Let's consider an excerpt from a particular job announcement for a department head:

[...] The applicant must be committed to promoting the career development of others and to promoting a cohesive atmosphere of diversity and inclusion. The position requires a strong commitment to scholarship, learning and instruction (including teaching), engagement and outreach activities, alumni and public relations, international initiatives, and relations with K-12 school-based partners. [...]

Another example:

The College of [censored] is committed to advancing diversity in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction, and engagement. A successful candidate is expected to show evidence of integration of this emphasis on diversity into at least one of these areas.

I'm not into this elusive and vague language so much to fully understand it. I'm wondering: in these contexts, what the henk do scholarship and engagement exactly mean? And then, how on earth can one show diversity in scholarship or in engagement?

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    These are straightforward English words, with a good range of explanations, yet the question treats them like whole-cloth inventions of jargon designed to hide some ulterior motive. "elusive and vague" as a description of these terms makes no sense. – Nij Dec 31 '17 at 5:42
  • @Nij Not at all. Dictionaries provide us with lots of meanings to "scholarship" and "engagement". I would hate to get engaged with people like you, for example, because I'm straight, and you might be of the same gender. The used phrases are vague. – Leon Meier Jan 1 '18 at 1:19

I suspect that this question is really more of a rant than a serious question, but I'll try to give a serious and concrete answer.

Scholarship is a term that is widely used in defining the work of faculty. It includes original research, but also often includes translational research and the creation of survey articles, textbooks, software, and other works. In the engineering fields, the creation of patentable inventions is typically considered to be scholarly work. In some fields, the creation of artistic works (paintings, musical compositions, novels) is considered part of the scholarly work of faculty.

As a department chair, your job would include supervising and encouraging the scholarly work of the faculty and students in the department. With respect to diversity and scholarship, the chair would be expected to promote diversity in the department in hiring, recruitment of students, and the creation of a departmental culture that is inviting and open to traditionally underrepresented groups. You could establish your personal experience and commitment to diversity by referring to things that you've done in previous positions.

For example, "As the chairman of the department at University X, I oversaw the hiring of five faculty members, of which three were members of minority groups. During my chairmanship, the percentage of female students in our graduate program increased from 25% to 45%."

Engagement isn't as well known a term as scholarship, but many universities include "community outreach" or "community engagement" as one of the duties of faculty members. This is sometimes grouped under "service", but it's really quite different from the kinds of service to the profession that most faculty think of immediately (serving on conference organizing committees, editing journals, etc.) This particular position advertisement is for the head of a school of education, where outreach might include activities such as providing in-service training to school teachers.

Again, the applicant is expected to show a commitment to diversity in this area. You might write "In my previous position at University X, I chaired a committee that ran an in-service training program on the Next Generation Science Standards for teachers in Urban School District Y in which 90% of the students are members of minority groups. A new curriculum based on NGSS has been implemented across the district and test scores have improved substantially."

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"Scholarship" means publication and other research-related activity. "Engagement" means various forms of professional interaction, including university service, mentoring, community outreach, and representing the university and the discipline to the broader public.

One shows diversity in scholarship and engagement by the choices you make when performing them, such as choice of research direction, mentorship priorities, or ways in which you reach the broader public. I am completely certain that you know what "diversity" means.

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