In fall 2016, President Dennis Assanis committed the university to the development of a civic action plan to serve as the strategic vision for strengthening the University of Delaware’s identity as an engaged research university. Of particular importance to carrying out this plan is our recognized and shared institutional responsibility as one of the nation’s leading public research universities to apply the knowledge of our faculty, staff and students to address the critical challenges of our times. Launched in 2016, the Community Engagement Initiative was charged with leading this work, focusing on what makes every community strong: improving public education, community health and environmental quality, encouraging economic development and social equity; and expands arts and cultural programs that enrich quality of life. To develop the Civic Action Plan, the leaders of the Community Engagement Initiative:
- Called together representatives from across the university to serve as members of the Campus Compact Council. The council was tasked with writing the Civic Action Plan. The council viewed this as an opportunity to develop partnerships throughout campus that would strengthen opportunities for engaged scholarship by faculty, staff and students; and incorporate the key dimensions of community and civic engagement into university and college priorities.
- Asked the deans of each college to produce a statement about the relationship of community engagement to each college’s missions and priorities. (Statements begin on page 25).
The resulting Civic Action Plan outlines how the university will pursue objectives and action steps in the following areas (pages 7-18):
- enhancing capacity to support university-wide community engagement,
- fostering engaged scholarship in research/creative activities, teaching and public service,
- expanding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students,
- launching knowledge-based partnerships to address critical challenges in Delaware and beyond; and
- growing UD’s impact in the communities we serve, local to global.
The Community Engagement Initiative compiled the report from all sources and worked with the Campus Compact Council to complete the final Civic Action Plan.