Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Roger G. Baldwin


The purpose of this exploratory study was to determine if urban universities truly support faculty in carrying out the universities' self-stated commitment to professional service. Professional service refers to significant professional activities outside the categories of teaching and scholarship that draw upon one's professional expertise in his or her academic discipline. A secondary purpose was to identify the incentives universities employ to encourage professional service.;Two public, urban universities in Virginia were studied for this project. The population for this study consisted of two groups at each of the two institutions: full-time faculty currently involved (within the past five years) in professional service activity and the continuing education administrator.;The case study approach was used and included content analysis of institutional documents related to professional service and survey analysis.;The main research question addressed was: at institutions which claim professional service as central to their mission, are there incentives or rewards for faculty participation? Five subsidiary research questions were also addressed: (1) Do institutions clearly define professional service? (2) Do institutions have clear cut incentives and rewards for professional service? (3) Are there negative consequences for faculty who engage in professional service? (4) Do institutional policies exist for evaluating professional service? (5) Do institutional leaders actively support professional service?;It was concluded that few incentives exist for faculty who choose to participate in professional service activity. From the perspective of the faculty respondents, this mission of continuing education and professional service as well as other non-research roles are not attractive areas to devote much professional time to, as the time spent on such activities competes with research time and instructional activity which represent greater potential for personal reward. Also, it was concluded that the definition and policy for professional service are often fragmented and vague.;The generalizability of the findings are limited because the faculty participants in this study hold appointments at public, urban universities. Similar studies including a larger number of faculty participants employed at different kinds of institutions would be helpful. Also, further study is needed on specific criteria for evaluating faculty professional service and the leadership role for professional service within the institution.



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