In an era of national uneasiness and widespread public distrust, civic and legislative leaders around the nation are turning to universities for their help, renewing calls reminiscent of the 1960's for information and solutions to pressing societal problems. The same leaders, however, also are concerned about what they see as mismatches between university missions and the needs of communities. They are questioning universitiesespecially publicly-supported universitiesabout ever-increasing costs at a time when many other agencies and institutions are being forced to downsize. They are also asking for meaningful measures of accountability and evidence of both willingness and determination to focus on and become involved with local constituencies.
University of Washington President Richard L. McCormick's establishment of the Task Force on University Public Service and Outreach signaled his intention to focus UW's attention on these issues. His charge letter and discussions with the Task Force directed it to consider:
Since the late 1980's, academic, legislative, and civic leaders have renewed a periodic discussion about the role of universities in our society. A central issue in the current version of these discussions is the nature and role of public service and outreach in today's universities, and how they are related to the "teaching, research, and service" that lie at the core of a university's mission.
Ernest Boyer, writing in a now widely cited 1990 report to the Carnegie Foundation entitled, "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate," distinguished among four types of scholarshipdiscovery, integration, application and teachingarguing that all were necessary to the health of academe and society. In a 1995 speech he pointed out that "for more than 350 years, higher learning and the larger purposes of American society have been inextricably interlocked."
Boyer noted that a profound emphasis on the scholarship of discovery during the past 25-35 years, grew out of a symbiotic relationship between the federal government and universities that encouraged research-based solutions to national defense problems. He believed the resulting apparent detachment from social, economic and political problems to be something of an aberration. He argued further that for the hopes of our nation to be fulfilled, "the academy must become a more vigorous partner in the search for answers to our most pressing social, civic, economic and moral problems" and must reaffirm its historical commitment to the "scholarship of engagement" serving both the academy and the community. Sheldon Hackney, former President of the University of Pennsylvania and current Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, pointed out potential advantages to universities when he made the point that the "greatest advances" have occurred when scholars and their students are focused on pressing problems. (Hackney, 1993)
Nannerl O. Keohane, President of Duke University, in a recent speech (1995) stressed the obligations of universities when she 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." She added 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." (Keohane, 1995)
Lynton and Elman concluded after examining the issues from the perspective of publicly-funded, land-grant universities, "...the pervasive image of a self-contained and fairly isolated campus populated by research scholars engaged in the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake...[has today become] a myth that constitutes a seriousbarrier (emphasis ours) to the university's real objectives." (Lynton and Elman, 1995, p. 4.)
One of those objectives is recruitment of excellent students. In a competitive era when communications technology can attach students to distant campuses, the public presence of a university in a local community can create a strong positive image that can bring excellent students to the institution. Further, many of today's students arrive at our institutions with public service experience gained prior to their arrival, and many see public service and outreach experiences as critical to their education as well as personally meaningful. They look for service-learning opportunities as they are selecting their undergraduate and graduate programs. And today's faculty, too, value public service and outreach opportunities. According to a recent article by R. Eugene Rice, "Making a Place for the New American Scholar," written for the New Pathways Project of the American Association of Higher Education (1995), faculty are increasingly alienated from the conditions of their work when the primary rewards are tied to specialized research which often is separated from teaching and service and attaches little reward to either.
The widespread attention to the topic of public service has been fueled by significant interest (and funding) from several foundations and civic organizations such as the Carnegie Foundation, the Kettering Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and the American Association for Higher Education. Michigan State University concluded its searching self-examination and reorientation of public service and outreach with a Kellogg grant reported to be nearly $2 million. Several other universities in the country (e.g., University of Illinois; University of California, San Diego) have reassessed the nature, value, and role of public service and outreach on their campuses. Other universities (e.g., University of North Carolina, University of Wisconsin) are well into the process, and many more are just beginning. Across the nation there is a belief that the institutions' relationships with communities and broader constituencies is affected by how universities regard public service and outreach, and what expectations faculty have about public service and outreach as they relate to research, teaching and service.
