Carnegie Community Engagement Task Force Named
In 2008, Fairfield University was among less than 200 universities, nationally, to receive the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Elective Community Engagement Classification, a prestigious recognition of Fairfield’s institutional commitment to community engagement. In order to maintain this classification, it is necessary to apply for “re-classification” (i.e. renewal) during this academic year.
Rev. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J., senior vice president for academic affairs, has named a 20-member “Re-Classification” Task Force composed of individuals representing Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Marketing and Communications, Advancement and Athletics. “This application both requires – and affords us an opportunity to conduct a self-study of our academic and service engagements with communities near and far,” Father Fitzgerald said. “It requires evidence of how community engagement is a part of our mission, embraced by executive leadership, recognized and rewarded by our policies and realized through teaching, research, co-curricular activities and institutional outreach,” he continued.
Melissa Quan, associate director of the Center for Faith and Public Life and director of Service Learning and Jocelyn Boryczka, associate professor and chair of politics and faculty chair of Service Learning, will co-chair the Task Force.
“We have a challenging task ahead – to collect the many artifacts, stories, and data that comprehensively construct our community engagement narrative – but it will be a fun task to uncover, celebrate and share these mission and passion-inspired initiatives,” said Ms.Quan.
Dr. Boryczka, commenting on the project said, “This re-classification process allows the Task Force and contributors from across campus to spotlight the significant growth of service-learning at Fairfield University where we now offer 47 different courses delivered by 42 faculty in each college and professional school. Our work over the coming months will grant us the opportunity to build on this solid foundation and chart an exciting future for service-learning at our University.”
Father Fitzgerald noted that Carnegie defines community engagement very broadly such that it includes non-profit, government, corporate, and other partnerships. “In addition to gathering stories and data for this process, the self study should also inform institutional goals with regard to community engagement moving forward. We will no doubt find many stories to celebrate and evidence of promising practices, but we should also aim to set new benchmarks for our institution that are grounded in our Jesuit mission,” he said.
The committee has begun its work and the application is due on April 15, 2015. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners are welcome to share ideas about initiatives they feel should be considered as part of this self-study. Send ideas to email@example.com.