Doubling the Numbers

Civic Engagement Task Force Report

 

 

 

 

May 7, 2004

 

 

 

Jacqueline Blackwell, School of Education

Chris Callahan, School of Medicine

Sheila Kennedy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Steve Mannheimer, School of Informatics

Paul Mullins, School of Liberal Arts

James Perry, SPEA, Chair

Ken Rennels, School of Engineering and Technology

Lenore Tedesco, School of Science

Marion Wagner, School of Social Work

 

Campus Liaison

Robert Bringle, Director, Center for Service and Learning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    
Doubling the Numbers

Civic Engagement Task Force Report

 

 

In his Installation Address on December 4, 2003, Chancellor Charles Bantz called for a doubling of civic engagement by the IUPUI campus.  He convened this task force in a memo of February 2, 2004 and charged it with three tasks:

·       Formulate specific goals and identify related goals necessary to double the civic engagement numbers by May 2010; 

·       Outline specific steps that are necessary to achieve the goals the task force identifies;

·       Identify the resources and resource reallocations necessary to achieve the goals.

This report outlines the task force’s response to each element of its charge.  In addition to formulating goals, specifying implementation steps, and identifying resources, we seek to articulate how the civic engagement goals support other areas of the campus mission, contribute to doubling diversity, and affect work/life balance issues for faculty, staff, and students. 

 

Goals

 

            In developing goals, the task force grounded its work in a definition developed by the standing Civic Engagement Task Force:  "Civic engagement is active collaboration that builds on the resources, skills, expertise, and knowledge of the campus and community to improve the quality of life in communities in a manner that is consistent with the campus mission."  Chancellor Bantz identified three specific areas for doubling:  internships; service learning; and technology transfer.  The task force sought to associate metrics with these three areas.  We simultaneously recognized that the specification of goals needed elaboration so that they reflected the variability in civic engagement across academic units and captured the complete concept domain.  The task force recommends that each of the indicators below be incorporated into the campus doubling goals.

 

Teaching

  • Number of students in internships and practica (this could include traditional types of internships and practica and programs such as AmeriCorps)
  • Number of off-campus teaching-designated contracts and grants 

 

Community Service

 

Civic Professional Service

 

Research

  • Number of patents and licenses (as an indicator of technology transfer)
  • Number of service-designated contracts and grants
  • Dollar value of service-designated contracts and grants
  • Number of civic engagement publications in annual faculty reports
  • Number of research and development partnerships with corporations, governments, and nonprofits

 

An issue the task force considered is whether we specify doubling goals in terms of each civic engagement indicator, each of the four broad categories of civic engagement, or another alternative.  It is conceivable the campus may have difficulty doubling in some areas (e.g., internships, practica, service learning courses) because we are already producing a high number of these activities.  After thorough consideration of the form of the doubling goals, we concluded that the campus should seek to double each civic engagement indicator.  Even if we are now performing at high levels on some of the indicators, doubling them sets high goals for the campus.  We believe that high achievement should be our aspiration.  

Another issue to which we must be attentive as we pursue doubling civic engagement is quality.  We believe quality gradations can be identified for many of the activities we propose to double.  For example, the attributes of high quality internships and service learning are well known and can be measured.  Evidence is available from the National Survey of Student Engagement, and faculty, student, and alumni surveys that provide the foundation for stakeholder assessments of quality.  Some quality measures are already part of the campus civic engagement indicators (http://iport.iupui.edu/performance/perf_civic_activity.htm).  We believe the group that develops a plan for measuring civic engagement (see Implementation Step 2) should identify quality indicators.  The assessment plan (see Implementation Step 3) must also be attentive to quality assessment issues.

 

Implementation Steps

 

The tools that provide the organizational capacity to realize the civic engagement doubling goals discussed above are largely in place today.  These tools include:

·       The Center for Service and Learning, which includes three distinct units integral to realizing the doubling goals, the Office of Service Learning, the Office of Community Service, and the Office of Neighborhood Partnerships;

·       The newly created IUPUI Solution Center, a coordinating unit within IUPUI with broad institutional responsibilities for collaborating with industry and economic development leaders on behalf of all schools; 

·       Conversations on Civic Engagement, designed to increase campus literacy about civic engagement and stimulate greater civic engagement in schools and departments;

·       Commitment to Excellence funds to enhance civic engagement;

·       The Public Scholars of Civic Engagement, inaugurated through the appointment of four faculty members whose primary charge is to craft relationships and sustainable partnerships with area museums and cultural institutions and to involve undergraduate and graduate students in meaningful ways in those collaborations.  

