Members of the Provost’s Council for Engagement gather for a group photo.
What is engaged scholarship? How does it impact teaching, learning and service at Colorado State University? Those are just two of the questions that a newly formed faculty-led initiative will be tackling.
The Provost’s Council for Engagement is in its formative stages. Provost Rick Miranda and Vice President for Engagement Lou Swanson convened the council, made up of a dozen faculty members representing all eight colleges and Morgan Library, who were nominated by their respective deans.
Council members will serve as champions for advancing the practice and recognition of engaged scholarship as fully embedded within CSU’s core teaching, research, and service missions. Members include:
- Meena Balgopal, associate professor of science education, Department of Biology;
- Martin Carcasson, professor of Communication Studies and director of the Center for Public Deliberation;
- Christine Fruhauf, associate professor, Department of Human Development and Family Studies;
- Frank Garry, professor, Department of Clinical Sciences;
- Neil Grigg, professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;
- Tobi Jacobi, professor, Department of English and director of the Community Literacy Center;
- Jennifer Martin, assistant professor, Department of Animal Sciences;
- Tracy Nelson, professor, Department of Health and Exercise Sciences and associate director, Colorado School of Public Health;
- Robin Reid, professor, Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation;
- Patti Rettig, head archivist, Water Resources Archive at Morgan Library;
- Bill Schuster, professor, Department of Management;
- Wade Troxell, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Meet the Provost’s Council
Each month, we will profile a different faculty/staff member of the Provost’s Council for Engagement, who in their own words will help to showcase the diversity of engaged scholarship across campus, as well as the impact of this work on communities and the university.
The council also includes several ex-officio members representing university administration with a strong interest in promoting and supporting engagement at CSU:
- Jim Cooney, vice provost for International Programs
- Mary Ontiveros, vice president for Diversity
- Ashley Stokes, assistant vice president for Engagement and deputy director of CSU Extension
- Mark Wdowik, assistant vice president for Research and Industry Partnerships
“We’re very excited that our new Provost’s Engagement Council has attracted such an energetic and diverse set of faculty and staff from around the institution to help us drive our engagement efforts forward at a faster pace,” Provost Rick Miranda said. “The Council will work to advise us on policy changes related to opportunities, to incentives, to partnerships, and to student involvement, with a goal of taking our already strong engagement initiatives to the next level.”
Spinoff of IEP designation
The Council for Engagement emerged as a recommendation from the university’s recent Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Designation from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. APLU also awarded CSU one of its top honors for its impact on regional economic development.
The IEP process included an extensive self-study that identified key strengths and opportunities for the university in its role as an economic partner. The council was formed in direct response to campus and community feedback encouraging better support and recognition for faculty involvement in a variety of economic development activities, such as research collaborations with industry and communities.
“Our number one priority is to shine a light on the level of engagement that already exists,” said council member Robin Reid. “Being an engaged faculty member has let me find my ‘calling’ and really see what can be accomplished. Universities, by uniting our research and education goals and putting those in service of communities, are very powerful agents of change.”
The engaged institution embodies the goals and purposes of public and land-grant universities like Colorado State. According to APLU’s Council on Engagement and Outreach, discovery and learning are integrated and enriched through engagement to allow for more effective creation, application, and then re-creation of knowledge that serves society’s needs.
A renewed approach to engagement is emerging at public institutions across the country, motivated by the understanding that not all knowledge and expertise reside in universities, but also reside in non-academic settings.
Council members plan to actively pursue opportunities for elevating engaged scholarship at Colorado State. The group’s early discussions suggest a variety of efforts spanning education, promotion, policy and programming.
“Our deans and vice-presidents are keenly aware of the efforts of the Provost’s Council, but the council is purposely being led by – and directed at – faculty,” said Swanson. “This faculty-inspired endeavor is at the heart of engaged scholarship and will bring to light the shining examples of engagement across our campus.”
For questions about the council, contact Paula Mills in the Office of Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org.