Specific Change Strategies
Every institution has individuals and programs that are already engaged in extending the university into the community; however, the level of awareness about these activities varies. As a campus explores enhancement or expansion of engagement activities, a good first step is to recognize, highlight, and reward the work that is already happening.
• Invite engaged faculty to present seminars and workshops to their colleagues
• Support their attendance at regional and national conferences about engagement
• Provide stipends to support new or expanded projects
• Highlight engaged faculty and their projects in campus publications
• Establish an annual award for faculty achievement in civic engagement
• Add notations to student transcripts to indicate service learning courses
Change in academic organizations is enhanced by a focus on learning. Those not yet committed to civic engagement can learn much from the literature, research, and examples of good practice.
• Distribute literature on the role of civic engagement
• Invite scholars of civic engagement to speak on campus
• Fund opportunities for faculty leaders to attend national conferences that will include attention to civic engagement. This may include disciplinary meetings because many academic societies (American Political Science Association for one example) are now interested in issues of community-based learning, service learning, and faculty engagement in applied and community-based research.
• Support faculty visits to other campuses that have made progress or been recognized for engagement
• Create a faculty leadership group to plan development activities, events, and discussions
Walk the Talk – Demonstrate the Importance of Engagement
• Add language regarding civic engagement to job announcements and to hiring criteria
• Highlight support for engagement in budget priorities and allocations
• Ask departments to report regularly on engagement activities and publish the reports
• Collect data on civic engagement outcomes and share the analysis
• Promote faculty involvement in preparing grant proposals for extramural funding for engagement
• Make support for civic engagement a priority in donor cultivation/gift solicitation
• Create web links on campus pages that link to external organizations
• Establish scholarships for student involvement
• Sponsor events, symposia, forums on democracy, public culture, citizenship, or on community-based issues
• Bring community representatives into campus events and campus discussions. Expand the role of external advisory groups
• Challenge faculty to explore the role of civic learning in the curriculum
• Fund faculty to conduct research and to collect data on community needs, assets, and conditions
• Ask for departments to produce strategic plans regarding civic engagement. Need questions for discussion that would guide any department’s exploration of engagement?
• Convene existing research/service centers and institutes and promote integrated planning and collaboration
Some of the greatest barriers to expanded campus involvement in engagement activity are opportunity, time, resources, assistance, and training.
• Create campus infrastructure to support faculty involvement in engagement
• Invest in faculty development regarding civic engagement
• Provide small, competitive internal grants to support faculty experimentation with engagement.
• Involve faculty in making award decisions.
• Send faculty and students and community partners to conferences
• Seek major grants/gifts for engagement
• Add engagement goals to criteria for sabbaticals, summer study support, etc.
• Create exchange opportunities between the campus and external organizations
• Establish faculty fellowships or graduate assistantships around engagement goals