October 2015

October 13, 2015

Like many of our peers around the country, the University of Arizona has invested heavily in student engagement over the past several years. These efforts include a focus on student retention and academic support and on giving students the opportunity to apply knowledge from formal education in other settings through the UA’s 100% Engagement initiative. I have more than once argued that the research university is a unique place for this kind of engagement because of the collegiality that characterizes the academy and because students learn with scientists and scholars who are working at the forefront of human knowledge. But why, in fundamental terms, do these qualities matter? To really start answering why research and teaching elevate each other we need to understand how students learn, what that learning does for them outside the classroom, and what impact a university education has in their lives beyond finding their first job after graduation.