches, they particularly seek to translate theory into practice and to use research findings to shed compelling light on the causes and the effects of pressing social issues. Public scholars also recognize that social issues which affect the broadest range of people matter most. Consequently, issues of poverty, hunger, access to education and healthcare, concerns about the rights of immigrants and other marginalized groups, as well as efforts to ensure public safety and promote social well-being are social priorities that deserve unusually extensive coverage.
Public Scholarship is a means by which teachers and scholars can promote the public good, and we encourage faculty, staff, and students to find engaging and innovative ways to communicate with a broader public. We, in the Center for Leadership and Engagement, are pleased to support these efforts and to provide outlets on our website for sharing a variety of perspectives.