Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Registrar’s Conference Room, 12 Noon

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 12:02 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Beau Shakespear (Student), Karl Stevens (SCPS), and Cindy Wright (SCI). Excused: Steve Barney (HSS), Boyd Fife (CIET), Matt Nickerson (Honors and Library), Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center).

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of April 15, 2009, were approved without changes.

III. Reports

A. Chair’s Report

Earl Mulderink welcomed everyone to the new Service & Learning Center and mentioned new committee members Beau Shakespeare (Student), Boyd Fife (CIET), and Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center Administrative Assistant). Earl reiterated the meeting schedule for Fall 2009 on Wednesdays at 12 Noon on October 21, November 18, and December 2. He urged members to review the updated SL&CE web site. He and Pam Branin invited everyone to the S&L Center’s official open house on Friday, October 23, between 5:30 and 7:30. In Utah Campus Compact news, Betsy Ward, formerly Director of the Thayne Center at Salt Lake Community College, will begin on October 1 as the UCC’s new executive director.

Continuing his report, Earl raised several issues related to international service and service-learning. 1) Committee members were urged to attend Convocation on October 13 when Ben Peterson’s film, “Dado,” will be showcased, followed by a panel discussion of service and service-learning in Guaymas, Mexico. 2) Earl is planning another attempt at a service-learning program in Kenya in Summer 2010; he awaits approval from the Study Abroad Committee. 3) A variety of Alternative Winter and Spring Break trips are planned by Pam Branin, the Rural Health Scholars, and others; destinations include Mexico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, and a Native American Reservation near Pipe Spring National Monument. 4) SUU is nearing approval of a new travel policy that will prohibit students younger than eighteen from participating in SUU’s trips out of the country.

Earl next distributed a proposed civic engagement budget for this year, noting that total funding had dropped $2,000 (10%) from last year’s allocation. He suggested that we suspend the Service-Learning Enhancement Grant program in the amount of $2,000 so that proposed expenses will meet the yearly allocation of $18,000. He welcomes budget suggestions, particularly as we move through the fiscal year that will probably bring more budget cuts to SUU. Finally, Earl distributed recent copies of the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse Newsletter and urged committee members to subscribe to and use other NSLC resources through our SL&CE web site.

B. Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center

Pam highlighted benefits of the new S&L Center by emphasizing its ample storage space and high quality renovation work donated by the Jacobson Construction Company. With the support of thirty (30) student service-leaders, Pam foresees an active year with many events, including a yard sale on October 9-10. Pam reported on a variety of alternative break trips that will cost $435 per student with registration open on October 1. Information booths about the trips and an evening event are scheduled on September 30 in the Sharwan Smith Center. Pam discussed her ongoing work with student service leaders, such as Beau Shakespeare who sits on our committee, and Tina Swadley, who is doing great work in encouraging service-learning among faculty and administrators in the Sorenson College of Education. Finally, Pam mentioned an entirely new program this year in which student volunteers assist with reading at the Paiute Tribal Center in Cedar City on four days a week.

IV. New Business

A. President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

After distributing a brief summary of this national program, Earl stated that he and Pam Branin are willing to facilitate SUU’s application, due October 29, 2009, and both believe the chances of success are excellent. Committee members unanimously endorsed this initiative, a sentiment to be conveyed to SUU’s administrators as we move forward. Pam and Earl will coordinate the application process and materials.

B. Public Relations Efforts

Earl distributed a few examples of recent news and public relations materials and turned time over to Briget Eastep. Briget suggested that our committee identify potential service-learning courses and urge instructors to seek official service-learning course designation. She also brought examples of flyers to distribute on campus to publicize the Service Learning Scholar Program and faculty development initiatives. Earl talked about other possible avenues for public relations, including an electronic newsletter that builds on Pam’s weekly listserve, and the use of new technologies (e.g. Facebook and Twitter). A subcommittee, chaired by Briget Eastep, was formed with Jeff Hanson, Beau Shakespeare, Karl Stevens, and Earl Mulderink. They will work on plans and materials prior to our next committee meeting.

C. Service-Learning Course Proposal Criteria

Earl shared copies of SUU’s extant policies and process regarding the designation of official service-learning courses, along with two examples of liability and risk waiver documents. He suggested that we review the information and develop a generic liability statement for inclusion in all service-learning courses. Briget raised the issue of emergency planning, and it was suggested that we contact SUU’s new risk manager and Mike Carter, university counsel. A subcommittee, chaired by Lisa Assante, will address these issues before our next full committee meeting; other members include Steve Barney, Pam Branin, Cindy Wright, and Earl Mulderink.

D. Curricular Issues and Course Proposals

1. Nursing 4435, Rebecca Rasmusson

A decision was deferred until the service-learning course criteria are reviewed by the subcommittee.

2. New University-wide S-L Courses

Earl promised to put together materials for our next meeting that examine potential university-wide service-learning courses (e.g., 2120, 4120, 5120). He explained that he may draw from California State University Monterey Bay and other universities with established service-learning programs. One aim is to have introductory, advanced, and perhaps graduate-level service-learning course options available to all disciplines and colleges. Committee members expressed support for courses that are variable credit, repeatable, gradable, and fulfill service-learning expectations. (Currently, the one university-wide service-learning course, 2120, is one-credit, taught on a pass/fail basis, and available as a college-designated class.)

E. Other

No other new business.

V. Old Business

VI. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 1:20 PM.