The president of Indiana State University says a growing expectation to be engaged in economic development and community engagement has led to the creation of a new Division of University Engagement. Dan Bradley says all “externally facing” areas of the school should fall under the leadership of a vice president. April 8, 2015
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State University is creating a new Division of University Engagement to oversee its nationally recognized commitment to community engagement and experiential learning.
In announcing the new division, university President Dan Bradley cited the growth in community engagement efforts and their increased importance to the university, state and nation. He also noted that public universities face a growing expectation to be engaged in economic development.
“State and federal governments have made clear the importance they place on universities preparing students for professional employment, helping students obtain employment and assessing their performance in the workplace after graduation,” Bradley said. “The university is being held accountable in these areas, and it is likely that future efforts will tie our success, or lack thereof, to funding measures in similar ways that our student success measures currently impacts our performance-based funding.
“When these new expectations are added to those previously existing, it is clear to me that we need to have all of our externally facing areas under the leadership of one person and that person needs to be a vice president. A significant number of national universities, including at least two in Indiana, have created such positions at this level. Creating a Division of University Engagement is a strong statement to both internal and external stakeholders of the importance Indiana State places on the critical functions that this division includes.”
Bradley said that Nancy Rogers, who has served as associate vice president for community engagement since 2009, will be promoted to vice president for university engagement, effective May 1.
“Nancy has done a tremendous job in leading our engagement efforts and making Indiana State a nationally recognized leader in this field,” said Bradley.
The division will be composed of the Center for Community Engagement, Business Engagement Center, Career Center, Student Employment, Hulman Center and Conference and Event Services.
Bradley stressed that the move will not increase administrative overhead but is instead a realignment that “better reflects the importance of engagement to our future as a university and as an explicit promise that we view engagement as an integral part of our mission. I do not expect nor desire that these changes will modify, to any great extent, working relationships that currently exist on campus.”
In citing Indiana State's progress in community engagement and experiential learning,
Bradley listed several noteworthy accomplishments by the Center for Community Engagement:
-Three rounds of Lilly Endowment funding totaling $4.5 million, including a $3 million grant received in 2013 to build job readiness skills into Indiana State's curriculum and expand its Career Center
-A $3 million “Fulfilling the Promise Grant” from Lilly Endowment in 2004, of which about $ 1 million was designated to fund community engagement and experiential learning
-Eleven years of AmeriCorps funding of $100, 000 to $120,000 annually
-Two endowed funds for student engagement within the ISU Foundation, one of which will ultimately have a base value of $2 million.
-A $30,000 Duke Energy grant to help jump start a career certification program within the Career Center..
-Recognition by the U.S. President's Higher Education Honor Roll for Community Service in each of the nine years since it was created, the last three years, with distinction
-Recognition by Washington Monthly magazine as No. 1 among 280 national universities for community service performed by students and a No. 3 ranking in the overall service category
-Recognition as an engaged campus by the Carnegie Foundation in 2006, reaffirmed in 2015
-Significant advancement of university goals related to experiential learning and community engagement so that 100 percent of students now graduate with these experiences
Bradley noted that Indiana State has a long tradition of community engagement and experiential learning, extending to its earliest days as Indiana State Normal School.
In 2001, the university formalized that commitment and created the Center for Public Service and Community Engagement. The campus commitment to engagement became the focus of Indiana State's Higher Learning Commission self-study culminating in re-accreditation in 2010.
“These efforts are directly related to our goal of improving student success,” Bradley said, citing research demonstrating the impact a student's level of engagement has on retention and graduation.
A recent Gallup-Purdue Index shows that highly engaged students are likely to be highly engaged as employees after graduation and are more likely to be content with their careers and lives.
“It has been my privilege to have been provided the opportunity to lead the university's community engagement and experiential learning efforts over the past several years,” Rogers said. “The university is fortunate to have highly committed students, faculty, and staff dedicated to working hand in hand with dozens of outstanding community partners. The work of all these people makes my job easy. I am very excited about the formation of the Division of University Engagement and opportunities for even more growth and achievement in advancing our community engagement and experiential learning priorities.”
Source: Indiana State University