·       The American Democracy Project (ADP), designed to enhance the citizenship of IUPUI undergraduates through transformations in the curriculum, co-curriculum, and campus climate; and

·       The Public-Academic Partnership between the City of Indianapolis and IUPUI, designed to create and institutionalize a relationship between the university and agencies of city and county government.

 

Immediate Steps (first year)

 

Implementation Step 1: By October 31, 2004, the campus should establish baseline information about civic engagement that documents the level and quality of results for each of the civic engagement indicators identified above.

 

            It will be important to get information early in the doubling process that informs the campus about our baseline performance, thus, this recommendation. 

 

Implementation Step 2: The standing Civic Engagement Task Force and appropriate staff should be assigned responsibility to develop a plan to measure civic engagement.

 

            To double civic engagement we must first be able to quantify it.  Collection of some of the information identified above will require steps either to modify existing data series or to acquire information that is not now available.  The Civic Engagement Inventory (CEI), for example, is ripe for modification.  CEI was created for the NCA review, but has not been systematically updated for more then a year.  Refinements could be made to CEI that could radically improve its utility.

            Quantification of civic engagement should incorporate the three areas of the IUPUI mission (teaching, service and research) and be conducted at the unit level.  The task force offers some preliminary observations below about what might be done to count civic engagement in each of the mission areas.

            Teaching.  Schools and departments count credit hours and FTEs of faculty work in teaching. These measurements should form the basis of our quantifying method.  Internships, service learning, and other curricula-based modes of experiential learning can be accounted as credit hours and percentage of FTE at their home academic unit.  The key to quantifying civic engagement is to provide deans and department heads with straightforward definitions and written guidance that permit numerical answers to questions about the amount of credit hours and FTEs devoted to civic engagement and community-based projects.

Service.  Because civic engagement often goes beyond the traditional, unidirectional idea of service to incorporate the reciprocal flow of value of partnerships, we must also consider quantifying the value of the participation of partner institutions and individuals and seek to double this value.

Research.  Research and creative activities often offer some built-in form of measurement, such as quantifying the dollar amount of financial support, or calculating publications and/or the assigned “prestige” value of the publishing journals.  To the extent that these methods can be used to quantify civic engagement, each unit must evaluate the “theme” or direction of such research and designate it as civic engagement as judiciously as possible.  In many cases this evaluation and designation should be relatively straightforward. 

           

Implementation Step 3: Develop and implement a plan to assess the immediate, intermediate, and long-term effects of civic engagement as the foundation for identifying community impacts, student learning, best practices, and program improvements.  

 

Conceiving and measuring civic engagement is one challenge in doubling it.  The campus must also develop methods and instruments to measure the effectiveness of civic engagement overall and on a program or project basis.  Results can be measured through immediate user-client satisfaction surveys, follow-up studies demonstrating goals achieved or information retained, and other methods typically used for evaluation.  Goals will need to be articulated for the campus’ civic engagement mission and for specific initiatives.

Commitment to Excellence funds have already been allocated for a staff position to assess civic engagement. This is an important step in implementing this recommendation.  The civic engagement evaluation plan can also build upon the prior efforts of the standing IUPUI Civic Engagement Task Force and the Special Emphasis Self-Study for NCA Accreditation.  

 

Intermediate Steps (1-3 years)

 

Implementation Step 4: Align academic unit goals and systems with the goals and systems of the campus

 

Campus goals for doubling civic engagement need to be aligned with the activities of schools, departments, and service units.  Responsibility centered management and other administrative systems are decentralized.  The campus goals therefore will be difficult to achieve unless unit goals and systems are aligned with them.  Alignment will require the following types of actions, some of which are drawn from advice provided by the NCA Review Team:

·       Articulate campus-level goals to the unit level;

·       Assess academic unit promotion and tenure policies in light of the campus’ civic engagement mission and doubling goals (see the next recommendation);

·       Allocate resources within units for administrative support of civic engagement and programs such as community-based federal work study;

·       Tie resource allocation decisions more directly to civic engagement results in academic units.

 

Implementation Step 5: Assess how civic engagement is valued across the campus and take steps to assure that the campus culture and incentives are commensurate with the high priority accorded civic engagement by campus leadership and external stakeholders.

 

A key system in how civic engagement is valued is the promotion and tenure process. The task force reviewed promotion and tenure documents for 13 campus academic units.  The review revealed that many units do not offer a specific requirement within the service category for civic engagement, whereas others have given careful attention to including a statement regarding civic engagement as part of the annual review as well as the formal promotion and tenure policies.  The task force believes it would be helpful to initiate dialogs both within units and across the campus about the meaning of civic engagement and how that meaning can best be reflected in promotion and tenure.  In this dialog, the task force also recommends specific discussion of professional service, research and teaching in the private sector.  This discussion should examine the ways in which the university recognizes, evaluates and rewards pro-bono or compensated activities that contribute to the economic or cultural vitality of the community, but which may not necessarily appear in peer-reviewed scholarly or cultural venues.

