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Public Service & Outreach Planning Commission
University of Virginia
Final Report
August 2000

 

I. INTRODUCTION

In January 1999, President John Casteen convened the Commission on Public Service and Outreach as part of Virginia 2020, a university-wide planning initiative. President Casteen charged the Commission on Public Service and Outreach with shaping one of the university’s central missions—how best to work with local, state, national, and global partners in creating, applying, and transmitting knowledge to meet society’s needs [insert additional text from the 2020 brochure here].

Over thirty individuals from the university community—students, staff, faculty, and administrators—served as members of this commission (see Appendix A—Membership). With significant experience in public service and outreach at U.Va., commission members came to this process already well-informed about many of the institution’s activities, needs, and problems. In addition to drawing upon their individual expertise, commission members informed their work through a variety of activities, as described in the next section.

 

II. THE PRESENT: Public Service and Outreach in 2000

[Lead in with a few sentences about how the commission first focused its activities on understanding the current situation here and elsewhere.]

A. Scope of Our Study

The scope of our study focused on a definition of public service and outreach as the "application of scholarly knowledge and professional or academic expertise to the economic, health, civic, and educational needs of the public." Although volunteer community service is not always consistent with this definition, we included it in our study and recommendations due to what we learned are the extraordinary and nationally recognized volunteer service contributions of our students, staff, and faculty. However, the majority of our recommendations are intended for academic outreach; in the rare cases when volunteer service is included, it is explicitly noted.

B. Activities that Informed and Shaped our Work

[Explain that we engaged in these concurrent, ongoing activities to inform and shape our work.]

Document Study

We were provided a number of helpful documents that informed us about best practices at the University of Virginia and other colleges and universities, and about local, state, national, and international issues and needs with respect to public service. Some of those documents are available on our web site:

http://www.virginia.edu/virginia2020/public/public-doc

and they are also provided in Appendix B—Documents. [Add description of VPRPS inventory and Outreach Virginia database here, explaining that our work on a "document" in progress was enlightening, etc.]

Benchmark Study

[Discuss how much to add here summarizing our work and what we learned.] We looked at best practices at a number and variety of other institutions through documents, visits, and personal contacts. Benchmark information is provided in Appendix D—Benchmarks.

Topical Study

We organized around five exploratory topics to concentrate on areas of particular concern: [additional text here to explain why we chose these five topics—that our experiences and early discussions as a group identified these as significant issues.]

  1. University-Wide Strategic Planning
  2. Relationships and Communications with Our Public Constituencies
  3. Administrative Structures and Resources
  4. Volunteer Service
  5. Reward Structures for Faculty Service

Guiding questions, group membership, and final reports for each Exploratory Group are provided in Appendix C—Exploratory Plan and Reports.

Interviews

[Brief statement about interview process and highlights of results.]

 

C. What We Learned about Public Service and Outreach at U.Va.

[List some major conclusions about our strengths and weaknesses—we’re doing a lot, but people don’t know it, etc. The list from the commission’s December 1999 interim report provides a start.]

 

III. THE FUTURE: public service and outreach in 2020

A. Creating a Vision

[Following considerable study of what we’re doing now, we moved to creating a vision. Say a little bit about the retreat and indicate that the following vision resulted.]

"We look to a future in the year 2020 when the University of Virginia will be recognized for its commitment to working in partnership with its neighbors and the people of Virginia to focus and apply its expertise towards the enhancement of the quality of life in the Commonwealth, the nation, and beyond."

[The following two paragraphs may be moved in part or whole to a concluding section, to be written.]

In 2020, its openness and responsiveness will make the University of Virginia worthy of greater private investment and public trust; it will become known as a place accessible to a diverse public of all ages, races, and backgrounds.

In this new century, the citizens in our local and state communities will take pride in the University of Virginia and feel connected to the ways in which it works to make a difference in their lives. The University of Virginia will be seen as a good neighbor who assists the citizens of Virginia and the world in pursuing their dreams and realizing their potential.