Outcomes of debates at other universities include: redefining public service as research (Michigan State University); encouraging the integration of public service into teaching and research (University of Illinois at Chicago); committing to more public service and outreach (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); and increasing publicity about the economic development role of institutions (University of California, San Diego). None believe they have successfully resolved the very complex and difficult issues raised by questions of the relationship between public service and outreach activities to tenure, promotion, or merit pay.
The University of Washington as an institution has only recently entered this national conversation. Nonetheless, the appropriateness, nature, role, incentives and disincentives for public service and outreach have been issues of concern to many committed UW faculty and staff for years. As evidenced by the response to the charge of this Task Force, the UW community has welcomed the opportunity to assess, evaluate and consider the appropriate role of public service and outreach for the University of the Washington of the 21st century.
One of the first considerations of the Task Force was to examine how public service and outreach relate to the University's Mission statement. The primary focus of the University of Washington's Mission is "the preservation, development, and dissemination of knowledge" (Handbook, Vol. 4, Chapter 1, Section 2). The UW serves the state by educating over 34,000 students each year and by offering continuing education courses to more than 100,000 people throughout the state annually. The UW also serves the state with its faculty and staff engaging in research that strengthens and informs their teaching, and which often also provides significant services (e.g., health care services) to a large number of citizens. This research annually brings hundreds of millions of federal dollars to the State, more than any other public university in the nation for the past fifteen years. It is not disputed that the UW is widely regardedlocally, nationally, and internationally as a first-rate educational and research institution.
Project REAL is a professional development program designed to enable K-12 teachers and administrators to facilitate the improvement of student learning in alignment with the Washington State Learning goals and the essential academic learning requirements. Project REAL was developed in cooperation with the Commission on Student Learning and is administered by Academic Programs for Teachers at the University of Washington.
While there is little quarrel with the University's primary mission (see above), both inside and outside the University there are those who believe the University could improve its accountability to the publiclocal, state, and beyondby focusing and communicating the public service goals and facilitating civic literacy and commitment to the common good among all members of the UW community.
The University leadership has concluded that to meet future opportunities and challenges facing the institution and the society of which it is a part, the University should build on its past achievements and pursue new avenues for fulfilling the public service and outreach dimensions of its Mission.
The University has current commitments in excess of $10-$20 million (some estimate as much as $100 million, if UW hospitals are included) in public service and outreach activities that serve a wide variety of constituents by leveraging various sources of money, including grants and State funding.1 Although the Task Force attempted to gather data on public service and outreach expenditures from the Deans, Directors, and Chairs of all units on campus, it proved difficult to both gather this information and to compare across units, given the diversity of activities and the methods of accounting for them. The University made a comprehensive attempt to value its service activities in 1994, even contracting with a well-known accounting firm, but it was unable to do so confidently. The Task Force believes concerted efforts should be made to develop the measures and tools necessary to accurately estimate the economic benefits and costs of its public service and outreach. (See Implementation Steps for Recommendation 3 on pages 28-29.)
There is concern whether, after 10% cuts in recent biennia, the University can reallocate, reassign, or reorganize in ways which would result in more innovative deployment of the admittedly scarce resources at its disposal. The Task Force recognizes the University's faculty, staff, and students can not respond to every public service and outreach request our constituencies might have. The Task Force further believes that current resources are fully leveraged and that any new funds would have to be modest in comparison to the amounts already being spent. Therefore, we urge changes which will bring focus to the activities, increase accountability, strategically organize, and allow the institution to take advantage of new opportunities. Such an orientation also will allow the University to communicate more fully and effectively its role as an institutional citizen, reflective of the priority established by President McCormick.
Citing an already substantial level of engagement by faculty, students, and staff in a rich variety of activities which contribute to the University's statewide community, in March 1996, President McCormick charged the Task Force on University Public Service and Outreach to recommend ways to focus these activities more effectively. The goal of this charge was to enable the University to engage its public throughout the State more strategically and to communicate its particular role as an institutional citizen more effectively. President McCormick asked the Task Force to identify those areas and issues on which faculty, student, and staff expertise allows the University to make special and unique contributions to the community-at large. (See Appendix 1 for Charge Letter.)
