Stewards of Place II Study: Preliminary Report

Stewards of Place II REPORT
June 2012
Institutional Stewards of Place
“From their earliest days, state colleges and universities
have diligently served in their role as stewards of place,
answering the call to join with public and private
partners in their communities and regions to take
advantage of opportunities and confront challenges.
On issues ranging from economic development to
school reform to regional planning to environmental
protection and more, public higher education
institutions have teamed up with a wide range of local
stakeholders to identify problems, explore potential
solutions, and test those solutions in real life.”
Being a Steward of Place
What are some examples of how
your campus enacts its core identity
as an institutional steward of place?
Research Team
Dwight Giles, Jr.,University of Massachusetts, Boston
KerryAnn O’Meara, University of Maryland, College
Gene Rice, AACU
John Saltmarsh, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Lorilee Sandmann, University of Georgia
Examine and analyze the 2008 and 2010 AASCU
campus applications for the Carnegie Community
Engagement Classification (71 campuses*) to gather
evidence of what kinds of Stewards of Place
institutional practices are occurring on AASCU
campuses. The aim is to understand existing practices
as a basis for formulating recommendations for
campuses to enact practices that make them more
effective stewards of place.
*in 2010, of the 33 AASCU applications available for analysis, we had permission to only
use 29.
“If public engagement is to be
such a significant part of the
daily lives of colleges and
universities, it is extremely
important to be clear on just
what that entails…[there is]
the risk that the term can say
everything and nothing at the
same time. Additionally, the
lack of a clear definition can
leave some campuses and
their leaders with the
impression that they are
“doing engagement,” when in
fact they are not. (p.8)”
Carnegie Foundation
Community Engagement
“Describes the collaboration
between institutions of higher
education and their larger
communities (local,
regional/state, national, global)
for the mutually beneficial
exchange of knowledge and
resources in a context of
partnership and reciprocity.”
AASCU and the Carnegie
AASCU Classified Campuses as a percentage of all AASCU
member campuses
AASCU Classified Campuses as a percentage of all Classified
Total across all three classification cycles: 31.25%
Size (FTE)
<5000 = 7%
5000-10,000 = 30.9%
10,000-15,000 = 28.1%
15,000-20,000= 15.4%
20,000-30,000 = 11.2%
30,000-40,000 = 2.8%
>40,000 = 4.2%
Carnegie Basic Classification
BA (all) – 10.1%
MA (all) – 63.7%
DRU – 10.1%
RU-H – 13%
RU-VH – 4.3%
The Data from the
Carnegie Community
Applications was
analyzed within the
context of the 2002
Stewards of Place Report.
Areas of focus
Strategic planning
Assessment measures
Partnerships (patterns)
Emerging practices
Faculty development
Promotion and Tenure
Curricular structures
Learning outcomes
The Carnegie Foundation Community
Engagement Documentation Framework begins
with “Foundational Indicators” that address
“Institutional Identity and Culture.” The first
question of the framework has to do with the
mission of the campus: Does the institution indicate
that community engagement is a priority in its mission
statement (or vision)?
The 2002 Stepping Up as Stewards of Place report claimed that
“the work of the engaged institution is to be responsive to
public needs in ways that are appropriate to the institution’s
mission and academic strengths. (p. 9)” It recommended that
“engagement must become as deeply embedded in the
institution as other mission dimensions (p.8)” and that
“Institutional connections through partnerships are powerful
vehicles to affirm institutional mission. (p. 11)”
The report also found that a characteristic of a “fully engaged
institution” is “Mission statements that identify the region to
be served and highlight the importance of public engagement
(p. 19)” and recommended that campuses “formally recognize
responsibility to the community/region in the institution’s
statement of mission and vision. (p. 33)”
68.5% of the AASCU campuses referenced their region
in their mission statement.
These were specific references to commitment to a
geographical area smaller than a state (region, neighbors,
area, urban, city) and often included the local and the
global: “the university is committed to advancing the regional
and global community through scholarly activities, research and
public service;” “We envision engaged citizens of [X University]
(students, faculty, and staff) who genuinely invest in their
university community and their host communities (locally,
regionally, nationally and globally).”
The mission statements reveal some common
characteristics related to community engagement
1. Outcomes linking student learning to engagement in
the community;
2. The integration of teaching, research, and service
connected to engagement; and
3. Specific research connection to engagement.
Outcomes linking student learning to engagement in the
Just over 13% of the mission statement responses made a specific
connection between student learning outcomes and engagement in
the community. This number does not include 9% of the responses
that include the term “service learning,” signifying communitybased academic courses.