The crafting of our vision and the strategies for implementing it have been guided by two fundamental beliefs. First, we believe it is critical to ensure that the University of Virginia is a valuable social resource by establishing a record of outstanding achievement in scholarship, teaching, and the integration of its expertise with public service. Second, we believe U.Va. must commit itself to being accessible, engaged, and responsive to the needs of society. To this end, U.Va. must establish multiple points of access for members of society and invest the financial and organizational resources necessary to cooperate with members of society in developing effective responses to pressing social concerns.

B. Implementing the Vision: GOALS

[Explain here that in order to carry out the vision, it must be seen as having operational goals or objectives embedded in it. This sets up the framework for organizing the strategies. Describe the operational goals of the vision and their definitions similar to what’s briefly shown below]

  1. To be recognized for public service (this would get at access, user friendliness, public relations, etc.);
  2. To be committed to public service (this addresses rewards, resource commitments, internal recognition of individual efforts, etc.);
  3. To work in partnership with the public on its needs (this gets at the mechanisms for learning what the public wants, etc.); and
  4. To focus and apply its expertise to public service (this addresses the internal structures and decisions necessary to make strategic decisions about focusing and applying our priorities and strengths, one of which is volunteer service.

C. Implementing the Vision: STRATEGIES

It should be emphasized that implementation of the commission’s recommendations would require significant new resources to be allocated at the university level. It is not envisioned that the necessary resources to implement the following recommendations would be reallocated from existing teaching or research programs.

[Once the commission has agreed upon 1) the vision, and 2) the goals, the following recommended strategies can be clustered around the goals accordingly. Commission members may wish to consolidate some of the recommendations so that more substantial (but fewer) strategies fall beneath each (or several) of the goals. Once the grouping and vetting exercise is complete, working teams will develop objectives and required resources for each strategy. The first two strategies are offered as examples of how some consolidation might work.]

Strategy: Simplify Public Access to U.Va. Services (recommendations 1–3 could be combined/modified into one strategy)

From a series of local interviews, the commission continues to hear that people in the community do not know who or where to make an initial inquiry. A centralized and well-publicized entry point is recommended so that the public can find us quickly and easily.

1. Establish Physical Gateways.

Create a conveniently located, adequately staffed referral office with free parking for people to ask questions and receive information about U.Va. Such a physical space could be located in one or more places, such as the Cavalier Inn and/or the new Connected Community facility near West Main Street. Public terminals would allow visitors to access main U.Va. information sites, including Outreach Virginia, UVa Top News, and the Web Calendar. See Appendix E—Public Access for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Anne Oplinger, Clo Phillips, Iva Morris)

2. Establish Telephone Gateway.

In conjunction with the referral office, establish central phone number (UVA-4YOU) answered by staff trained to help the public navigate the university’s programs and services. Publicize the referral number throughout the local and regional communities using a variety of mediums (newspapers, radio, bus billboards, Internet, etc.). See Appendix E—Public Access for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Ida Lee Wooten, Anne Oplinger, Carolyn Engelhard, Iva Morris)

3. Develop Electronic Gateway.

Build on electronic link to public service and outreach on the university’s home page by creating a web-based, interactive guide to public service opportunities and off-grounds academic courses and programs available through the University of Virginia (Outreach Virginia available June 2000). Provide for sustained staff and funding support for Outreach Virginia. Outreach Virginia will include volunteer service programs as well as academic public service programs and will continue to be shaped through an advisory board of public and university representatives (faculty, staff, students, and alumni). Explore promoting public access through terminals in libraries or through temporary terminals in other public spaces, such as shopping malls or movie theaters. See Appendix E—Public Access for Outreach Virginia materials. (Laura Hawthorne)

Strategy: Increase Public Knowledge of Opportunities Provided by U.Va. (recommendations 4–7 could be combined/modified into one strategy)

4. Invest in Increased Strategic Use of Mass and Targeted Media.

Increase the type and variety of public messages to inform local and global citizens about medical, educational, legal, economic, environmental, business, artistic, architectural, and engineering opportunities. Invest in corporate sponsorship of public radio stations. Develop a strategic communications plan that builds on a consistent theme and visual message. See Appendix F—Strategic Communications for sample communication plans and cost projections (Louise Dudley, Ida Lee Wootten, Laura Hawthorne, Virginia Collins).

