Campus News Georgia Impact

UGA recognized for community engagement by Carnegie Foundation

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its institutional commitment to community engagement through teaching, research, and public service with the Community Engagement Classification. UGA is one of only 115 colleges and universities to achieve this elective classification in 2010 and will join the ranks of only 311 institutions nationally.

In the Jan. 5 announcement, Anthony S. Bryk, president of the Carnegie Foundation, noted that the university’s application “documented excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”

“Serving the people of Georgia is part of UGA’s historic mission as a land-grant university,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “This designation from the Carnegie Foundation recognizes the concerted effort that the people of our Public Service and Outreach division have made to connect the people of Georgia with the resources of their university.”

First established in 2006, this classification recognizes activities such as public service and outreach, service-learning, and university and community partnerships. The Community Engagement Classification is elective and requires voluntary submission of extensive documentation of unique and distinctive university partnerships with local, statewide, and global communities.

The university’s application was coordinated by Steve Wrigley, vice president for Public Service and Outreach, who chaired a working group that collected information across schools and colleges and public service and outreach units to highlight the diverse ways the university engages with the community. Featured projects included UGA’s commitment to long-term partnerships such as Fostering Our Community’s Understanding of Science (FOCUS), which allows UGA students majoring in science fields to provide enhanced instruction to local elementary school students; Burn Camp, a service-learning course that partners undergraduate and graduate UGA students from the School of Social Work with fire service volunteers to hold an annual camp for burn-injured children; and the training of state and local elected officials, a program conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government on an on-going basis for the last 52 years.

“I am pleased that the University of Georgia has received the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification. This designation reaffirms our commitment to the Public Service and Outreach mission of applying the knowledge of this university to the state’s evolving economic, social, and community needs,” Wrigley said.

“UGA is an engaged university, not only through the efforts of the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, but also through the other components of the university, including instruction, research and student affairs,” he added.