Publicly Engaged Scholars: Next-Generation Engagement and the Future of Higher Education. (2016). Margaret A. Post, Elaine Ward, Nicholas W. Longo, John Saltmarsh. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, LLC. 312 pp., $33.25 (Paperback), ISBN: 978-1620362648. Review by Jessica Henault, Kansas State University, Graduate Research Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose, process and application of academic advising first appeared in the Colonial Era but only recently took the shape of an organized movement in attempts to professionalize the field (Shaffer et al., 2010). While the role and status of academic advising continues to be incorrectly perceived and misunderstood within the realm of higher education, advisors remain strong in the fight to define their academic discipline and support students. Working to cultivate a collective identity that properly represents advising as a profession requires the critical-analysis of the ever-changing organizational structure of higher education. Advisors can play a key-role in the restructuring of the advising process - resulting in better support for students. Publicly Engaged Scholars: Next-Generation Engagement and the Future of Higher Education by Margaret Post et al. provides educators with the practical knowledge needed to transform, support, and cultivate new-student professionals for next-generation engagement and “Shift the position of students from knowledge consumers to knowledge producers” (p. 9). Preparing students to be knowledgeable and engaged citizens requires bold, systemic-wide change to transform current institutional climate and culture.
Based off The Next Generation Project which launched in 2009, Post et al. dives into the harmful consequences related to current beliefs about academic professionalization and the critical importance of intergenerational dynamics across university departments. Historically, ideas regarding academic professionalism silence and marginalize already vulnerable groups such as women, people of color, LGBTQIA, and other interpersonal identities that stray from the cultural “norm”. A new generation of educators and scholars are coming forward, pioneering new institutional pathways to make space for these silenced individuals, utilizing personal narratives to change ideas related to professionalism all while connecting with local communities to collaborate on twenty-first century problems. This is being done through organizational practices that account for full participation of faculty members, administrators, staff, students, and community leaders/members. Post et al. does a fabulous job of providing readers the resources to successfully disrupt and shift role dichotomies. The resulting factors of this dichotomy shift includes educators re-developing an identity that combines both scholar and community member, and adopting new commitments to cultivate proactive campus change that positively affects local communities universities inhabit.
Publicly Engaged Scholars is a must read for advisors interested in learning the transformational, emergent techniques needed to shift the cultures, structures, and practices of higher education. Doing so provides advisors the opportunity to redefine the purpose, process, and application of academic advising while becoming better leaders, scholars, and community members. Advisors deserve to thrive at universities and partake in learning, research, and service. Recognizing the need for new ways of thinking, scholarship, and teaching will ultimately lead to increased opportunities for advisors. These advanced opportunities provide advisors with the tools necessary to proudly serve twenty-first century students and assist them in their academic and personal growth.
Post, M. A., Ward, E., Longo, N. V., Saltmarsh, J. (2016). Publically engaged scholars: Next-generation engagement and the future of higher education. Sterling, Virginia: Stylus Publishing, LLC. ISBN: 978-1620362648
Shaffer, L. S., Zalewski, J. M., & Leveille, J. (2010). The professionalization of academic advising: Where are we in 2010? NACADA Journal: 30(1), 66-77, doi: 10.12930/0271-9517-30.1.66