Motivation for this study arose from the authors' commitment to community service and the perceived dissonance related to service in the tripartite faculty role. The purpose of this study was to understand perceptions related to the decision-making process of tenured nursing faculty in response to requests for community service. Qualitative methodology using in-depth interviews that were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for themes was used. Five major themes were identified: primacy of matching expertise with skills; search for impact; due diligence; institutional ambivalence regarding community service; and the variety of preparation. Participants reported a dissonance between stated institutional commitment to service and the actual weight it carried in tenure and promotion decisions. Junior faculty should be mentored to carefully determine service commitments, and outcome indicators to evaluate the quality of service activities need to be developed.