ERNEST A. LYNTON AWARD
The Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement (The Lynton Award) emphasizes community-engaged scholarly work across faculty roles. The scholarship of engagement represents an integrated view of faculty roles in which teaching, research/creative activity, and service overlap and are mutually reinforcing. The scholarship is also characterized by scholarly work tied to a faculty member’s academic expertise, is of benefit to the external community, is visible and shared with community stakeholders, and reflects the mission of the institution.
Ernest A. Lynton (1926–1998) was a noted national academic leader whose leadership and writing helped to orchestrate the emergence of the ‘metropolitan university.’ His work and dedication to creating effective collaborations between campus, community, and commerce led to the formation of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) in 1989. Lynton also served as the first editor of Metropolitan Universities. Dr. Lynton championed a vision of scholarly engagement as inclusive, collaborative, and problem-oriented work in which academics share knowledge-generating tasks with the public and involve community partners as participants in public problem solving.
Ernest A. Lynton, Ph.D. was a scholar whose work was essential to guiding the mission and actions of CUMU for many years. From 1973 to 1980, Lynton served as the academic vice president for the University of Massachusetts system. Lynton helped form the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE), an organization that focused on research and policy for higher education to address social justice issues. Lynton championed a vision of scholarly engagement as inclusive, collaborative, and problem-oriented work in which academics share knowledge-generating tasks with the public and involve community partners as participants in public problem solving. His 1987 work New Priorities for the University: Meeting Society’s Needs for Applied Knowledge and Competent Individuals, co-authored with Sandra Elman, laid out his ideas for how scholarly university work can be recognized on a greater scale. This theme was explored in depth throughout his later academic career. Today, his scholarship still helps to guide CUMU’s work.
In 1996, the Ernest A. Lynton Award was established by NERCHE to honor Lynton’s lifelong scholarship. Today, the award recognizes early career faculty who connect their teaching, research, and service to community engagement.
In January 2017, management of the award moved to the Howard R. Swearer Center at Brown University. In collaboration with The Swearer Center, CUMU presents the award annually at the CUMU Annual Conference.
In short, the domain of knowledge has no one-way streets. Knowledge does not move from the locus of research to the place of application, from scholar to practitioner, teacher to student, expert to client. It is everywhere fed back, constantly enhanced. We need to think of knowledge in an ecological fashion, recognizing the complex, multifaceted and multiply-connected system by means of which discovery, aggregation, synthesis, dissemination, and application are interconnected and interacting in a wide variety of ways. “Knowledge and Scholarship” (1994)
HISTORY OF THE AWARD
The award was started in 1996 to recognize faculty members who connect their expertise and scholarship to community outreach. In 2009, the award was designated for early career faculty.