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Public Service and Outreach Planning Commission

Meeting Minutes

March 10, 1999

 

Attendees:

Rebecca Kneedler (chair), Harold Burbach, Richard DeMong, John Echeverri-Gent, Caroline Engelhard, Robert Hull, David Kalergis, James Kennan, Dennis Kernahan, Edmund Kitch, Marcus Martin, Mark Reisler, Maunank Shah, Sondra Stallard, John Thomas, Ben Boggs, Virginia Collins, Laura Hawthorne, Dee Irwin, Denise Karaoli, Dolly Prenzel

Summary:

Commission members who attended the Science and Technology Commission meeting on March 9 discussed briefly the presentation from John Herr and the model of technology transfer that his research in pre-fertilization contraception provides. Laura Hawthorne reported on progress with the inventory of public service activities at the University. As she continues to examine programs, she will contact commission members for help in compiling information about their respective schools and centers. Ben Boggs reported on progress in beginning the benchmarking process and asked members’ for their feedback and suggestions. Major groupings would include health and medicine; business and economic development; science and technology; government; and education. From benchmarking, the discussion moved to a continuation of earlier discussions about finalizing a working definition of public service. Although "civic engagement" is a term in vogue, members prefer not using the term because of potential misunderstanding. Members reached a reasonable consensus for a working definition, phrased in these two ways: 1) The application of University of Virginia-based expertise to issues of concern to the greater community, and 2) Harnessing and directing the intellectual resources of the University of Virginia to promote and enhance the economic, intellectual, social, and physical well being of the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond.

 Actions to be taken:

  • Laura Hawthorne will contact commission members for information related to the inventory of public service programs and activities.
  • Members’ suggestions and feedback are welcomed on the benchmarking process report given by Ben Boggs.
  • Rebecca Kneedler will e-mail members before the next meeting with "homework" for their response and feedback.
  • Members should bring packets received at first meeting to next meeting.

 

Next meeting:

  • Wednesday, March 24, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., Newcomb Hall Room 389.

 

Expanded notes:

The third meeting of the Public Service and Outreach Planning Commission was held March 10, 1999, from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. in Newcomb Hall Room 389.

The meeting began with introductions and re-introductions. Maunank Shah (COL ’98) has joined the commission. He is the AmeriCorps outreach coordinator for Madison House and has been instrumental in coordinating student service endeavors under the umbrella of Virginia Service Coalition.

Several members attended the Science and Technology Commission meeting on March 9 and heard a presentation by John Herr, director of the Center for Recombinant Gamete Contraceptive Vaccinogens. In summary, Dr. Herr’s research in the area of pre-fertilization contraception provides a model of technology successfully moving into the marketplace but not at the sacrifice of academic integrity. This initiative also captures the spirit of the Bayh-Dole Act, which enables universities to own patents on their research even if federally funded.

Laura Hawthorne reported on progress with the inventory of public service activities at the University. She will conduct the inventory in two areas, with greater emphasis on the area of U.Va.’s programs. Individual efforts by faculty (followed by an eventual examination of efforts by students, classified staff, and general faculty) will be the other area. She projects having by April preliminary information on who U.Va. serves and what is the expanse of service provided. She has begun her work with the schools and centers represented by commission members.

Ben Boggs reported on progress with beginning the benchmarking process. He presented an outline of four topical areas: major challenges of identifying public service and outreach benchmarks; major groupings within the commission (these include health and medicine, business and economic development, science and technology, government, and education); establishment of criteria; suggested peer models and schools to be considered initially. During discussion, a number of points were offered:

  • Perhaps the commission should look for one or more common denominators when identifying peer institutions – for example, endowment per student; funding resources; the presence of a public service office. A simple survey might be a useful tool.
  • Major groupings might also include sports because of their contribution to the community.
  • It was suggested that schools to be considered initially be selected in accordance with the major groupings (see above list).
  • Policy profiles of other institutions should be studied.
  • Need to determine what outcomes we value. What are our public service and outreach goals?

From benchmarking, the discussion moved to a continuation of earlier discussions about defining public service. Members reached a reasonable consensus for a working definition, phrased in these two ways: 1) The application of University of Virginia-based expertise to issues of concern to the greater community, and 2) Harnessing and directing the intellectual resources of the University of Virginia to promote and enhance the economic, intellectual, social, and physical well being of the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond. Several key points arose during the discussion:

  • Although "civic engagement" is a term in vogue right now, it would be less understood by the public and therefore is not very desirable as part of U.Va.’s public service lexicon.
  • Michigan State University defines teaching, research, and public service as functions of knowledge. On the other hand, outreach cuts across all three areas, and examples can vary greatly.
  • The definition selected for public service needs to align with the University’s mission.
  • Academic activities also can be included in realm of public service. For example, the Medical Academic Advancement Program and the Minority Medical Education Program meet special needs of those students attending or preparing to attend medical school at U.Va.

 

Rebecca Kneedler reminded the group that she would be asking for their thoughts and feedback via e-mail before the next meeting. She also asked them to bring their packets to the next meeting so materials can be revised.

President Casteen will speak and respond to questions from commission members at the next meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, 1999, 8:30 - 10 a.m., Newcomb Hall Room.

 

Prepared by:
Virginia C. Collins
3/23/99

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