McCormick during the President's Council meeting in October discussed
his commitment to developing strategic ways for the University
to support and communicate its public service/outreach activities.
Several members of the Council volunteered to serve on an ad hoc
committee chaired by Dean Gordon. McCormick asked the committee
to advise him on the current status of public service/outreach
by campus units, to suggest membership of a task force on this
issue, and to develop a charge for the task force.
Procedure. The Committee
met five times as a group, with the membership increasing at each
meeting. A draft of this report was prepared for the fourth meeting,
and discussed at that meeting and with President McCormick at
a final meeting.
Background. Early in his
Presidential tenure, McCormick emphasized the University's need
to stabilize its funding, and, in that context, noted a widespread
perception that the University is "elitist" and "uninvolved"
in the community as well as his belief that the University needed
to do a better, more strategic job of both supporting public service
and communicating those contributions to our constituents.
the work of this Committee is not yet completed, we recognize
the need to signal the priority of service in your administration,
and the timeliness of giving the committee's work the status of
a task force. Therefore, below are recommendations for constituting
a Task Force on University Outreach and Service together with
a suggested charge for its work. We intend that the work of the
Task force will encompass service provided by faculty, professional
staff, classified staff, students, and University units.
What is the nature and extent of outreach and
service provided by the University to the community?
Estimate its monetary and nonmonetary value. This
will require the Task force to work with faculty groups to establish
definitions of public service and outreach as they relate to professional
expertise and activity, payment, teaching, research, research
dissemination, direct service, continuing education, and use of
a) What should be the level of the University's
service/outreach to the community? Is there, or should there
be, an ethic of public service for all members and units of the
University? Should we be committed to rebuilding "social
capital" as described by Robert Putnam's, "Bowling Alone"?
In a recent speech, Nannerl O. Keohane, President of Duke University,
argued that faculties and leaders of colleges and universities
have experienced a failure of nerve in recent years, and "have
been largely silent about our obligations to the common good,"
and that "universities must renew our commitment to civic
education, sustaining the traditions that have provided a durable
basis for human interaction and collaboration for the common good."
To what extent should the University of Washington articulate
these sentiments and organize to deliver on them?
f) How can outreach and service goals in identified
focus areas-i.e., K 12, environmental, and international education
be integrated with goals being developed in other related Task
Forces and committees? This may involve overlapping memberships,
joint meetings, sharing of minutes or newsletters, or other forms
of collaboration so that the outcomes of the Task Force and committees
can be integrated into a coordinated plan.
Suggest specific mechanisms. This
should include a coordinated, integrated plan involving the news
media as well as other mechanisms; a defined role for Presidential
leadership; a definition of audiences (legislators, students,
faculty business community, alumnae) and consistent messages for
each; a clear statement of priorities and a process for establishing
them; and the a statement of the relationship of service to other
themes being emphasized by the President (e.g. K12, environmental,
Develop a strategy for reviewing
approaches of peer institutions to outreach and service, establishing
baselines, setting goals and monitoring progress toward integrated
service and outreach activities which are supportive of University's
goals and mission. Monitor public perceptions and understanding.
This should include consideration of a range of issues including
but not limited to: establishment of a campus survey lab, review
of the 1461 form and the possibility of transforming it in a way
that allows faculty to answer it via email, as well as ways
to gather consistent data about staff, student and unitlevel
activities. It may also prove useful to establish mechanisms to
keep track of requests of service to which the University is unable
Provide adequate resources to
the Task Force to complete its work within the established time
Margaret T. Gordon, Chair
Jerry V. Finrow
Allen GlennNancy Hooyman
July 7, 1989
TO: Laurel L. Wilkening
FROM: Alvin L. Kwiram
SUBJECT: A Center for Public Policy Issues
The University of Washington is the leading research
institution in the Pacific Northwest, but it does not play a strong
leadership role in addressing and illuminating public policy issues
for the region. Although a number of good programs exist on campus,
there is no focal point, no coordination and no strategy for our
efforts. A number of points come to mind in this connection.
1. As the major public university in the region,
it is logical for the public, the media and government agencies
to look to the university for help and information on a broad
range of public policy issues.
2. The University represents an enormous resource,
not only in terms of its libraries and archives, but also in terms
of the expertise of its faculty and the energy and creativity
of its students.
3. The University itself is a public agency. However,
in contrast to the short term horizons characteristic of agencies
with elected officials, the University has a long term stability
and perspective. This represents a unique quality that should
not be underestimated.
4. There is far too little long range planning in
state and local government agencies. The University could play
a leadership role in fostering such an approach and provide the
institutional memory of actions taken in the past.