Although the issues identified within this charge are addressed within this report, we recognize that it does not directly respond to all public service and outreach concerns. Instead, the Task Force chose to address most fully those areas in which it felt it had the best opportunity to make substantial contributions.
In his charge, President McCormick asked the Task Force to consult broadly both internally and externally with the University to address the following issues and questions:
The President established a Task Force consisting of 24 faculty, staff, and students from throughout the University community during Spring Quarter 1996. (See Appendix 1 for the letter charging the members and the composition of the Task Force.)
After initial meetings, the Task Force divided into three subcommittees with co-chairs who, together with the Task Force chair, formed the Executive Committee (see Appendix 1 for list of subcommittee membership). The subcommittees had the following charges:
The Task Force also established an e-mail address and listserv, and advertised them broadly to encourage communications with and among Task Force members. Additionally, the Task Force reviewed documents, reports, and literature from universities and professional associations around the nation on this topic and interviewed several persons active on their own campuses in this area.
Finally, The Task Force invited Dean Wim Wiewel from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to campus to consult with the Task Force. Until recently, he was Special Assistant to the Chancellor responsible for implementing UIC's "Great Cities Project" which has successfully addressed several issues considered by the UW's Task Force on Public Service and Outreach.
Tradition and some official documents cause faculty to expect to be evaluated in terms of their "research, teaching and service." However, the definitions, structures and evaluation procedures for assessing both research and teaching are much better developed and understood than those for the service dimension. In his initial meeting with the Task Force, President McCormick suggested that faculty should become involved in the definition and assessment of service as well.
The history of specific service and outreach activities, changes in the sources of support over time, and a number of other issues make it extremely difficult to classify activities neatly into one category or another. Many activities can be viewed as public service and outreach, or as public service in the initial stages and later as outreach, or they might be one or the other depending on the mission of the unit providing them. The Task Force recognizes that the campus community's use of service-related terms is evolving and still inconsistent, but we expect that subsequent discussions will lead to more broadly shared, more consistent meanings. The Task Force has agreed:
Professor William Beyers of the Department of Geography was asked by a group of local public, private and non-profit agencies to advise them on developing a survey to assess the public's current use of certain spaces and potential future use under certain conditions. He was asked because of his academic expertise; his time was uncompensated. However, if the group secures funding to conduct the survey, they may hire him as a paid consultant to design it, collect and analyze the data, and interpret it for them. In both instances, Beyers is providing public service.
It is tied to the mission, goals, and plans of the University and/or units, and should be strategically targeted to rely on the unique capabilities of the University in conjunction with the concerns of external constituencies. It is often externally funded and provided by persons hired specifically for that purpose.
The Jackson School of International Studies has competed nationally and been awarded several Title VI "centers"a Middle East Center, a European Center, a Southeast Asia Center, etc. To be successful in the competitions, the Jackson School was required to propose plans for specific outreach activities. The Jackson School Outreach Centers have full-time, professional staff who engage in the outreach activities, many of which are carried out for the benefit of teachers and students in the Seattle public schools, as well as world wide on multiple web sites.
Numerous clinics of the six schools and colleges comprising the Health Sciences at UW (Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Social Work) provide examples of how public service and outreach often are intertwined with one another, and with teaching and research. For example, the Hand Clinic, the Anger Management Clinic, the Sports Medicine Clinic, and the Pediatric Aids Clinic (which all have significant external funding) at the three University hospitals reach out to provide services (often for a reduced fee) to area residents. At the same time, the clinics are important for the teaching of medical students, and for new research on treatment therapies and development of biotech prosthetics which may result in new companies.
The Task Force agreed that the following two types of service and outreach institutional and professionalare very important to careers of faculty and staff, should be encouraged and rewarded, and are considered in performance evaluations. However, we agreed that for the purposes of this Task Force, they are outside of our charge.
The fifth category of servicecommunity service is personal, is not considered in University performance evaluations, and is outside the charge of the Task Force.
