Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Meeting Minutes
Tuesday, December 6, 2005
Registrar’s Conference Room, 4 PM

Meeting was called to order by Earl Mulderink at 4:05 PM. In attendance: Owen Anderson (EDU), Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), John Bryner (LIB), Mark Grover (SCI), Larry Johnson (PVA), Blair McDonald (CIET), Neal Cox (Student Services), Jo Kremin (Student Representative). Excused: Matt Nickerson (Honors Program), PVA, Karl Stevens (SCPS), Denise Woodbury (BUS).

Approval of Minutes (November 8, 2005)
Minutes approved by unanimous consent with no changes.

Chair’s Report
Earl invited everyone to discuss their experience with service-learning, noting the variety of practices and knowledge among committee members. As an extra-special treat, committee members received a copy of the Service-Learning Toolkit, Second edition, to read and share as needed. Earl opined that this publication is the best available source about service-learning, and he urged committee members to share it (or excerpts) with faculty colleagues. (Purchase of these materials was provided by a working budget for service-learning and civic engagement activities this year, coordinated by Patrick Clarke, Director of the Student Success Center.)

As part of his report, Earl distributed other information from the Utah Campus Compact: copies of the Weekly Digest, a summary of the Faculty Engagement Inventory results, a template for the Community Partners survey, and information about the Dialogue on Democracy held in Salt Lake City on November 17, 2005. In addition, he briefly mentioned the forthcoming 2006 Moab Engaged Scholar Institute in February 2005 and reviewed his visit to the Lowell Bennion Center at the University of Utah. He asked for input for his planned meeting with President Bennion on December 8, and then reviewed public relations efforts about service-learning at SUU and other USHE campuses. Finally, he distributed a brief handout about opportunities for faculty publications.

New Business
A. Following distribution of documents relating to SUU’s Mission, Vision, and Core Values, the committee discussed how service-learning and civic engagement relate to these principles.
Clearly, service-learning should be central to the university’s strategic plan and its various components.

B. Earl distributed results of the Utah Campus Compact Member Survey, and urged that special attention be paid to SUU’s high response rate and documented success with service-learning.

C. Although no plans or assignments were finalized, the committee discussed optimal ways to delegate responsibilities among its members. Several areas deserve special attention: Web Site Revisions, LRT Policies and Consideration, Public Relations, Funding Opportunities, Faculty Development and Training, and Student-Faculty Cooperation (e.g., Service-Learning Scholar Program or Faculty/Student Community-Based Research). Under the category of “Other,” a point was made about developing an Advisory Board that would link campus and off-campus constituencies. In addition, we discussed ways to incorporate student input and voices into the committee’s multifaceted efforts. A point was made about using extant DVD’s to promote service-learning, along with faculty presentations at LunchBytes and similar forums.

We then went around the table and each member of the committee was asked to express their primary concerns, interests, and skills as they relate to service-learning. Below is a brief recapitulation: Mark (better public relations, especially with community partners), Larry (learn more about service-learning), Blair (involve faculty more, perhaps through an applied research center), Steve (develop funding and other support for faculty, including release time and address workload issues), John (use the Faculty Center to promote training), Owen (public relations to faculty), Neal (inventory of need, including those of the community at large), Pam (promote service-learning), Jo (develop good interactions with faculty advisors), Renee (incorporate staff perspectives and talents into service-learning activities). The discussion emphasized the many and varied interests of our committee members – and highlighted the different directions in which we can move forward.

The next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, January 17, 2006, at 4 PM.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:25 PM.