Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Registrar’s Conference Room, 12 Noon

Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:12 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Karl Stevens (SCPS), and Lacie Jo Robinson (Student). Excused: Steve Barney (HSS), Scott Hansen (CIET).

Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of April 23, 2008, were approved with one correction to: “Lisa Assante was selected as the T-Bird Professor of the Year.” Congratulations, Lisa!


A. Chair

Earl welcomed everyone to the first committee meeting of 2008-2009. Under the broad topic of “continuing areas of focus/promotion this year,” the committee discussed the following items:

Service-Learning Course Designation
After distributing copies of the criteria and process for designating “service-learning” courses (from the SL&CE web site), Earl suggested that SUU aim for twenty (20) new “S-L” courses this year. In response, committee members mentioned that they knew of at least nine potential courses: two in Psychology, two in English, two in Business, two in Outdoor Recreation, and one in Graphic Design. Earl asked committee members to “spread the word” with another goal of having at least one official “S-L” course in every department or discipline at SUU.

Faculty Fellows
It is proposed that our committee sponsor a third year of Service-Learning Fellows, each to receive an honorarium of $750. Earl encouraged committee members to inform faculty in their areas about these awards.

Service-Learning Enhancement Grants (SLEG)
Similar to last year, $2,000 of the Civic Engagement budget has been set aside for the SLEG mini-grant program, with applications and reporting materials located on our web site. Because this allocation is small, Earl suggested that grants be disbursed on a “first-come, first-served” basis.

Service-Learning Scholar Program
Earl distributed a reformatted version of the criteria for the undergraduate Service-Learning Scholar Program, urging committee members to inform colleagues and students about this wonderful learning opportunity. Pam mentioned that six students are in the “pipeline” this year, and that five students have earned distinction by completing the program requirements – two last year, and three the previous year.

Consultants’ Visit by Kathleen Rice and Nadinne Cruz
As part of our committee’s task to provide training and resources to faculty, staff, and students, service-learning consultants Kathleen Rice and Nadinne Cruz visited campus on August 19-20, 2008. Earl expressed his gratitude to the offices of President Benson, Provost Decker, and Vice President Curtis for their generous funding support. With workshops over two days targeted at faculty, community partners, student leaders, administrators, and staff, Rice and Cruz provided direction and resources for becoming a “more engaged” university. Some of their materials have been posted to our SL&CE web site for campus use.

SUU’s Capital Campaign
Earl discussed his and Pam’s ongoing involvement in the Capital Campaign. In the most recent incarnation of institutional funding priorities, service-learning and civic engagement are grouped with other areas as part of “The SUU Experience” with a goal of $5 million.

Develop More Promotional Materials
Earl mentioned his wish to create an archive of photographs, videos, and other materials for use in developing brochures, fliers, podcasts, and other media. Jeff Hanson will continue to spearhead the integration and revamping of the SL&CE web site. Jeff asked that the web site updates be a recurrent agenda item and spoke of plans to meet with Pam and others as needed. Earl mentioned that he did not expect to allocate funds to hire student assistants this year for web site development. Earl talked about the need for a display outside his new office space in ADMN 303D (shared with Lynn White and UGRASP), and he noted his thanks to Provost Decker for providing excellent office space, furniture, and a computer. Finally, Earl shared copies of the most recent weekly listserve announcement sent by Pam Branin to about 500 recipients. Pam was asked to place all committee members on the distribution list, and she in turn welcomed our announcements for this effective form of communication.

Curriculum Development
After distributing copies of a sample UNIV 2120 syllabus, Earl suggested that our committee make it a priority for UNIV 2120 (or a similar course) to be reintroduced into the curriculum, along with an upper-level version, possibly UNIV 4120 (or similar number). Briget mentioned that we could also seek a graduate-level service-learning course. Pam, Briget, Karl, and Lisa volunteered to assist Earl in creating the necessary course proposals and to visit with college and university curriculum committees. As another curricular issue, Earl reported that he had submitted to the Study Abroad Advisory Committee a proposal for an international service-learning program in Kenya for Summer 2009. He expressed his wish that SUU develop other international service-learning opportunities by working from successful “Alternative Break” trips to Mexico in Spring and Winter.

Other Items for Committee’s Consideration

  • Earl mentioned his desire that we work more closely with SUU’s Regional Services and community partners. In discussing the need for strategic planning, Earl stated his appreciation for Brian Cottam’s work in overseeing such a process for SUU’s Outdoor Initiative, and perhaps we could follow suit.
  • Earl raised a concern about strengthening the Faculty Service-Learning Committee by encouraging full participation and possibly by expanding committee membership. Several names were suggested as additions to the committee, and an excellent suggestion was offered to “rotate” deans and others by inviting them to attend our meetings.
  • A copy of the proposed SL&CE budget for 2008-2009 was distributed with the same total funding as last year ($20,000). Earl briefly explained some of the funding categories and allocations, all of which are similar to those of last year.
  • Pam Branin briefly recapped the hugely successful “Fired Up” event that took place before Fall Semester classes began. About 1,200 freshmen and SUU administrators, faculty, and staff joined in a variety of service activities throughout Cedar City during a “Super Saturday.” Pam and Lacie Jo were applauded for their excellent work in planning this great event. Pam suggested that there is strong support from VP Donna Eddleman’s office for similar service activities next year, perhaps with a “Summer Reader” that could inspire and educate incoming freshmen.

B. Other Reports

All reports and comments were integrated into the above discussion.

Meeting adjourned at 1:10 PM.