Colorado State University’s reputation for outreach and community partnerships has earned it a label as a Carnegie Community Engagement university, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has announced.
The elective Community Engagement University classification was first offered in 2006. Such classification, offered every two years, is designed to assist universities in demonstrating and enhancing outreach and partnership efforts.
A Carnegie Community Engagement University is one that encourages collaboration between the institution and the larger communities "for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity," according to the organization. In Colorado State’s case, engagement includes curricular engagement as well as outreach and partnerships.
CSU is one of 119 organizations recognized as a Community Engagement university in 2008.
"Credit for this honor goes to our faculty and staff who have embraced the land-grant university mission of engaging campus and the surrounding community for the benefit of the state, nation and globe," said Tony Frank, interim president of Colorado State. "The value of community partners in creating an educated community is critical to our land-grant mission of improving lives though research."
"I want to thank the campuswide committee that worked on this effort and the new opportunities for coordination that resulted," said Lou Swanson, vice provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships who chaired the committee. "As we build on the achievements of CSU Extension, the Colorado Water Institute and other longstanding outreach partners, we have a better understanding of the ways in which CSU actively pursues and benefits from community engagement."
Highlights of Colorado State University’s community outreach in recent years:
-Creation of the vice provost for Outreach and Strategic Partnerships, a position charged with engaging state residents with assistance on economic development and agriculture, among other areas.
-Partnership between the CSU Office of Economic Development and the Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. to create and fund a regional economist.
-Participation in the Northern Colorado Clean Energy Cluster, a group of business, government and economic development leaders devoted to promoting clean energy business in the region.
-New University Center for the Arts, which provides theater, music and dance performance space for community-university collaborations as well as classes for student and community arts courses.
-Participation in UniverCity Connections, which is a unique "town and gown" partnership designed to create sustainable and meaningful connections for community building such as participation in Fort Collins’ Zero-Energy District, known as FortZED.
-Three research Superclusters for cancer, infectious disease and clean energy, which ensure that the business community can effectively navigate the complexities of academia to more readily obtain access to key university discoveries.
-CSU Global Campus, a virtual campus that was created for learners who cannot physically attend campus to obtain professional development, complete degrees and obtain in-demand degrees.
-A Community Relations Coordinator in the Office of Public Relations to provide more effective two-way communications between the university and such organizations as the Fort Collins Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association and Poudre School District.