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ERIC Number: EJ1097218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1534-6102
Ernest Boyer's "Scholarship of Engagement" in Retrospect
Rice, R. Eugene
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, v20 n1 p29-33 2016
In this commentary, author R. Eugene Rice reflects on Ernest Boyer's 1996 "Journal of Public Service & Outreach" article, "Scholarship of Engagement," (EJ532751) reprinted in this 20th anniversary issue of "Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement." Boyer opened his essay with a celebratory review of the earlier history of the scholarship of engagement. Of central importance is the case he makes for the fundamental relationship of education and democracy in the American experience. Rice notes that Boyer was right about the deterioration of the critical link between education and democracy. His warning that in this country higher education is increasingly being seen as "part of the problem rather than the solution" and has become a "private benefit, not a public good" (p. 14) could not have been more predictive. Boyer closed "The Scholarship of Engagement" by again being remarkably prescient. He identified two issues that must be vigorously engaged in the years ahead: the "tragic plight of children" (p. 17) and the role of colleges and universities in the nation's cities. Again Rice notes that Boyer could not have been more spot-on than in his call for targeting education in the early years and the deterioration of the nation's cities, but a cursory assessment of what has been accomplished over the past couple of decades in these two critical areas is enormously disappointing by any measure. Rice goes on to discuss a genuine movement composed of mostly younger scholars and practitioners that has formed a strong network calling for a radically different epistemological view. This shift extends to the wide, interrelated spectrum of roles necessary to support what has come to be called an ecology of learning. The relationship with peers, both on campus and off, is seen as less hierarchical and more inclusive--requiring the walls of the university to become more permeable and the relationship with colleagues in the learning process to become more collaborative and egalitarian. [For "The Scholarship of Engagement" (2016), see EJ1097206.]
Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, University of Georgia and the Institute of Higher Education. Treanor House, 1234 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-6167; Fax: 706-542-6124; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A