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UMass Amherst’s Public Engagement Project Highlighted in Association’s Guide for Public Research Universities to Advance Scholarship

UMass Amherst has been featured as a case study in an Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) report that provides a guide for public institutions to support and advance publicly engaged, equity-oriented and publicly impactful scholars and scholarship to help tackle the world’s most pressing and challenges.

Public Engagement Project at UMass Amherst

Released at the APLU Annual Meeting last month, Modernizing Scholarship for the Public Good: An Action Framework for Public Research Universities draws on the expertise and insights from stakeholders and public research university leaders from across the country. It outlines eight areas for strategic actions based on case studies at UMass Amherst, the University of Michigan, the University of Arizona and the University of California Davis among six others. 

UMass Amherst and its Public Engagement Project (PEP) and the PEP Fellowship program was featured as the fifth strategic action, “Build Capacity for Engagement and Equity Work Among Faculty,” along with Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Logo for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

The report notes the PEP program, “illustrates several opportunities for action: Create or expand capacity-building programs and communities of practice; Sustainably house and support capacity-building programs; Articulate and support core competencies for engagement and equity work.”

“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 APLU President Mark Becker. “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.”

APLU is a membership organization that fosters a community of university leaders collectively working to advance the mission of public research universities. The association’s membership consists of more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations spanning across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, Canada and Mexico.  

PEP is a faculty-driven initiative to support colleagues who want to use their research to contribute to social change, inform public policy and enrich public debate. PEP is sponsored by the colleges of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Education, Engineering and Humanities and Fine Arts, the School of Public Policy, Center for Research on Families, Institute for Social Science Research, the Office of the Provost and University Relations.