partners community and academe in works that produce
"a public good"
A new UND Center for Community Engagement approved
in September by the State Board of Higher Education
will place much of its emphasis on “public scholarship,”
says its first director, Lana Rakow, professor of
Public scholarship, she explains, includes scholarly
and creative work in the public interest, scholarship
planned and carried out in cooperation with community
partners, and academic work that produces a “public
good” such as exhibits, performances, and broadly
accessible research results.
The other focus of the Center, which reports to the
University’s vice president for academic affairs,
will be “experiential learning” in which
students earn credit outside the traditional classroom.
Vice President for Research Peter Alfonso welcomed
both program thrusts of the new Center, noting that
the concept addresses a number of Legislative roundtable
recommendations that advocate a closer connection
between higher education and the economic and social
vitality of the state.
“The University of North Dakota has an excellent
record of research and scholarship directly connected
to meeting real-life challenges of the world outside
the campus,” he said. “In fact, many of
the articles in the current issue of the University’s
research magazine, UND Discovery, report upon such
projects that focus on the engagement theme.”
Rakow said the University had recently completed a
large-scale survey of potential community partners
in North Dakota with very positive results, and that
interested faculty were meeting regularly on the campus.
She said the agenda for the public scholarship project
• Seeking external funds to support UND faculty
in designing and carrying out public research projects.
• Providing links between community and nonprofit
partners in need of research assistance and appropriate
• Distributing research dollars to UND faculty
for public scholarship projects.
• Making research findings broadly available
to the public through the publication of a monograph
series and other means, and facilitating public use
and discussion of results.
• Encouraging, supporting, and highlighting
the public scholarship of the faculty.
The Center for Community Engagement, with offices
in O’Kelly Hall, can be reached by telephone
at (701) 777-0675, and through its Web site at www.und.edu/dept/cce.