5. The orientation program for new legislators last
fall is precisely the kind of activity we should be doing more.
We have the resources, the credibility and the connections.
6. By developing such interactions with State and
local government, we not only enhance the quality of the decisions
that are made in our region, but we also build the kind of relationships
with legislators and staff that can help us considerably in the
7. Wehave spent some time and energy in the
last year or so establishing a more proactive relationship with
the private sector and the economic development players in the
region. WTC has also played a major role in building bridges to
the high technology community. Despite some internal problems
we may have with WTC organizationally, I think it is fair to say
that their efforts (as part and parcel of the College of Engineering
initiatives) have been helpful to the University. Nevertheless,
we have seen examples of players in the high tech community
who have been frustrated by the lack of a well defined entry point
for corporate interest at the University.
8. It is not unreasonable to think of having an analogous
public policy entry point at the University as well. We currently
have several modest efforts of this sort, but there is little
coordination or cooperation between them.
9. There are several programs that come immediately to mind:
*The Institute for Public Policy and Management (GSPA)
*The Northwest Policy Center (GSPA)
*The Pacific Northwest Executive (Business School)
*Health Policy Analysis (School of Public Health)
*CINTRAFOR (Forest Resources)
*Institute for Social Research (Arts and Sciences)
*The Executive MBA Program (Business School)
*TRAC: WA State Transportation Research Center (Engineering)
*And others that can be added to the list in due
10. These already form a strong base for a more integrated
and visible program. However, even though many of these have important
connections with key agencies and legislators, we do not tend
to know about them centrally. Moreover, in many cases the University
is represented without any central input, and in many cases without
11. Some overarching structure with a Universitywide
advisory committee could help to give these efforts greater coherence.
That cannot be easily located in one of the colleges for obvious
reasons. There has to be some level playing field. Therefore,
this kind of activity should either be centered in the Office
of the Provost or in the Office of the President. Given the strong
public overtones of such an effort, it may be that the latter
would be appropriate.
12. In addition to better coordination of the general
public policy representations made on behalf of the University,
one can also imagine the creation of a public policy service office
or applied research office. In other words, there are many cases
where public agencies are interested in contracting with either
consultants or universities for short term research projects.
Here again, we would have an opportunity to provide a service
to complement the activities now going on and those outlined above.
13. Such a program would have to have a its own special
organizational structure; it can not be left to the faculty or
the advisory committee. Such projects require a professional staff
who can respond promptly to requests and produce the data and
analysis in a timely fashion. The time frame for faculty and graduate
student projects is incommensurate with the time frame for such
agency requests. The worst thing we could do is pretend to have
the capability to produce and then fail to follow through. We
would either have to do it right or not do it at all.
14. Such a center would have a regular publication
program of its own as well as the publication of the reports that
are produced by the center. It would also help to mount conferences
and symposia on topics of interest. In due course it would be
known in the entire region as the center to contact for any of
a range of public policy issues.
15. The key to the success of such a center is an
individual who is both politically well connected, academically
respected, understands the importance of such an activity to the
university, is well organized and gets work out on a timely basis,
and is an articulate spokesperson for the institution and the
issues. This person should hold a tenured faculty position, and
would be a member of the President's Cabinet. I would expect that
the individual would work closely with Bob Edie's office and with
any others who interact significantly with Olympia. This person
would also chair the advisory committee.
16. One advantage of such a center is that it would
make better use of the time of our faculty who now have to respond
to numerous inquiries on matters of public interest but without
the resources to respond adequately. A center with a staff could
do the legwork while at the same time call upon knowledgeable
faculty for advice and guidance. Such a system would tend to relieve
faculty of the temptation to get involved in too much applied
and routine work, leaving that to the center staff.
17. On the other hand, the work of the center would
provide new data and analysis that could be of considerable value
to the members of the faculty as they pursue their research in
more general terms. The service studies can provide the raw material
for their more fundamental studies.
18. In time, such a center would become sufficiently
well known that people would turn there first whenever they wanted
information or analysis. We already have evidence of one alternative:
this year Evergreen State was authorized to select several public
policy fellows. Members of our faculty are applying to be fellows
at Evergreen next year to work on public policy issues.
19. A broader organizational structure for our activities
in this arena would also mean that UW interests are represented
in the public arena by individuals in closer touch with the views
of the Central Administration rather than by staff without any
guidance or understanding of the those views.
20. In any event, we should probably try to achieve
more coordination between some of our public policy purveyors
and the Office of University Relations and the Development Office.
I'm not even sure that these people know each other now.
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