In late June 2011, more than 60 campus leaders from across the UNC system gathered to spend a day focused on community engagement, asking: how can UNC schools be more effective allies, partners, and resources for the communities that surround them?
The day featured a keynote presentation by Dr. John Saltmarsh of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. Dr. Saltmarsh, who is a leader in the Carnegie Foundation's Community Engagement Elective Classification program, offered a national perspective on the challenges and rewards of community engagement for universities.
UNC-Greensboro Chancellor Linda Brady also spoke, sharing a vision of what truly embracing community engagement means for a university campus. UNC-G has been a leader in integrating community engagement into the university's perspective campus-wide, and in fully commiting to the mission of service through engagement.
The other 16 UNC campuses are also making great strides in making sure connection to the community is a core part of the university's work. Their efforts include everything from revising faculty retention and promotion guidelines to affirm the value of community-based work, to creating reciprocal community partnerships, to building vibrant student programs that incorporate service and experiential learning into course curricula.
At the Engagement Summit, campus leaders strategized about how their campuses can be even more effective, relevant, and connected to North Carolina communities. The UNC Tomorrow Commission report called for the university to "become more directly engaged with and connected to the people of North Carolina, its regions and our state as a whole." Through efforts like the Engagement Summit, UNC is continuing to work towards fulfilling that challenge.
To learn more, please explore some materials from the First Annual Engagement Summit:
"20 Great Ways UNC Campuses are Engaging with Communities": Get a glimpse of just a few of the many great engagement programs happening on UNC campuses.
UNC 2011 Engagement Summit notes: Read detailed notes from the day-long summit.