Highlighting real world examples of Social Mission Metrics concepts in practice.
Related social mission measures: Community Collaborations, Research, Faculty Activism
(The following is an excerpt from Driving toward a culture shift: Case studies of social mission in nursing education.)
The University of California San Francisco School of Nursing‘s (UCSF SON) prides itself on its social mission-related research portfolio, and the inclusion of community partners in their research. They have increased social mission research by valuing its importance in the academic promotion and tenure (APT) process. The evaluation committee now recognizes the difference between this kind of research and traditional bench science, understanding that it takes more time to build a community-based program of research. The change in APT criteria was achieved through shared governance; committees were formed to discuss faculty concerns about the perceived lack of value of social mission-related research, leading to explicit changes. Intramural funding is also made available for social mission research by the chancellor, as well as additional institutional grant funding, which is specifically geared toward junior faculty who are building their social mission programs of research.
Researchers at UCSF SON that are conducting community-based scholarship collaborate with the communities of color they serve and study, nurture trust-based relationships, establish institutional commitments, adopt co-production models, and measure progress toward mutually agreed upon outcomes. Faculty take the time to attend community events, rather than simply inviting community partners to campus events, and are intentional in their interactions with community organizations, many of which are skeptical of institutions of higher education. In short, the leadership at UCSF SON asserts that the goal of the community relationship is to build a mutually beneficial arrangement, while establishing rapport and trust, particularly in historically marginalized communities or groups. They have created centers at both the university and school level to educate faculty engaging with the community, covering topics such as cultural sensitivity and implicit bias, and connecting them with community partners for research. Lastly, the school has an endowed chair that focuses on social mission or community research, further demonstrating a financial commitment from the administration.
Replication of UCSF SON’s emphasis on social mission-related research is a challenge, but faculty suggest that other schools may consider including community-based or social mission research in their APT criteria. For example, the SON is the only school at UCSF that requires a diversity impact statement from all faculty to be included in their promotion and tenure dossier. This statement delineates how they have promoted social mission in their work and is part of their evaluation. Leadership also recommends educating APT committee members on the unique attributes and importance of social mission research.
Faculty emphasized that providing resources to support social mission research, such as financial incentives, faculty release time, or consultants, is important and could be replicated at other schools. The AD for academic and faculty affairs indicated that finances to support social mission research should be a budget line item. They also suggest partnering with the external affairs office at the University to increase the visibility of the SON and create partnerships to amplify the work being done at the school. Lastly, UCSF SON leaders argued that explicitly referring to social mission research as integral to its mission, vision and strategic plan, and as an important value-add to the school, helps encourage faculty to dare go this route.