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Dan Rich and Lynnette Overby are leading a new initiative at UD to
affirm and expand the institution's commitment to community engagement.
8:05 a.m., Feb. 8, 2016--A new initiative at the University of
Delaware will affirm and expand the institution's commitment to
community engagement, Provost Domenico Grasso has announced.
Leading the charge are Dan Rich, who will serve as director of
community engagement, and Lynnette Overby, who will be deputy director.
This initiative builds on the accomplishments that have earned UD the
Community Engagement classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the
Advancement of Teaching in 2015.
Rich, University Professor of Public Policy and a former provost and
dean, is known for his work on the Wilmington Education Improvement
Commission, a group aiming to strengthen Wilmington public education.
Overby is a professor of theatre and was recently elected to the
Council on Engagement and Outreach Executive Committee of the
Association for Public and Land Grant Universities. She led the UD
Community Engagement Commission in helping Delaware become officially
recognized by the Carnegie Foundation in 2015.
The initiative, said Rich, will seek to strengthen civic and
community engagement in ways that enrich the scholarship and learning of
University faculty and students and help to address challenges facing
the communities we serve at all levels, local to global.
Both see listening as the first step in their leadership roles
listening to stakeholders within the UD campus community and to
communities and their citizens in Delaware and beyond. Rich and Overby
will help coordinate the work UD is already doing throughout many
programs and efforts, help shape the strategy for campus community
interaction and use that information to define processes for measurement
The pillars of this new undertaking are explicitly spelled out in the strategic plan, Delaware Will Shine,
which lists community engagement among its five strategic initiatives.
DWS calls for Delaware to expand its status as a Carnegie engaged
university in both character and scope.
We would like to see community engagement, including civic
engagement, be part of the signature of a University of Delaware
education, Rich said.
Because part of the process of learning, part of the process of
becoming an excellent scholar is recognizing how the knowledge you
obtain can and should be used to strengthen the communities where you
live and work.
The amazing work we accomplished under the Community Engagement
Commission will continue to inform us as we initiate this process,
Overby said. The commission will also be a great resource as we
collectively shape the future at the University of Delaware.
Trustee and UD alumnus Tony Allen said, in support of the initiative,
Dan is tireless in his pursuits, dogged in his analysis and true to
his authentic self.
Overall, the new community engagement initiative extends a rich and
continuing legacy, as Delaware has long been an engaged university:
As a land grant institution, public and community service has been a central part of the universitys mission for 150 years.
As the First States flagship higher education institution, the
University contributes to improving the quality of life of Delawareans
in virtually every area of community well-being, from education to
health and from the arts to the environment.
More than half of UDs student population participates in service
learning, community-based research and volunteer projects, accumulating
more than 225,000 hours of their time serving communities in Delaware,
across the nation and around the world.
Three times UD has been named to the Honor Roll with Distinction,
the highest federal recognition a university can achieve for its
commitment to volunteerism, service learning and civic engagement.
This initiative is really part of a two-way conversation, bridging
our knowledge and assets as a University with the needs of the
communities around us, and aligning them for mutual benefit and a more
improved society, said Overby.
Article by Jawanza Ali Keita
Originally published by UDaily.
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