 

Implementation Step 6: Steps should be taken to improve faculty professional development for civic engagement; these steps should include identifying champions & role models by faculty career stage.

 

During its deliberations, the task force came to recognize that civic engagement expectations and competencies vary over the course of a faculty career.  The task force concluded that it would be helpful to formalize the variations in faculty professional development.  This might entail creating of a series of developmental programs geared to the progression of faculty civic engagement competencies as careers advance.  Role models might also be defined by career stage.       

 

Implementation Step 7: The Center for Service and Learning should take steps to increase funding to faculty for Service Learning Teaching Assistant Scholarships by 50%.

 

            The allocation of additional scholarship support for service learning teaching assistants will help to reduce barriers to faculty participation in service learning.   

 

Implementation Step 8: The campus should explore expanding on-campus programs that support internships, practica, and service learning doubling goals.

 

A new pilot program that converges with the civic engagement doubling goals could serve as a model for the campus. Human Resources (HR) is collaborating with the Career Center, University College, the School of Science and Campus and Community Life to work on retaining students by employing more students on or near campus.  In the pilot program, HR is working with individual departments to make them more aware of the need to employ students on campus, provide ideas on how to incorporate students into their employee mix, give pointers on how to help students understand the transferability of what they do, and provide evidence about how the department and the student benefit.  The project is based on research that shows on-campus employment contributes to student retention. 

The campus could serve as the locus for a variety of activities—paid and unpaid internships, practica, service learning—that coincide with the civic engagement doubling goals.  A systematic effort to mobilize campus opportunities, resources, and commitment could go a long way to support the civic engagement doubling goals.  IUPUI should strive to become a model for on-campus civic engagement.

 

Implementation Step 9: Develop a systematic public education and dissemination program about civic engagement.

 

The North Central Accreditation (NCA) Review Team recommended that the campus: “Identify strategies for demonstrating the relevance and impact of civic engagement activities to internal and external stakeholders.  For example, the campus might disseminate assessment data on civic engagement to the campus, showing how these efforts enhance students’ academic experience.”  The task force concurs and encourages the campus to create a systematic information dissemination and education program.  In addition to disseminating assessment data, the NCA recommendations included several other appropriate steps, including using local media to publicize civic engagement programs, conducting research and publishing about sustainable impacts, and creating cases of best practices in civic engagement.

 

Implementation Step 10: Ask the Civic Engagement Task Force to Identify Barriers to Civic Engagement and Develop Strategies for Overcoming the Barriers. 

 

            During our conversations with different campus constituencies potential barriers to civic engagement were identified.  One person indicated that the lack of indirect cost recovery on service contracts was a disincentive for academic units to seek service contracts.  This potential barrier should be studied and strategies identified to overcome it.  Other similar barriers may need attention.  The standing Civic Engagement Task Force should be convened to identify barriers and, working with appropriate people from across the campus, find ways to overcome them.    

 

Implementation Step 11:  As the doubling goals are implemented, the campus should be attentive to opportunities for use of appropriate technology to create better value and to manage costs effectively.

 

Long-term (4-7 years)

 

Implementation Step 12: In accordance with the recommendation of the NCA review team, the campus should consider establishing an executive-level position whose responsibilities focus on civic engagement.

 

The NCA review team observed at the conclusion of its site visit:  “The civic engagement endeavors are so expansive that the campus may want to consider extending the leadership to the level of Vice Provost as a statement of institutional commitment.”  The task force does not believe we have reached the stage in our civic engagement that merits organizational restructuring.  As the NCA team implied, however, campus leadership should monitor needs for restructuring the academic affairs branch of administration as civic engagement expands.      

 

Resources

 

            A consideration of resources involves issues of what is presently allocated, what needs to be reallocated, and what can be acquired externally.

 

What Resources Are Available Now?

            The task force concluded that campus resource commitments to civic engagement are sufficient to achieve most of the doubling goals.  Table 1 summarizes civic engagement resource commitments for FY2003-2004 and the next two fiscal years.  The resources in Table 1 are base commitments in the core service units and activities supporting civic engagement.  These are the Center for Service and Learning, Commitment to Excellence civic engagement funds, and external contracts and grants.

Perhaps the largest campus resource commitments to civic engagement are made by academic units.  In supporting internships and practica, for instance, academic units expend significant resources for civic engagement.  In general, academic units provide significant levels of support for civic engagement in the areas of teaching, professional service, and research.     

