Prof Timothy K Eatman sheds light on new era for higher education

Description: Service Learning Keywords: Professor Timothy K. Eatman

Prof Timothy Eatman with his daughter, Jasmin (left) and his mother, Mrs Lorraine Eatman (right)

The university of the 21st century should not be an ivory tower; rather it should work with communities to co-create things of public value. This was one of the observations made by visiting US Prof Timothy Eatman. He delivered a public lecture on the topic Public Scholarship and the democratisation of knowledge in the engaged university at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Monday, 15 August 2011. Prof Eatman challenged people at the lecture to think about richer ways of thinking about engaged public scholarship and said they need to prepare for a new citizenry of academia.

Prof Eatman, an assistant professor of Higher Education at Syracuse University in the United States, said that knowledge was revealed in diverse ways and advised institutions of higher education to demonstrate an increasing sensitivity to issues of relevance to public good. Prof Eatman said the present era calls for the development of a more sophisticated understanding of knowledge creation.

Prof Eatman, who is visiting our country for the first time, brought along his mother, Lorraine, and daughter, Jasmin, who performed a contemporary dance during the event. The family had been in Bloemfontein for the past week or so and Eatman expressed his gratitude to staff and people of Bloemfontein, saying he can deliver personal testimony to the beauty of the Free State.

Tim, an assistant professor of Higher Education at Syracuse University, is Director: Research for Imagining America: Artist and Scholars in Public Life, providing oversight, direction, and/or consultation for major research undertakings sponsored by the national consortium. For example, the Tenure Team Initiative on Public Scholarship (TTI) is a research effort providing information, analyses and action about knowledge creation and the impact of publicly engaged scholarship (PES) in higher education. The TTI pursues a progressive agenda of persuasion and policy to promote appropriate adjustments within the academic rewards system towards acknowledging and evaluating PES. Under Eatman's leadership, the consortium has recently undertaken a study of the aspirations and career decisions of graduate students and early-career publicly engaged scholars.

Prior to coming to SU, Tim completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan's Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education. While pursuing doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign he worked for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Learning Technology Initiative, providing leadership for the implementation of an agenda focused on the uses of advanced technologies in teaching and learning among the member institutions. He has also served as Associate Professor of Education at Spring Arbor University, MI and Associate Director for the Academic Investment in Math and Science (AIMS) Program at Bowling Green State University, OH.

Tim is a member of the board of directors of the Mt. Pleasant Christian Academy International, a private (K-12) educational institution located in Harlem, New York; College Unbound (Providence, RI), an innovative student centred higher-education degree programme and Syracuse based Friends of the Central Library which sponsors the Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series - the nation's largest library-related lecture series. Tim is also a fellow with the Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University and a visiting fellow at the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) engaged in the Next Generation Engagement Project.

He is the recipient of the 2010 International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) Early Career Research Award. Most recently Tim has been appointed to the steering committee of the American Commonwealth Project, a partnership among higher education groups and associations, the White House, and federal agencies, including the US Department of Education, as Senior Research Advisor.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.