UNH, St. Anselm are cited for ‘community engagement’

The University of New Hampshire and St. Anselm College have been deemed “community engaged” institutions by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification is awarded to colleges or universities whose mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.

The two New Hampshire schools were among 119 colleges and universities named to the list.

UNH was placed in the “Outreach and Partnerships” category for its “application and provision of institutional resources for community use with benefits to both campus and community. The latter focuses on collaborative interactions with community and related scholarship for the mutually beneficial exchange, exploration and application of knowledge, information and resources,” according to the foundation.

St. Anselm was a part of the combined category, which includes “Outreach and Partnerships” as well as “Curricular Engagement,” honoring its “teaching, learning and scholarship which engage faculty, students and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being and enrich the scholarship of the institution.”

“I am thrilled that St. Anselm College has joined such a prestigious list of U.S. colleges and universities that make community engagement a priority,” said Father Jonathan DeFelice, president of the school. “For too long, academia has been offered a false choice between pure scholarship and social relevance. A prevailing attitude has been that creating knowledge that can be used to help better lives and communities is incompatible with the basic mission of an institution of higher education.”

Julie Williams, UNH associate vice president for research and outreach scholarship, highlighted three of the university’s efforts:

• UNH’s Carsey Institute conducts policy research on vulnerable children, youth and families and provides policymakers and practitioners with the resources they need to effect change in communities.

• The Joan and James Leitzel Center partners with local school districts so that children in the state have cutting-edge knowledge in mathematics and science education.

• UNH Cooperative Extension is actively engaged statewide to bring the resources and knowledge of the university to local communities.

“These are just three of a much larger number of examples that exemplify our commitment to be an engaged university,” said Williams. “I am also very proud of the many individual faculty, extension educators, and students who are committed to partnering with our communities.” — CINDY KIBBE