5. Develop Annual Print Publication Highlighting Faculty Contributions to Public Issues.

Increase the methods by which faculty public service activities are communicated to state legislators, local officials, and the public. Develop annual print publication highlighting faculty contributions to public interest, drawn from existing publications and databases, including Inside UVa, Explorations, Outreach Virginia, and other school and university resources. Distribute publication externally and internally. Program directors with direct contact with any public constituency will use publications as tool for illustrating broad scope of U.Va.’s contribution to public life. See Appendix F—Strategic Communications for details and cost projections. (Louise Dudley, Laura Hawthorne, Dolly Prenzel, Ida Lee Wooten, Betsy Flanagan).

6. Host Special Events to Recognize and Support Public Service and Outreach.

Hold local and regional summits of and for public service and outreach at various traditional and nontraditional locations including the SCPS regional centers and Weldon Cooper Center sites to facilitate conversations about public service and to share best practices among universities, colleges, and public groups. Develop projects to promote public service activity among academic faculty, such as a Summer Institute on Integrating Curriculum and Community Service. See Appendix G—Special Events for more detail. (Hal Burbach, Louise Dudley, Penny Rue, Les Williams, Frank Griffiths, John Green)

7. Research Feasibility of Regional Outreach Councils as Communications Tool.

Charge Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service with responsibility for exploring feasibility of regional model for coordinating and promoting public service. Provide adequate staffing and funds to organize regional communications network to determine whether regional outreach councils would be appropriate model in some areas of the state to enhance our points of contact, collection of information, assessment of regional needs, collaboration of university programs, partnerships with regional entities, and joint ventures with other Virginia colleges and universities. See Appendix F—Strategic Communications for proposed plan and cost projections. (Karin Wittenborg, Laura Hawthorne, Betsy Flanagan).

[The following recommendations are listed with minimal attempt to cluster them by topic in order to facilitate discussion. Those recommendations embraced by the commission can be clustered/revised/consolidated into appropriate strategies that address the endorsed goals.]

Information Gathering

8. Conduct Citizen Interviews.

Continue and expand the informal interviews began with local community leaders and citizens by this commission. The process and content of these interviews appear to be rich with mutual benefits. Assign further interviews as a continuing and permanent responsibility of various university units such as the Office of Community Relations, Office of Governmental Relations, the Cooper Center for Public Service, the associate vice president for Health Sciences community relations, and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service. Although many units have conducted such interviews, the process has lacked an institutional commitment to being comprehensive and accountable to the public. See Appendix H—Needs Assessment for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections (John Thomas, Dolly Prenzel, Nancy Rivers, Cole Hendrix).

9. Conduct Marketing Studies to Assess Public Needs.

In order to respond to public needs, there must be a mechanism for determining what those needs are, and for prioritizing the university's response to them. This is a dynamic process because public needs change just as the university's ability to respond to them may change depending upon faculty and staff strengths, financial resources, legislative mandates, etc. We recommend that the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Public Service develop an appropriate mechanism for taking the "public pulse" regularly. This may take the form of market surveys, public forums, community meetings, alumni gatherings or seeking the advice of the regional outreach councils, and other advisory groups affiliated with the schools of the university.

We also recommend that the vice president for research and public service create a process for determining which public needs can be addressed by the university and the timeframe for university action. This process involves the major stakeholders within the university (schools, units, centers) in setting the university's priorities for public service and academic outreach, and should be undertaken at least every two years.

Once the priorities have been identified, the major stakeholders involved (schools, units, centers) should identify strategies for meeting the public needs, and should identify the resources, both human and financial, needed to act. Full or partial funding for such activities would be provided by the venture fund endowment pool (see recommendation 16). Human resources can be enhanced by faculty release time (see recommendation 14), student volunteerism (see recommendation 12) and staff release time.

