Successful Partnerships - Building Engaged, Mutually Beneficial Collaborations

As a part of the Strategic Planning Process, the University of West Georgia has committed to further development of successful partnerships, as outlined in Strategic Imperative #3. Melanie McClellan is serving as Director of Community Engagement to coordinate the development of imperative. She will be sharing more information to the campus as the planning process progresses. Please share your comments and questions with Melanie at melmcc@westga.edu

Community Engagement Task Force

Melanie McClellan, Chair
Sharon Cumbie, Professor of Nursing
Juanita Hicks, Executive Director of Human Resources
Ashley Jones, Government & External Relations
Dustin Killpack, Coordinator for Student Volunteer Programs
Karen Lingrell, Assistant Director of Collaborative Programs 

Emily McKendry-Smith, Assistant Professor of Sociology
Jane Simpson, University Counsel
Danielle Tackett, Special Events Manager

Community Engagement 2014-2015 Goals


1. Inventory what UWG does now.
• Create a preliminary inventory of current UWG-Community partnerships.
• Survey faculty, staff, & retirees to learn about their volunteer activities.
• Work with the office of Volunteer Services to begin recording student volunteer hours.

2. Develop and implement a short-term communication plan to begin improving the coordination of UWG/Community Partnerships.
• Establish a simple way for faculty and staff to share information on campus about partnership initiatives and activities.
• Begin to establish an expectation that faculty and staff will share information about their partnerships with each other.
• Create a preliminary process, including an improved web presence, to help community organizations with needs get connected to campus entities with potential resources.

3. Work with a Task Force to develop informed plans and recommendations for the future. The Task Force will:
• Become experts on UWG, the community, and best practices from other colleges & universities.
• Create opportunities for input from faculty, staff, students, retirees, and community.
• Develop plans and recommendations. (November-February)

Definitions

From the UWG Strategic Plan:
UWG is committed to being the hub of economic growth in the region. With an expanding presence, UWG serves as an economic growth engine for the entire state of Georgia. In collaboration with leaders in areas like health care, business, technology, agriculture, government, media, performing arts, libraries, cultural heritage and preservation, military, non-profit organizations, and P-12 and other educational institutions, UWG will cultivate a strong network of partners dedicated to making the region a better place to live, work, learn, and play.

From the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching:
Community engagement describes 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.

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to:
• enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity;
• enhance curriculum, teaching and learning;
• prepare educated, engaged citizens;
• strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility;
• address critical societal issues;
• contribute to the public good.