LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Libraries and The Commons will present the Engaged Leaders Speaker Series, a virtual lecture program on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, featuring author Andrew Hoffman. In his keynote address, which is open to all KU faculty, staff and students, Hoffman will discuss the research around his book, “The Engaged Scholar: Expanding the Impact of Academic Research in Today’s World.”
Hoffman is the Holcim (US) Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. He has researched the use of organizational behavior models and theories in order to understand the cultural and institutional aspects of environmental issues for organizations.
“He is a very generous scholar who is interested in showing his research and his passion to academia and in communities,” said Sarah Goodwin Thiel, KU Libraries associate librarian. “I think he extends the idea of generous thinking and has a lot of ideas of how academia can become more relevant and more engaged with their communities.”
In his book, Hoffman applies existing literature and personal experience to show the problem of academic insularity and argues for the exposure of a publicly and politically engaged scholar. The book aims to make public engagement more acceptable and legitimate for scholars and to be more inclusive of different ways someone can participate in the role of academic scholar in today’s world.
“Hoffman’s work could resonate on many levels — among individuals seeking ways to partner meaningfully with community members, among administrators who are developing frameworks for acknowledging community-engaged research and among students who are seeking to pursue studies so that they can put that learning to work in communities where they do and will live,” said Emily Ryan, director of The Commons.
Co-presented by KU Libraries and The Commons, the Engaged Leaders Speaker Series brings the voices of leading engagement scholars to KU to lead intentional conversations that emphasize open, equitable, divergent and critical thinking posed to guide the future university. Both KU Libraries and The Commons are among places on campus that connect university activity with broader audiences and perspectives. Last year, through their collaboration, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, author of “Generous Thinking: A Radical Approach to Saving the University,” was the featured speaker.
“With an established annual event that centers on Engaged Learning, we can ensure that KU continues to invite leading scholars across the country into the local discussions on engaged research, and continues to support faculty and student efforts to enter into partnerships with community members toward achieving common goals,” Ryan said.
The event takes place from 10:20-11 a.m. via Zoom. Those who are interested in attending may register for the event online. The event also ties in with the second annual Center for Service Learning Summit on Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship on Jan. 13.