Action is possible once the university has determined which public service and academic outreach needs are to be addressed each biennium, which units of the university will assume responsibility for addressing those needs, and strategies for meeting public needs. The university must also evaluate how successfully it has achieved its public service goals. This assessment should be used to improve the university's response in future endeavors. See Appendix H—Needs Assessment for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections (Sondra Stallard, Clo Phillips, Bob Reynolds, Doris Glick, Nancy Iverson, Louise Dudley, Betsy Flanagan, Dolly Prenzel, Nancy Rivers)

10. Modify Program Review Faculty Survey to Include Information About Volunteer Activities.

Investigate the usefulness of the information collected by surveys and work with the Office of Institutional Assessment to fashion an instrument for properly collecting information on faculty volunteer service. It would be valuable for the university to have information about the volunteer service activities of its faculty, but at the same time it is important to respect the prerogative of individual faculty members to decide whether they wish to divulge this information. The Office of Institutional Assessment conducts surveys that include questions concerning volunteer service. Faculty responses to these surveys are submitted on an entirely voluntary basis. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

11. Develop Mechanism for Gathering Information About Staff Volunteer Activity.

There is no instrument for collecting and aggregating information about the community service of staff. We suggest that the university consider ways of collecting such information. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

12. Develop System for Matching Faculty Expertise with Alumni Service Activities.

Either modify the Faculty Senate Speakers Bureau to incorporate information about faculty expertise for community service opportunities or establish a separate volunteer bureau for community service projects. Alumni chapters currently have no means of learning which faculty might have expertise that would be particularly valuable for service projects. Such systems would be particularly helpful in such areas as medical care where U.Va. can contribute professional skills in addition to speakers. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

13. Provide Institutional Support for Student Volunteerism.

Provide additional support to help Virginia Service Coalition collect data on volunteer activities and provide administrative support for service learning. Provide office space in Madison House, supplies—especially publicity materials, administrative staffing, a tool-shed, and transportation for student volunteers. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

Administrative Structures and Internal Organization

14. Employ New Funding Model for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

While there has been increased recognition of the public service and academic outreach made possible by the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the commission is concerned about the funding model under which the university’s tenth school operates. Presently the school is charged with generating enough revenues to cover the cost of its personnel, programs, facilities, and operating expenses. Although the revenue picture has improved in recent years, the school does not generate enough revenues through enrollments to cover its entire expenditure budget. The university subsidizes the school, but only with the expectation that the subsidy will decrease and school revenues will increase in coming years.

This model does not acknowledge the public service dimension of the school’s mission. For example, the school provides academic courses and degree programs in regions of the state where enrollments cannot offset the cost of delivery. These programs are offered to meet public needs or to achieve political goals for the university. There is constant pressure in the school to fund these good works by improving profit margins in other programs that generate more enrollments, or by developing newer, and more profitable academic programs. However, under the current funding model, there is little seed money or capital to develop and market new courses, degree programs or professional development programs.

Furthermore, the present funding model, which requires the School of Continuing and Professional Studies to return all revenues to the university, precludes revenue-sharing agreements with other academic schools or with faculty. Without such incentives, many faculty and some schools are unwilling to commit resources to academic outreach efforts with the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

The commission recommends that the university change the funding model for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies so that the public service dimensions of the academic outreach are centrally funded. We believe that this is consistent with the university’s mission and that a new model will ensure that statewide public service needs are addressed consistently. We also recommend that the new funding model for the School of Continuing and Professional Studies include strategies to allow the school to develop revenue-sharing agreements with their university partners in academic outreach and strategies to ensure seed money for new course/program/degree development.

15. Establish Position for Associate Vice President for Public Service

Appoint an associate vice president for public service at a level comparable to that of the existing associate vice president for research. Associate vice president would have responsibility for overseeing all public service initiatives assigned to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service and would work closely with the vice president for research and public service to support and promote public service activities throughout the university. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Carolyn Engelhard, Clo Phillips, Sondra Stallard, Rebecca Kneedler, Robert Hull).

