Community Engagement

WSU students participating in community engagement

Preamble: We encourage every faculty member, administrator, and student to participate in meaningful, sustainable, and mutually beneficial relationships with our community. We believe that experiential learning and community service are vital to our academic mission.

Goal 1: Continue to Enhance Our Leadership in the Revitalization of Detroit

By aligning our community engagement with our academic mission, we will increase our focus on developing innovative solutions to urban challenges and enhance our visibility as a thought leader.

Objectives

  • Encourage and facilitate faculty and student research dedicated to solving Detroit's and the region's most pressing challenges (including exploring K-12 readiness) and increase funding for this research
  • Develop mission-aligned, community-based programs involving students, faculty, staff, and local residents to achieve economic growth in Detroit
  • Enhance the visibility of the Detroit Revitalization Fellows and other university programs that contribute to the revitalization of the city
  • Become a thought leader in understanding and addressing urban and regional challenges
  • Align the university's community engagement with its academic mission
  • Collaborate with local and national media to enhance the visibility of the university's involvement in the revitalization of the city and the region
  • Prioritize engagement with community organizations based on mission alignment and effectiveness
  • Increase the number and strength of collaboration with labor, industry, and the business community
  • Coordinate the collaboration of higher education institutions participating in the revitalization of Detroit

Goal 2: Develop Innovative, Meaningful, Sustainable, and Mutually Beneficial Community-Based Service-Learning Experiences

We will strategically enhance our community engagement through its infusion in our curricula, a greater on-campus presence of community leaders, and the encouragement of volunteerism and service-learning. We will increase the effectiveness through data-driven coordination and collaboration.

Objectives

  • Integrate community service and volunteerism into the curricula and provide more opportunities for faculty, students, and staff to participate
  • Encourage all undergraduate and graduate students to engage in sustainable community service-learning experiences (which will enable them to be better prepared for their careers and instill a lifelong commitment to giving back and an appreciation of community-based knowledge and insights)
  • Establish academic programs/courses focused around Detroit and Southeast Michigan's┬áurban challenges (bankruptcy, urban health issues, educational preparedness, etc.)
  • Invite local community leaders and groups aligned with our mission to the university to raise awareness, host on-campus events, etc.
  • Create a coordinated system/database to track and synthesize community engagement efforts

Goal 3: Maintain and Enhance the University's Institutional Reputation of High-Quality Community Engagement

Although the university engages in numerous activities designed to benefit the community, the lack of coordination and thematic publicity results in lackluster recognition. We will strategically participate in community engagement.

Objectives

  • Provide opportunities for the president, Board of Governors, alumni, and key university officials to interact in the community and establish strong relationships with key business, civic, and community leaders
  • Assess and refocus the President's Community Advisory Group to ensure a more engaged and productive advisory relationship with the president, the vice president of government and community affairs, the chief diversity officer, and other appropriate university administrators
  • Maintain an active leadership role in addressing the challenges of the city and region and contributing to the quality of life of its citizens
  • Participate in local, state, and national dialogues addressing urban issues
  • Ensure the strategic presence of WSU representatives on relevant boards of directors, task forces, and committees of organizations and institutions, particularly those impacting the city and region
  • Participate actively in civic and community events and programs
  • Publish an annual report of the university's community engagement activities