Campus Dialogue on Engagement
On January 7, 2011 the fifth annual Campus Dialogue on Engagement was held at the Friday Center with 81 individuals from ten schools, including representation from 13 departments from the College of Arts and Sciences, attending a three-hour session focused on responding to hard times. Dean of the School of Government, Mike Smith, opened the meeting with an overview of the topic and introduced panelists, Alice Ammerman, Suzanne Gulledge, Will Lambe and Jim LeLoudis, to share their perspectives on how a research university supports engagement and engaged scholarship during challenging times. The presenters offered a diverse array of strategies and recommendations for how to help communities across the state move forward, despite real economic difficulties. Main themes focused on meeting basic needs through innovation and removing barriers to partnerships.
As with past Dialogues, following the general session, participants broke out into five facilitated discussion groups to address the following questions and then each discussion group selected two key points to share with the full group in the closing session.
1. In general, do you see the engagement section of the Academic Plan as strengthening and advancing engagement and engaged scholarship at Carolina? What are one or two of the key recommendations or areas that are particularly important?
2. Will you support endorsement of this section of the draft plan (in general concept) by the participants in the 2011 Campus Dialogue on Engagement?
3. The draft Academic Plan proposes an “Idea Fair,” in which the campus would focus on some common themes over an extended period. This is an idea that has been suggested at prior Dialogues, and could happen whether or not it is included in the final Academic Plan.
Summary of Key Points
- Focus engagement on communities in need vs. aspiring communities
- What will the university do to operationalize engaged scholarship, particularly with respect to promotion and tenure? Include their plan in the Plan.
- No more helicopter research projects with community as labs.
- Emphasize the integration of research, teaching and service rather than as a separate add-on.
- Students need to learn the ethics of engagement.
- Draft a letter incorporating the larger points suggested and offer the commitment of folks here to work on the Plan’s implementation.
- Convene people across campus more frequently to share research and talk about pressing issues.
- The Idea Fair needs to be ongoing, like the Summer Reading Program does after the summer. Tailor ongoing work to feed into an overall theme. Engage the community in this process.
- Identify the big themes collaboratively. Focus multiple efforts going on across campus. Need a better way to publicize or disseminate what is going on. Expand the Dialogue!
The Carolina Center for Public Service strengthens the University's public service commitment by promoting scholarship and service that are responsive to the concerns of the state and contribute to the common good.