16. Establish and Fund University Advisory Committee for Public Service and Outreach.

Appoint university-wide advisory committee to determine the priority areas for public service programs. Committee would supervise competitive internal process to solicit faculty proposals for new public service initiatives, with significant funding available for the best proposals. This will seed new high quality public service activities within the university, and stimulate discussion and awareness among faculty. It will also help faculty develop the track record to enable them to compete effectively for external funding of public service initiatives. Finally, it could be used as a vehicle to encourage inter-disciplinary programs across university units.

An advisory committee could be appointed by the president or the senior cabinet and receive administrative and organizational support through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Carolyn Engelhard, Clo Phillips, Sondra Stallard, Rebecca Kneedler, Robert Hull).

17. Expand Centralized Staff and Infrastructure for Supporting Academic Outreach.

Establish six administrative faculty positions and five support staff positions to work with academic faculty in designing, delivering, and evaluating outreach projects that help public audiences learn from and appreciate the new knowledge created through research. These positions could be established over time, with two administrative faculty positions and one support staff position being added in 2001-2002, and this model of supporting academic outreach tested with those departments or schools already committed to outreach, such as physics, history, or engineering.

Currently, no resources—personnel or financial—exist centrally to support the efforts of faculty interested in translating their research into the public realm through outreach projects. Faculty may obtain funding for outreach projects in conjunction with external funding but U.Va. in no way seeks to maximize the impact these outside funds can have on our outreach programs. Successful outreach programs, such as those offered through the Center for Biological Timing, engage youth and adults in our work, helping them appreciate the value of research and its impact on their lives. In this light, supporting outreach in the academic disciplines is important for the future of our society and U.Va. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Carolyn Engelhard, Clo Phillips, Sondra Stallard, Rebecca Kneedler, Robert Hull).

18. Designate Public Service and Outreach Officer in Each School.

Assign an external relations person within each school to report public service activities to the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Carolyn Engelhard, Clo Phillips, Sondra Stallard, Rebecca Kneedler, Robert Hull).

19. Create Position of Assistant or Associate Dean for Public Service in Each School.

As an alternative to the previous recommendation, establish an assistant or associate dean for public service in each school. These officials would coordinate their activities with a vice president for public service (i.e. public service only). See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

20. Establish New Faculty Lines to Recruit Faculty Who Will Make Significant Impact on University’s Public Service Mission.

Establish additional faculty positions—one or two per school or college (depending on size and mission)—to recruit faculty who will make significant impact on the public service mission. Departments within each school will compete for the faculty positions, which will be granted for an initial period of five years. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

21. Create Position to Support Volunteer Services.

Create a new administrative line to enhance the effectiveness of volunteer community service and service-learning at the university. This line might be located in one of several offices: the Dean of Students, the Dean of the College, the Vice President for Research and Public Service, the Cooper Center for Public Service, or the Office of the President. In order to successfully fulfill its responsibilities, the position should be at the level of associate dean or director of community service. The duties of the position should include: providing support for student volunteer service activities, serving as a focal point for requests from the community for volunteer service, assisting in the implementation of the "fourth-credit option" for service-learning (see recommendation 23), acting in an advisory capacity in keeping the entries of volunteer service activities up to date on the university’s web pages for public service and outreach, and helping in the collection of data concerning the volunteer service of the members of the university community. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

22. Provide Fund-Raising Assistance to Madison House.

Ensure fundraising for Madison House is a priority. Despite the benefits accrued to the university through the work of Madison House, Student Council voted in the fall of 1999 to eliminate its funding for Madison House over the next ten years. This funding amounts to one-quarter of all Madison House revenues. At a time when it already must turn away hundreds of students and requests from at least 20 community locations for volunteer services, Madison House has agreed to this arrangement with the understanding that the President’s Office will assist it in raising enough funds to replace the lost funding. We want to reiterate in the strongest terms the importance of the university fulfilling this commitment to Madison House since failure to do so would result in severe cutbacks in the services provided by this national model for student community service. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

 

School Accountability

23. Charge Deans With Articulating the Public Service Mission of Their School and Developing Appropriate Evaluation Metrics for Faculty Performance Review.