The integration of teaching, research, and service connected to
Mission statement responses in 12% of the cases made specific
reference to the relationship of the core faculty roles to community
Specific research connection to engagement:
In 12% if the responses, the mission statement specifically reference
the connection between research and engagement.
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning was addressed in the Carnegie
Foundation Community Engagement
Documentation Framework through the question:
Is community engagement defined and planned
for in the strategic plans of the institution?
The 2002 Stepping Up as Stewards of Place report
provided guidance for campus leaders who were
“determined that public engagement is an
important element of their overall institutional
mission and who now must think and act
strategically in order to get all elements of the
campus aligned and working together in support
of public engagement efforts. (p. 10)”
Aligning as a Steward of Place
There is evidence that being an institutional
“steward of place” shapes the strategic
priorities of the AASCU campuses. For
example, one campus responded that their
“Strategic Plan…makes very explicit the
importance of community engagement and
stewardship of place…"Enhance [the campus’s]
sense of stewardship of place by increasing its
commitment to [the region]."
Reciprocity and Collaboration
There was also evidence of a framing of engagement
with community that was reciprocal and mutually
beneficial, valuing the assets that the community
brought to the partnerships:
“Provide opportunities to learn from external communities
through internships, cooperative education, and other field
activities… Promote collaborative and innovative
exchanges…to…enhance opportunities for all
learners…Develop mutually beneficial working
partnerships with public and private sectors;…Develop
community-centered programs…”
Economic Development:
35.8% of the responses identified economic development
as a priority of community engagement.
Commitment to K-12 schools:
15% of the responses specifically identified a strategic
commitment to the local K-12 schools as a strategic
Connecting community engagement to student retention
and success:
12% of the responses specifically identified the retention
and success of undergraduates as a dimension of their
community engagement strategy.
Commitment to Region
The 2002 report Stepping Up as Stewards of Place found
that “Regional service is far down (or missing from) most
institutions’ lists of strategic priorities. They are much
more interested in growth, improvements in teaching and
learning, creating or improving institutional capacity
(acquiring new academic programs, technology, buildings
and faculty and improving faculty salaries). (14)”
Based on the data from our study, 64% of the Strategic
Planning responses in the Carnegie framework addressed
regional priorities.
“Curricular Engagement describes the teaching, learning and
scholarship that engages faculty, students, and community in
mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions
address community identified needs, deepen students’ civic and
academic learning, enhance community well-being, and enrich the
scholarship of the institution.”
Curricular Engagement was addressed in the Carnegie Foundation
Community Engagement Documentation Framework in part
through the question:
Is community engagement integrated into the following curricular activities?
Student Research
Student Leadership
Study Abroad
The 2002 Stepping Up as Stewards of Place
report claimed that “Public engagement is
not an integral part of the curriculum for a
majority of the AASCU institutions that
responded to the survey—fewer than onequarter require students to complete an
internship, cooperative experience,
community service, or service learning
activity as part of their academic program”
(p. 14).
Of the AASCU campuses that received the
classification, 95% reported that community
engagement is integrated into student research;
95.8% reported that it is included in a student
leadership curriculum; 98.6% claimed that it
was integrated into internships and/or co-op
experiences; and 88.5% reported that it is part
of study abroad experiences.
Some examples of community engagement curriculum
adoptions were in the following area:
• The integration of CE as a requirement for
• The integration of CE as part of First Year
• The adoption of CE in General Education goals,
• Plans for Service-learning course designation, a CE
minor and certificate program, a minor in
Faculty Roles and Rewards
The documentation framework asks the following
questions related to faculty reward systems:
Do the institutional policies for promotion and tenure reward
the scholarship of community engagement?
If yes, how does the institution classify community-engaged
scholarship? (Service, Scholarship of Application, other)
If no, is there work in progress to revise promotion and tenure
guidelines to reward the scholarship of community engagement?
The 2002 Stepping Up as Stewards of Place report
found that “If engagement is ever to become a
meaningful component of institutional mission, it
must be reflected in the promotion and tenure
policies, but done in an academically rigorous way”
(p. 25). One of the recommended “Protocols for
Engagement” was to “Align promotion and
tenure criteria with the engagement agenda”
Our analysis has found that 23.8% of the classified
AASCU campuses had claimed to have reformed P&T
policies to redefine community engagement as scholarly
22.3% had reformed P&T guidelines to note the
importance of community engagement in faculty roles
overall – in teaching, research, and service.
48% noted individual department recognition of
community engagement in P&T policies.
Does the institution have a campus-wide coordinating
infrastructure(center, office, etc.) to support and
advance community engagement?
