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As universities around the world face plunging revenues coupled with rising expenses, many argue that today’s post-secondary sector is in crisis (Anderson et al., 2020). In some regions, budgetary challenges are exacerbated by performance-based funding models that place an increased focus on impacting local economics and communities more broadly (e.g., Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s Finances, 2019). In response to growing public, personal, and institutional demands for post-secondary institutions to improve their relevance and impact, increasing numbers of academics are pursuing community-engaged approaches to their research. In this paper, two Canadian researchers provide a collaborative autoethnographic account that reflects on and examines their experiences with meaningful and authentic community-engaged research partnerships. The authors explore themes associated with navigating personal, professional, institutional, and relational dimensions of faculty community engagement. In doing so, they draw on and present a modified version of Wade and Demb’s (2009; Demb & Wade, 2012) faculty engagement model that includes relational factors informed by Bringle and Hatcher’s (2002) theoretical framework of relationships. The results of this collaborative autoethnography have broad implications for the practice of research, including implications for work-life balance, tenure and promotion, how service is recognized/categorized, and institutional ethics review board processes.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Alternative title
    • Navigating Dimensions of Community-Engaged Research

  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 14

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • License
  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Acknowledgments We thank the community members, partners, and organizations that we work with for their interest and engagement in the work that we do together. We also thank Monybany Dau, Bill Howe, and Scott Murray, who provided feedback on this manuscript.