Definition by each school of its own public service mission, consistent with the university’s mission. Achievements of an individual, particularly if opting for public service as a primary activity, would then be evaluated in the context of that mission. Each school would be expected to develop a documented evaluation process for public service activities that addresses both quality and quantity of the public service contribution. One metric for the effectiveness of the chosen evaluation method would be that the mean salary raise awarded to that group of faculty who adopt public service as a primary activity should be equal to that group of faculty who do not exercise that option, when averaged over several years and assuming comparable evaluation of the quantity and quality of the relative contributions. Whatever evaluation metric is adopted, it should be sufficiently flexible to encourage and reward cooperative activities across units within the university. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

24. Require Each Department to Demonstrate Significant Achievement in Public Service.

Have department chairs negotiate with the dean the parameters of that department’s contribution to the public service mission of the school. A component of a department chair’s own evaluation would be based on this metric. Similarly a school or college would be expected to demonstrate commensurately scaled (to be defined by negotiation with the appropriate university official or body) achievement in the public service arena, which would represent a component of the dean’s evaluation. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

25. Require Each School’s Promotion and Tenure Committee to Demonstrate Service Contributions of Recommended Candidates as a Group

Ensure appropriate recognition of public service activities in promotion and tenure decisions, by requiring a school’s tenure and promotion committee to demonstrate that the slate of candidates recommended for promotion and tenure in a given year have, as a group, made significant contributions to the public service mission. One caveat to this requirement, however, is that schools should carefully consider whether encouraging substantial public service activities is in the best interest of tenure-track assistant and associate professors. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

26. Establish Electronic Reporting Mechanism for Faculty Annual Activity Reports.

Assign responsibility and resources to Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service to work with Office of the Vice President and Provost and deans of each school to develop an appropriate, centralized electronic database for collecting annual faculty activity reports. Currently, aggregate information about faculty activity is not readily available. University officials have no way of quickly identifying groups of faculty who excel in either research, teaching, or public service. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Carolyn Engelhard, Clo Phillips, Sondra Stallard, Rebecca Kneedler, Robert Hull).

 

Support and Rewards for Individuals

27. Establish Public Service Leave Opportunities for Classified Staff.

The university should commit to recognizing hours devoted to community service. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

28. Establish Endowed University Chairs for Public Service.

Establish at least one endowed chair per school. Faculty who has made outstanding contributions to the public service mission of the university will hold the chair for a fixed period of time (such as five years), with the expectation that the awardees will continue a comparable level of achievement during the tenure of the chair. Financing for the chairs in public service, and the remuneration associated with them, would be consistent with existing chairs for research and teaching. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

29. Establish Sabbaticals for Public Service.

Award sabbaticals for public service activities competitively according to guidelines consistent with existing policies for research sabbaticals. Such sabbaticals should be available to academic, research, and general faculty, as well as to administrative staff. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

30. Establish Annual "President’s Cup" and Awards Banquet for Public Service.

Make funds available to support an annual awards banquet, hosted by the president, to celebrate and recognize the outstanding service contributions of faculty, staff, and students. The President’s Cup would be awarded to that member of the university community who embodies the highest ideals of service to others. Additional cash awards, modeled after the existing Harrison Awards for Excellence in Teaching, would be established to honor faculty who integrate service with teaching and research to further the university’s mission.