The 2002 Stepping Up as Stewards of Place study
reported that “all of the site visit institutions
have some type of center or institute
dedicated to public engagement; most of these
serve as a front door to the institution where
community problems get matched with faculty
research expertise. These CEO’s and their
senior staff were almost unanimous in
describing how they see the institution’s role
not as “solving” the community’s problem,
but rather providing the resources necessary
to best understand it.”
Responses from the applications indicate all of
the campuses have some kind of coordinating
infrastructure for community engagement and
that 71.6% of the campuses have a center that
functions as a centralized structure.
Outreach and Partnerships
According to the documentation framework, “Outreach and
Partnerships describe two different but related approaches to
community engagement. The first focuses on the application and
provision of institutional resources for community use with
benefits to both campus and community. The latter focuses on
collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship
for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration, and application
of knowledge, information, and resources (research, capacity
building, economic development, etc.”
Campuses we asked to use an excel document to enter
information “to describe representative partnerships (both institutional
and departmental) that were in place during the most recent academic
year (maximum 15 partnerships).”
The 2002 Stepping Up as Stewards of Place
report identified a range of issues around
which campus and community would form
partnerships: “On issues ranging from
economic development to school reform to
regional planning to environmental
protection and more, public higher
education institutions have teamed up with
a wide range of local stakeholders to identify
problems, explore potential solutions” (p.7).
98.5% of the classified campuses identified Education
and K-12 partnerships.
71.6% of the AASCU campuses were focused on
community and economic development (local hiring
and procurement, workforce development and training
including leadership development, capital investment,
65.7% of the campuses identified partnerships formed
out of a commitment to the underserved (specific focus
on access and creating opportunities for first generation
students and minority groups in local region).
Does the executive leadership of the institution
(President, Provost, Chancellor, Trustees, etc.)
explicitly promote community engagement as a
“If a fully engaged institution is to be created, it will
occur only with the active and visible leadership of
the president or chancellor. While leadership from
the top is necessary, it is by no means sufficient.
Fully engaged institutions have a leadership
network at all levels, comprised of persons who are
both capable and willing to lead on behalf of the
public engagement mission” (p. 18).
“A recurring theme throughout this report is that
leadership matters and leadership from the campus
CEO matters most. They must not only talk the
talk, but walk the walk” (37).
74.6% indicate that the President/Chancellor of the
campus is explicitly promoting community engagement on
55% of the applications identified the Provost/Chief
academic Officer as promoting community engagement.
Only 8 % of the campuses identified the Vice
President/Chancellor for Student Affairs, and 4%
identified positions such as Vice President for Economic
Development, Public Relations, or Community Affairs.
Six Key Recommendations
1. Partnerships enacted for mutual
benefit, and that honor reciprocity, are
a key strategy to achieve institutional
excellence and leading-edge teaching,
research, and professional service at
AASCU institutions.
2. While AASCU institutions have
taken steps to align faculty reward
systems with their commitment to
community engagement, there is still
significant work to do in faculty
recruitment, department cultures, the
criteria used to assess scholarship, and
the promotion and tenure review
3. Given the historical and significant
commitment made by AASCU
institutions to access for regional
students and to improvement of local K12 school systems, AASCU institutions
should now move to develop 5 and 10year benchmarks for improvement in
these areas.
4. Campus commitments to regional
economic development and resources
expended to support local infrastructure
and joint initiatives need to be made
transparent and widely known on and
5. Universities are increasingly the place where the
knowledge, skills, and values of global citizenship are
fostered. Also, increasingly, the communities of
which AASCU campuses are a part are made up of
individuals from across the globe. AASCU campuses
should take the lead in developing all public
engagement as global public engagement that
includes intercultural learning outcomes regardless of
where the engagement takes place. Being a Steward of
Place recognizes that the local is global and the global
is local. Global engagement takes place in the
neighborhoods surrounding the campus.
6. A campus committed to public engagement
defined by deeply collaborative and reciprocal
partnerships with community-based organizations
and individuals is also committed to organizational
change affecting practices, structures, and policies.
Steward of Place campuses, because of their local
commitments and responsibilities have prioritized
issues of diversity and inclusion, student success, and
public engagement. Steward of Place campuses have
the opportunity to develop practices, structures, and
policies that facilitate the connections between these
A “third way” for American higher education – a
different model of academic excellence in an institutional
Steward of Place
Integration/Beyond Differentiation
Collaboration/Beyond Hierarchy
Inclusive/Beyond Diversity
Engagement/Beyond Walls and Silos
Networked/Beyond the Split Between Content and
Process and Content and Context
R. Eugene Rice: [email protected]
John Saltmarsh: [email protected]

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