Many other units contribute resources to the campus civic engagement mission, but we were not as readily able to identify the level of resource commitments from these other sources.  They are, however, substantial. Civic engagement performance indicators for internal resources and infrastructure provide indications of the size of campus resource commitments.  For example, in FY2001-2002, the campus provided base support of more than $4.5 million for nine centers that have significant civic engagement missions.  Other units like Campus and Community Life and the Office of Professional Development are also involved in developing and supporting campus capacity for civic engagement.  The level of resources these units expend on civic engagement depends in part upon the extent to which faculty, staff, and students access available resources. 

 

What Needs to be Reallocated?

            Our measurement and implementation recommendations involve only one major reallocation.  This is the reallocation of federal work study funds because we propose doubling community-based work study.  We believe this goal is achievable without creating undue hardship for units that use work study funds for on-campus employment.  Barriers to achieving this goal should be incorporated into the issues addressed in Implementation Step 10.   

 

What Resources Can be Acquired Externally?

            IUPUI has been quite successful in attracting external support of its civic engagement mission. Table 1 reflects the current level of external funding of grants and contracts administered by the Center for Service and Learning.  The nine centers referred to above also attract large amounts of external support.  Lilly Endowment funds will provide initial support for the Solution Center.  The task force believes external funds can be acquired to augment campus base support.  It will be helpful, however, for campus and unit leadership to keep the need for external support front and center and to provide incentives and support for acquisition of external funding.  

 

Synergies Across Campus Mission Domains

 

Doubling civic engagement will produce dividends for student achievement, research, and diversity.  The items below indicate ways in which synergies are being developed across the campus mission.

 

Undergraduate Degrees (increase from 2,400 to 5,000 annually)

  • Provide financial support to undergraduates through Sam Jones Community Service Scholarship Program, a program with a 98% retention rate of participants;
  • Provide students with meaningful employment through the Community Work-Study Program, a program with a 96% persistence rate[s2]  for all students in the program and a 90% persistence rate for minorities;
  • Provide curricular and co-curricular service opportunities to increase student retention rates;
  • Support the design and implementation of high quality service learning courses, a powerful pedagogy that leads to higher retention rates.

Table 1.  Core Resources to Support Civic Engagement:

 

Internal

Career Center                                                              2003-04

Total Federal Work-Study Allocation

 

Center for Service and Learning                                 2003-04          2004-05          2005-06

Total Base Budget                                                       $375,874         $382,484         $382,484

 

2003-2006 Commitment to Excellence Civic Engagement Base Funds:

           

Civic Collaborative Initiatives                                  2003-04           2004-05          2005-06

Interdisciplinary Civic Partnership (ICP) Projects     $ 40,000          $134,000         $216,000

Engaged Departments/Schools                                                                44,000           126,000

Boyer Scholars Program                                                                                                 40,000

Funds to support student mini-grants for campus-wide                             8,000             23,000

community service activities

Eiteljorg Course Development Grant                                                        5,000

Development of OnCourse teaching module for SL                                                        10,000

Campus Conversations and ADP Project                                                  9,000             18,000

Sam H. Jones Scholarship Program                                                          3,000               6,000

Administrative Support for Program Implementation   61,000              198,300           261,150

            Assessment Specialist for Civic Engagement 

            Coordinator for Service Learning

            Administrative Support Staff                                            

CIVIC COLLABORATIVES TOTAL             $101,000         $401,300         $700,150        

                       

Sam H. Jones Community Service Scholarships         $155,000         $190,400         $230,000

 

External

Solution Center                                                                                   2004-05          2005-06

Grant Funds – Internships, service learning,                                       $572,030         $576,616

community-based learning in five target areas

(i.e., economic development, non profit, advanced

 manufacturing, health sciences, technology)

 

Center for Service and Learning                                 2003-04

Grant Funds (e.g., MLK, Hoover, ICC Indiana           $160,284

Reading Corp, HUD New Directions, CICF,

and University of Pennsylvania)                                                         

 

Indiana Campus Compact- www.indianacampuscompact.org

            Scholarship of Engagement Grants

            Student Mini-Grants

 

 


Research and external funding

  • Double external funding for the Center for Service and Learning programs (e.g., Sam Jones Scholarship Program, IUPUI-WESCO Partnership, Community Work-Study Programs).
  • Initiate an Annual Fund for the Center for Service and Learning in Spring 2004, which is tied to the 10-year anniversary celebration.
  • Collaborate with faculty, staff, and students on grant proposals to secure external funding for civic engagement activities.
  • Secure external funding for a major research study on student learning outcomes through service learning.