In conjunction with this annual event, the university would sponsor a full-page advertisement in local papers announcing the awards and all those members of the U.Va. community who have achieved some level of service. The president would also include a statement about public service and outreach in his annual state of the university address. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Robert Hull, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

31. Institutionalize Recognition of Faculty Service Accomplishments.

Establish a universal acceptance and application of the tenet that public service is at least as valuable as teaching and research. To encourage substantial public service initiatives by faculty, we recommend that schools consider mechanisms whereby public service can be elevated to a "primary" activity. For example, a "dual ladder" for faculty professional development could be established, whereby faculty could opt to identify public service in combination with either research or teaching as their primary activities, with the remaining activity being of secondary importance in evaluating the individual’s contributions. (Note that this would not affect the requirement for quality in application of the secondary activity. For example, were teaching chosen by an individual as a secondary activity, this would translate into a lower number of courses taught, rather than a reduced commitment to quality of teaching). This would offer an exciting (even revitalizing) opportunity for many members of the faculty. The choice of which ladder to follow should not be irrevocable, and could change several times during an individual’s career according to opportunity and enthusiasm.

Each school /college would be expected to develop and implement a mechanism for formal recognition of public service activities (either the dual ladder model above, or an alternative system), according to their needs, their strengths, and their mission. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Robert Hull, Rich DeMong, Betsy Flanagan, Jim Kennan, Marcus Martin, Bob Novak, Kathy Thornton, Ed Kitch)

 

Programmatic Initiatives

32. Create Thematic Institutes for Research and Public Service.

Establish thematic institutes drawing upon existing strengths in pivotal areas. Our most powerful outreach is done in those areas where our research is strong, where our scholarship both qualifies and obligates us to make a difference in the world around us. Our study of current programs show particular strengths in health and medicine, government and law, business and economic development, education, and instructional and information technology. These institutes would build on our faculty strengths, would be shaped by the pressing issues facing our society, and would have as an explicit goal the translation of research through outreach. Themes will be chosen that match Commonwealth needs, such as improvement in the health and welfare of the aged, and intelligent environmental management. Funds would be used within these institutes to provide startup funding for new projects, to expand established programs, and to match funding opportunities from private or governmental sources. For estimation purposes, we recommend the initial establishment of five institutes. See Appendix I—Institutional Coordination for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (Karin Wittenborg, Rich DeMong, Gene Block, Betsy Flanagan, Jay Lemons)

33. Establish Taskforce to Determine Future of Distance Learning at U.Va.

Significant advances in technology have made distance learning a feasible way to reach and serve new audiences and constituencies. The university's distance learning portfolio is small, but growing. There are many questions that must be addressed to ensure that the university's investment in distance learning results in educational experiences of high quality, that distance learning programs are cost-effective, and that technology is used appropriately to meet the educational needs of remote and diverse populations.

The commission recommends that the vice president and provost appoint a taskforce of the major stakeholders in distance learning. The purpose of the taskforce would be to recommend to the vice president and provost and cabinet policies to guide the university’s venture into distance learning. We recommend that the taskforce undertake its study during fall 2000, with an expectation of reporting to the vice president and provost by January 2001.

34. Invest in and Expand Speakers Bureau.

Provide new funds to launch a second speakers bureau on a pilot basis for one year administered through the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service. In 1999, the Faculty Senate, in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service and the Alumni Association, established a speakers bureau to provide faculty speakers to citizen and educational groups throughout the Commonwealth and U.Va. alumni clubs throughout the country.

The Faculty Senate Speakers Bureau was created to extend the intellectual community of U.Va. beyond the edges of the U.Va. Grounds; to provide a resource to the citizens of the Commonwealth; and to broaden and diversify the group of faculty who participate in informing, educating, and entertaining citizens of Virginia and alumni groups throughout the nation. In addition to providing a permanent, unified record of the outreach activities that many faculty conduct on an individual and largely unrecognized basis, the Faculty Senate Speakers Bureau recognizes that lectures and presentations are not just contributions on the part of individuals—they are also a service of the university as a whole and one of the benefits of having a nationally ranked research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To date, the Faculty Senate Speakers Bureau has been a largely volunteer effort on the part of the three offices involved, with minimal funds being invested to reimburse faculty travel expenses. We recommend that funds be invested to sustain the Faculty Senate Speakers Bureau, providing adequate funds for faculty travel and staff support. Since the establishment of the Faculty Senate Speakers Bureau, both general faculty and staff, including research fellows affiliate with the university, have indicated their willingness to volunteer time and expertise through speaking engagements on behalf of U.Va.

