The third domain of faculty practice at institutions of higher education is that of community engagement. The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification describes community engagement as a “collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, state/regional, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”
The University Mission Statement, approved in May of 2004, identifies the responsibilities of the institution, the faculty, the staff, the students, and the administration. For the institutional responsibility, six different items are focused outwardly and directly or indirectly speak to the notion of service and community engagement. These are:
- provide affordable, high quality undergraduate and graduate education appropriate for the state and the region;
- foster faculty, staff, and student outreach through service activities;
- enhance the quality of health care in the region;
- promote economic development through research, collaboration, and technological innovations;
- educate a citizenry capable of living and working effectively in a global environment; further the intellectual, artistic, and cultural life of the community and region;
- regularly review the curriculum, degree, and programs offered, and recommend necessary additional and deletions to meet changing needs of the state and region.
In June 2016 the institution applied for recognition on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll under the category of General Community Service. Recognition is also given for work in the area of Education, Economic Opportunity, which will be targeted in future applications.