Service-Learning & Civic Engagement


Faculty Service-Learning Committee
Monday April 23, 2012, 2:00 p.m.
Community Engagement Center
417 West 200 South

I. Call to Order

Earl Mulderink called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. In attendance: Lisa Assante (BUS), Pam Branin (CEC), Veronica Cazares (CEC), Shayla Hill (Student), Karl Stevens (SCPS), Cindy Wright (COSE). Excused: Briget Eastep (EDU), Boyd Fife (COSE), Jeff Hanson (PVA), Wynne Summers (HSS)

II. Approval of Minutes

Minutes were approved for the meeting of March 26, 2012.

III. Reports

A. Earl Mulderink, Chair

Earl reported that he and Pam attended the Continuums of Service Conference in Seattle where Pam had two posters and Earl had one, plus a roundtable. Earl thanked everyone for supporting the CEC's "Thank you Event" that most agreed was very successful. For next year's Service-Learning Committee meetings, we will try to find a time that better meets everyone's schedule. Earl updated the committee on UNIV 3925, as all but three proposals were approved in the Community Engagement track, the most popular one of the five centers. Jazzy Barney, Brittney Park, and Amy Heaps Whitmore are 2012 Service-Learning Scholars. Earl apprised the committee of Utah Campus Compact news, including information about AmeriCorps/VISTA and the status of finalists for the position of Executive Director. The Community Engagement Center will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12 noon during the summer, and CEC staff members are planning a retreat at the end of June.

B. Pam Branin, Associate Director of the Community Engagement Center

Pam reported that the Continuums of Service Conference was very valuable and she will be using keynote speaker Eric Liu's book for service leaders next year. Following interviews with all applicants, Pam and Gabrielle selected nineteen new service leaders for the 2012-2013 school year. Pam attended a presentation in Matt Barton's class on 72-hour emergency kits for SUU students, a service-learning project.

C. Other Reports

Lisa Assante noted that about 300 people attended the "Tropical Fusion" dinner organized by her service-learning students, and she reported on students' capstone efforts at Red Mountain Resort (nearly 900 service hours) in Spring 2012.

IV. New Business

A. Discussion of "Service" Criteria (re: Jeff Barnes)

In an interesting and wide-ranging discussion, committee members talked about materials shared by Jeff Barnes that addressed criteria for documenting "service" that might include off-campus faith-based activities by faculty/staff. We talked about the meaning of "service," "callings," religious and faith-based volunteering, student service hours versus faculty/staff service, role models, SUU's value of "personal and social responsibility," and other topics. We agreed upon the need to find better ways to document all service that connects the campus and community. We acknowledged that most of our service-oriented tracking and reporting is necessarily focused on students, not faculty/staff. We are eager for any tracking and reporting to not be cumbersome or intrusive. Perhaps we could promote a broader connection to the "Food and Faiths" initiative. Some wondered about the separation of church and state at a public university. Final thoughts centered on tracking different types of service while making sure that we document service that is intentional, reflective, and inclusive where possible.

B. Discussion of "Service Learning" and Community Engagement" at SUU

Earl initiated discussion by expressing his wish that SUU might transition away from "service-learning" and toward a broader conception of "community engaged" learning, much like the University of Utah and other colleges and universities. This change will compel us to revise criteria, processes, and policies in a multi-year effort. Committee members raised issues and questions, and some suggested that delay might prove beneficial.

V. Old Business

VI. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.