The benefits of conducting SoTL impact individual faculty, staff, students, as well as disciplines, departments, and institutions. In spite of these benefits, colleges and universities, as well as faculty members, do not consistently embrace a broader vision of scholarship, including SoTL. This research explored individual experiences within the institutional framework of one land-grant institution to further institutionalize SoTL practice. A qualitative methodology of individual, semi-structured interviews was used to collect data. Eighteen faculty members with ranks from assistant to full professor revealed why they became involved in SoTL and the personal and professional benefits that went beyond those that “counted” for promotion and tenure decisions. Institutionalizing SoTL through definition and valuing in the faculty handbook and exempt review opportunities enabled SoTL work. Suggestions for strategically using SoTL to promote the university in efforts to increase recruitment and retention were offered.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/annmarie-vanderzanden/5/