Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Service & Learning Center
185 S. 300 West

I. Call to Order
Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order just after 12:00 PM. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Steve Barney (HSS), Pam Branin (CSD), Briget Eastep (EDU), Boyd Fife (CIET), Cindy Wright (SCI), Lacie Jo Robinson (S&L Center). Excused: Jeff Hanson (PVA), Matt Nickerson (Honors and Library), Beau Shakespear (Student), Karl Stevens (SCPS). Guests: Betsy Ward, Executive Director of the Utah Campus Compact; Tracy Healey, Administrative Assistant, UCC; Keri Mecham, SUU Director of Student Involvement and Leadership.

II. Approval of Minutes
Minutes for the meeting of October 18, 2009, were approved without changes.

III. Reports
A. Chair’s Report
After welcoming our special guests and initiating a round of introductions, Earl began with recent public relations efforts by Pam Branin and himself. One or both of them have attended events (Majors Fair, HSS Focus Week), offered FASSST presentations, and updated web site and listserve information. Earl shared an article from the University Journal that mentioned the Service-Learning Scholar program. Next, he distributed a news release and short summary from the Western Region Campus Compact Consortium about their online faculty survey completed in Spring 2009. (Betsy Ward mentioned that she would be sharing a 60-page document related to SUU’s data from the survey.) Earl next encouraged committee members to submit a conference proposal for the forthcoming UCC annual conference on civic engagement in February 2010, and distributed the call for papers. He hoped to see a contingent from SUU participate in the conference and anticipated that travel funding will be provided by our civic engagement budget.

Another handout focused on grant review opportunities with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and publishing possibilities with the Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. Earl next talked about SUU’s recent application for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and distributed a spreadsheet that showed over 40,000 hours of students’ service and service-learning in 2008-2009. He encouraged committee members to respond to his requests for data so we can better document our institution’s efforts. Next, Earl shared an updated list of official service-learning courses at SUU along with potential “S-L” classes. He then mentioned his plans to update and distribute the committee’s letter to publicize the next round of Service-Learning Fellows applications against a deadline of early March 2010. Finally, he asked about committee preferences for the next meeting and it was agreed to gather on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 12 Noon.

B. Pam Branin, Coordinator of the Service & Learning Center
Pam first spoke about the Open House for the new Service & Learning Center held on October 23 and thanked many people for their assistance. She discussed the Alternative Winter Break trip to Mexico and reported that she and Jeb Branin would be traveling to Guaymas, Mexico, during Thanksgiving Week to bring supplies and donations. Pam mentioned that, for the next two years, she and the S&L Center will be coordinating the local Holiday Assistance Program.

IV. New Business
A. Discussion with UCC Executive Director Betsy Ward.

Betsy Ward provided a brief introduction and responded to questions and comments. She is visiting all USHE campuses to meet with service directors and service-learning faculty and staff. She and Tracy are continuing to operate out of the Regents’ building and have stable funding at present. Betsy expected that UCC will continue to serve all campuses despite their diverse individual needs.

B. Public Relations Efforts (Subcommittee chaired by Briget Eastep)

Briget distributed copies of her subcommittee’s report and explained most of the specific recommendations. Some of these efforts are already underway, and Briget reminded us that we will revisit the plan in May 2010 to see what we have accomplished. Other suggestions included participating in SUU’s Distinguished Scholars Day and making effective use of Google Docs as Briget did with her report.

C. Service-Learning Course Proposal Criteria (Subcommittee chaired by Lisa Assante)

Lisa briefly explained what she and her subcommittee had accomplished and asked for feedback from all committee members. A brief discussion ensued about the minimum number of hours and/or weighting for a course to be termed “service-learning.” Also, we discussed liability and safety issues, and Pam Branin explained how the S&L Center handles and pays for background checks for students who work with “vulnerable” populations and groups. This issue needs further discussion, as noted by Lisa and others. Earl agreed to send out the proposed course application form (a PDF file) prepared by Lisa’s student assistant, Rebecca Nielsen, and asked everyone to direct their comments to Lisa prior to the next committee meeting.

V. Old Business
A. Curricular Issues and Course Proposals

Earl stated that he had contacted the following faculty members to explain that we have yet to consider their applications because we are reviewing the criteria and process for service-learning courses.
1. Nursing (Rebecca Rasmussen)
2. Management (Alan Hamlin)

VI. Adjournment
Meeting adjourned at 1:25 PM.