Appendix Three

Barriers to Public Service and Outreach and
Recommendations for Action

Barriers to Public Service and Outreach and Recommendations

  1. Reward both units and individuals for their PS&O activities. Rewards could include peer and supervisor recognition, merit salary increases, and career advancement (including tenure and promotion consideration).

  2. Allow payment of grants to faculty and staff for outreach activities and expenses as in consultancies.

  3. Remove disincentives to securing PS&O funding from outside sources, including overhead rates and gross revenue taxes.

  4. Revamp faculty time analysis forms to reflect the reality that faculty and staff actually work more than 40 hours per week.

  5. Use the Carlson Center model to develop similar partnerships within the health sciences disciplines, and to incorporate opportunities for graduate students.

  6. Create necessary incentives to promote more accurate and complete self-reporting of public service and outreach activities by members of the university community.

  7. Expedite processing of small grants and eliminate processing costs for those projects below a certain threshold that are specifically targeted public service efforts.

a. Consider accepting grants with State agencies for public service and outreach activities at the State indirect cost rate of 8%.

  8. Produce quarterly PS&O reports for the University Week. Also develop annual reports of campus-wide activities as comprehensive as possible.

  9. Create a dedicated phone line to serve as a point of public access, perhaps to direct people to the correct point within the larger web.

10. Create and maintain Internet sites about PS&O activities.

11. Support PS&O 'brokers' to link internal units with external constituents.

12. Improve physical access to the university by its visitors by investing more in the Visitor Center, by establishing information kiosks at various locations on campus, and by upgrading Kane Hall.

13. Use the multi-media resources available at the University, such as UWTV, the Internet, and traditional print sources to publicize PS&O activities.

14. Link individual (often positive) perceptions of the university to perceptions of the university as a whole by utilizing a theme or umbrella by which institutional programs are identified in the community (i.e. Building Washington's Future).

a. Design a logo. Encourage its widespread use to illustrate the breadth and depth of public service and outreach activities at UW.

15. Fund unit-level positions for PS&O 'brokers' to link units to other groups within and without the University community. Allocate resources to those units wishing to participate as they become ready (i.e. in a modular fashion).

a. Brokers should provide mentoring services to students and student organizations seeking opportunities to work with the community.

b. Brokers may be linked by University-level coordinating office or individual.

c. Brokers may provide training to faculty and staff wishing to integrate PS&O into curricula or research.

16. Develop an intellectual foundation for outreach as an integrated component of research and teaching.

a. Stress that PS&O as a form of "practical experience enhances learning in all areas of a university curriculum." (Zlotkowski, Change, Jan/Feb 96)

b. Support, inter-disciplinary, research-based scholarship that links outreach with other university activities.

c. Recognize that values are an important part of the motivation for much of the current PS&O activities that occur.

d. ncorporate a PS&O component into the existing TA training system, to take advantage of the opportunity to reach the next generation of faculty.

e. Leverage the current strengths of the university as a research and technology resource, and a provider of human resources (i.e. an educated workforce).

17. Consider the use of unit-level team scholarship, that includes teaching, research and public service targets. This would allow goals to be set and met using a mix of the unit's faculty, staff and students and account for variability in service over careers and individual interest.

18. Consider for-credit PS&O activities for students. The Chemistry 3-part Science Outreach Program series (learn the talk, deliver the talk, teach other students the talk) devoted to bringing talks on science subjects to high schools is one model to consider, and is described in this report.

19. Fund public service activities with "hard" money, both to stimulate effective programs and to signal institutional commitment to co-funders, recipients, and practitioners.

20. Develop criteria to assess the value of PS&O activities and their contribution to the University's mission:

a. Does the activity have a demonstrable impact on the intended constituency? Is it effective?

b. Does the activity enhance the University's teaching and research missions? Is it appropriate?

c. Does the activity provide a reasonable return for the investment of the university's resources?

21. Develop and employ a regular, consistent evaluation process of PS&O activities. This process should include a mechanism for change based on the results of the evaluation over a fixed time period, established in the criteria.

22. Monitor the progress of peer institutions nationally, and other higher education institutions within the region, in the public service and outreach arena. Form links to those institutions working in this area.

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