November 3, 2000 Minutes

Civic Engagement Task Force

Minutes from Friday November 3, 2000

Present: Robert Bringle, Julie Hatcher, Victor Borden, Susan Hamilton, Susan Kahn, Jackie Blackwell, Trudy Banta The multiple purposes for the Task Force were presented. These include

  • the current revision of the IUPUI Mission/Vision statement,
  • the need to inventory campus activities in the community,
  • the relationship of activities to campus activities to annual reports, planning, and budgeting
  • campus accreditation in 2002
  • the Brain Gain Task Force, which is focused on experiential education
  • the Urban Universities Portfolio Project
  • national initiatives that include the revision of the Carnegie classification system and the rating system by U.S. News and World Report

The relationship of this Task Force to the group that was convened by Vice-Chancellor Sullivan last year was described and a summary of that group"s work was distributed. The memo from Dean Plater on the NCA self-study and site visit contains a brief description of the Task Force and places it in the context of accreditation. Two draft versions of the "Vision of IUPUI" (6/5/00 & 6/19/00) were distributed. A summary of the UUPP (8/15/00) was distributed along with a summary of the Hays Mansion Conference Center meeting (10/15-17/00) that mentions key points about Carnegie classification and U.S. News and World Report.

An issue that the CETF must consider is the definition of civic engagement: What constitutes civic engagement and how can it best be differentiated from the other two areas of the Vision statement (Effective Student Learning & Excellent Research and Scholarship) and the other special emphasis self-study area of accreditation (Effective Student Learning). The campus inventory of civic engagement activities that was used by the CPSL in Spring, 2000 was distributed as one example of an operationalization of civic engagement. A figure from Bringle, Games, & Malloy (1999) was also distributed. The discussion highlighted a range of possibilities for defining civic engagement that ranged from it being (a) the application of professional faculty skills in the community (too narrow) to (b) everything that IUPUI does having civic implications (too broad). The CETF will need to offer a preliminary definition of civic engagement in order for its work to proceed.

It was agreed that the to be completed by the CETF will be a delineation of the "Exemplary Civic Engagement" section of the IUPUI Vision statement. Victor Borden distributed a copy of sample "performance indicators" with examples of indicators, operational measures, and source of data. A draft copy of the report form the IUPUI Board of Advisors and a copy of N. Thomas"s (NERCHE) types of outreach were distributed. The discussion focused on clarifying the nature of delineation that should be in the Vision statement: should it be (a) based on types of activities (Thomas"s list, Bringle et al."s Venn diagram), or (b) content areas (Sullivan"s list, Board of Advisor"s list, other lists gleaned from community sources). The value of using types of activities is that it organizes activities in institutional terms for presentation to internal and external audiences. The value of content areas is that they state directions for campus focus that are coordinated with community needs/issues/priorities. It was acknowledged that a synthesis of these two approaches is possible with content areas leading types of activities in the organization, or vice versa.

This is a key issue that must be decided in order for the work of the CETF to proceed. Task Force members are asked to read the materials and bring their ideas about how the Vision statement for Exemplary Civic Engagement could be delineated to the next meeting. It may be helpful to use Borden"s list and matrix as an example of what each member should bring (with enough copies to distribute).

The Task Force will need to keep several issues in mind in planning activities associated with its work:

  1. Surveying, soliciting, and consulting with community resources (persons, agencies, publications) for issues/problems/needs that are identified as significant for the central Indiana area. Trudy has supplied a number of written reports that will need to be considered by the task force.
  2. Obtaining broader campus participation that will represent diverse academic and nonacademic interests, provide input and feedback, and facilitate understanding and acceptance of the Task Force"s work. The Task Force will need to develop a plan for this component.
  3. In addition to providing a framework for inventorying and evaluating civic engagement, the Task Force will need to integrate (a) campus work and resources with (b) community interests to produce (c) a visionary civic agenda for IUPUI.

NEXT MEETING: November 21, 2000, 3 to 5:30, Payton Library in the University Library, Room UL 2115 J.