35. Increase Students’ Opportunities for Service Learning Through Fourth-Credit Option.

Enhance the role of service-learning by authorizing the "fourth-credit option." Service-learning is a pedagogical strategy to augment in classroom teaching with experiential learning through community service. Although many schools offer some form of internship or practicum experience as part of their curriculum, the university is well behind the leading innovators in service learning. There are opportunities to broaden the scope of service-learning at the university. If properly implemented, service-learning should add to classroom discussions making them more useful for students and faculty alike. Service-learning has also contributed to the faculty research.

The fourth-credit option is designed to encourage student initiative and faculty supervision to supplement classroom teaching with experiential learning through community service. Under the fourth-credit option, students would submit a proposal outlining a plan to enhance their classroom learning with learning through community service. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

36. Promote Activities to Bring Current Students and Alumni Together Through Service.

Work closely with its alumni to support their volunteer initiatives. In establishing Cavaliers Care Coast-to-Coast to encourage alumni service-based activities nationwide, the U.Va. Alumni Association and the Young Alumni Council are connecting with their memberships in novel ways. We recommend that the university promote activities that could bring current students and alumni together through volunteer service, such as alternative spring breaks and summer service projects. See Appendix J—Internal Climate for rationale, descriptions, and cost projections. (John Echeverri-Gent, Penny Rue, Dolly Prenzel, Virginia Collins)

 

Implementation and Evaluation

37. Solicit Input From All Segments of University Community.

Host a series of discussions throughout fall 2000 to present commission’s recommendations as suggested strategies. Use responses of faculty, staff, and students to shape recommendations and supporting plans and budgets.

38. Conduct "Mini" Fundraising Campaign to Support Public Service and Outreach.

A serious effort to meet public needs through outreach and service will require substantial financial investment. It is not feasible or desirable to fund public service by redesignating funds normally dedicated to the academic schools or other university needs. Therefore, it is essential to raise endowment funds to support these activities generally as well as gifts and grants to support special projects, programs or outreach efforts.

We recommend that the vice president for development devise a "mini-campaign" strategy to raise funds for public service and outreach. This would include a feasibility study, a case statement, "campaign" literature, a plan for donor identification, cultivation, and stewardship. A healthy fundraising effort for public service will involve the president, vice-presidents, deans of the school, and the full cooperation of the Development Office. The funds acquired by gift or grant should be used to address the priority projects identified in the priority setting process (see recommendation 9).

39. Assign Responsibility and Resources for Evaluation of Commission’s Recommendations.

Assign the University Advisory Committee for Public Service and Outreach and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service primary responsibility and resources for ensuring that appropriate evaluative measures are put in place and that the university’s progress on each recommendation is documented systematically. Without one or more offices being held responsible for documenting the impact of these recommendations, such evaluation will be easily overlooked. The expense and effort required to conduct ongoing evaluation and document findings cannot be underestimated. Appropriate funding should be allocated to support this evaluative process. Both entities will provide progress reports to Office of Institutional Planning and Assessment on some established cycle.

 

Supporting Specific Projects

Some individual projects, such as the Connected Community (David Kalergis and the Virginia Piedmont Technology Council) have been introduced to the commission in the past 18 months for possible endorsement. The commission may also wish to contact the following individuals for additional special projects related to public service and outreach that could be endorsed through the commission’s recommendations:

  1. Joint programs with U.Va.’s College at Wise (Jay Lemons)
  2. Medicine (Marcus Martin, Jim Kennan, Carolyn Engelhard, Doris Glick)
  3. Business (Mark Reisler)
  4. Architecture (Ken Schwartz)
  5. Education (Kathy Thornton, Hal Burbach, Sondra Stallard, Clo Phillips)
  6. Law (Ed Kitch)
  7. Information Services (Karin Wittenborg, Bob Reynolds, Dee Irwin)
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