 

Diversity

 

            The Doubling Diversity Task Force posed two questions to this task force:

·       What would the doubling of diversity look like in terms of civic engagement?; and

·       How will we achieve the doubling of diversity in terms of civic engagement?

In trying to envision what doubling diversity would look like, the task force conceived diversity in civic engagement along three dimensions.  The dimensions involve “who is engaged,” “who is being engaged,” and “the relations between who is engaged and who is being engaged.” 

By conceiving diversity in civic engagement along the three dimensions, we can specify, in general terms, what doubling diversity would look like.  Simply stated, doubling diversity would entail:

·       Engaged campus participants who are diverse with respect to income, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and other dimensions;

·       A portfolio of programs and activities that serve a variety of constituencies, homogeneous only with respect to their focus on improving the quality of life in communities in a manner that is consistent with the campus mission;

·       Relations between those who are engaged and those who are being engaged that create constructive opportunities for realizing the promise of diversity.

We do not presently have good information about the three dimensions of diversity.  The Center for Service and Learning has maintained records related to diversity in the Sam Jones Community Service Scholarship Program and the America Reads Tutoring Program, but these data are the exception rather than the rule. Although the task force has the impression that those who serve are generally diverse, we do not know how they are distributed across civic engagement opportunities and how diverse they are by project or activity.  We also lack good information about who is being engaged and how these groups match up with the diversity of those providing service.

How will we achieve the doubling of diversity in civic engagement?  Several steps come readily to mind:

·       Baseline information needs to be developed that gives IUPUI a better understanding of the diversity of who is engaged, the diversity of our engagement portfolio, and the relationships between the engaged and their projects;

·       Attention needs to be given to the mix of those who are recruited to serve with the goal of attaining diversity in each major area of civic engagement;

·       Attention must also be given to developing a civic engagement portfolio that is as diverse as the campus and the communities we serve; and   

·       The task force believes that it is important to provide those who engage diverse groups to be prepared for their service.  This would entail incorporating diversity training into programs that prepare students, staff, and faculty for civic engagement.      

 

Work/Life Balance

 

Balancing personal time and work time is always a challenge.  Depending on how civic engagement opportunities are structured, alternative work options, especially flextime, may be helpful.  Another way to address the time crunch on the home front is to look for activities that can offer “double” benefits.  In the work/life field, wellness, family concerns, and personal/professional development are just a few of the areas of interest.   Civic engagement opportunities provide a way for people to provide talent to the community while also addressing work/life issues such as these.

 

How Can Civic Engagement Activities Address Family Issues? 

“Family Volunteering:  An Exploratory Study of the Impact on Families,” states, “the benefits to families from family volunteering include sharing quality time together, transmission of values, modeling of compassion and civic engagement by parents, and improved communication between family members.”  The report goes on to list other benefits such as:

  • Brings the family closer together
  • Value system strengthened by volunteering
  • Fun; social; gives children/youth something to do

The Points of Light Foundation, in their study of a program called Family Matters that was collaboratively done by the Points of Light Foundation and Target Stores, echoed the above saying, “volunteer projects provided ‘quality’ time and promoted family cohesion.”

 

How Can Civic Engagement Activities Address Personal/Professional Development?

The Nonprofit Resource Center of Northern Arizona says that, “volunteering can build your resume” and “help you explore a new career.”  Monica Moore of University of Missouri Health Care finds that, “For young people, volunteering is a way to gain experience, leadership skills and career skills.”  In the above examples, the experience gained might be a by product, but in the Women Build project, a part of Habitat for Humanity, one of the major aims of the project is to give women the chance to learn construction skills in a supportive environment.

 

How Can Civic Engagement Activities Address Wellness Needs?

Doing something for the community while getting your wellness needs met is easy.  By participating in Race for the Cure, helping build a Habitat for Humanity house or taking part in a dance-a-thon or bike-a-thon you become fit by making your community a better place to live.

 

Summary

As can readily be seen, civic engagement and work/life balance do not have to compete with one another. They can go hand in hand.  Employees can become healthier, develop themselves, and nurture family ties while providing service to local and larger communities of which they are parts.  As the campus implements its civic engagement agenda, it should continuously assess how work/life balance can be enhanced by institutional structures and plans that permit employees to reap the rewards of civic engagement and simultaneously avoid personally bearing the burden of IUPUI’s multi-faceted civic engagement commitments.

 


 [s1]Why single out United Way? Many faculty do not participate for reasons of principle, but make significant contributions to other charities/nonprofits

 

 [s2]What is a persistence rate?