David Russell, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, provides an extraordinary example. While working as a full professor, he served as Mayor of Kirkland and continues serving on a number of city commissions. Neither he nor the Task Force defines this as public service since it is unrelated to his profession, but rather as personal, quite special community service.
While the University of Washington has only recently become engaged in the evolving "national conversation" on this topic, our Task Force's examination of the University's public service and outreach activities has led to:
and student interests and commitments and/or external funding requirements. Whatever the origin, they provide many key linkages to diverse constituencies and there is a Task Force belief that many can be strengthened and extended in ways which will improve the effectiveness and benefits for all parties;
The Office of Minority Affairs has provided leadership in providing computer instruction, through partnerships with Microsoft, to students from Cleveland, Rainier Beach and Nathan Hale schools. Many of these high school students are at high risk of dropping out. A closely related program focuses on mentoring in middle schools, both in Seattle, White Swan Reservation, Sunnyside and Topenish. Both programs aim to encourage high-risk students, many of whom are students of color and from low income families, to view college as a viable option for them and to provide them with the training and supports to be prepared for college. Some of the programs bring the middle school and high school students to campus during the summer to provide them with additional college preparation educational opportunities.
Over the past two years, Mike Pyatok of the Department of Architecture has been working with residents of the Cascadia neighborhood to plan their future. This neighborhood is located in a transitional zone between downtown Seattle and Lake Union in an area that is undergoing considerable change and development. Working directly with residents, Professor Pyatok's design studio classes have focused student design work on housing and community design issues in this area. Students have explored a number of options for the design of affordable housing and community support services for the neighborhood. Over 35 different student projects have been done with broad public involvement. This work is helping residents to see a positive future for their community in spite of the tremendous change and development where they live. These student-based studies could lead to real investments in the community by a variety of groups and in the long run, make a significant difference to the quality of life to inhabitants of the neighborhood.
Since 1992, the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Office, a unit of Undergraduate Education, has supported individual faculty in a variety of disciplines throughout the University in their efforts to integrate public service into their courses to provide undergraduate students service learning opportunities. In 1995, with funding from a FIPSE grant, the Carlson Office and the Geography department began a partnership to develop service learning at the departmental or curricular level, with the goal of providing students opportunities across courses and over time that could deepen their investments and critical understandings.
In little more than a year the number of Geography faculty offering students service learning options has grown from three to eight, including Chair David Hodge, and four graduate teaching assistants have either supported or taught service learning courses. This curricular innovation has impacted not only undergraduate students, but the teaching and research interests of faculty and the professional goals of graduate students. For example, Prof. Lucy Jaroszs service learning teaching experience has been instrumental in refocusing her research interests from agrarian change and food security in sub-Saharan Africa to how, gender, class, and race relations shape and are shaped by food production and distribution systems in the Yakima Valley and other areas, and how these systems impact development. As well, this departmental effort has forged strong, ongoing relationships between the community and the department, a foundation which has spawned creative initiatives neither could undertake alone.
The Task Force's review of the University's forms on which faculty report public service, outreach, professional service, and consulting; interviews with unit leaders; and hearings and focus groups indicate that faculty, staff, and students at the University of Washington are intensively and extensively engaged in a wide range of public service and outreach activities which are integral to the teaching and research missions of the institution. Activities cross disciplinary boundaries, occurring within professional schools and colleges, departments across Arts and Sciences, and the Health Sciences. They involve faculty students and staff, with students frequently completing internships/clinical rotations, or meeting class requirements through their public service and outreach activities.2
The School of Nursing, for example, provides all its undergraduates with community health care clinical sections in southeast Seattle while the Business Economic Development Program involves teams of students and faculty working with owners of inner city businesses to provide assistance on accounting, financial analysis and other areas of business management. The Law School has seven clinics in criminal law, employment law, child advocacy, refugee advocacy, affordable housing, immigration, and mediation, in which students are required to donate 50 hours of work before graduation. Each of the other professional schools and colleges also has faculty, staff and students involved in community settings. For example, Social Work has students involved in nearly 300 different human service and health care settings statewide, and Public Affairs through The Interprofessional Collaboration project (TIC) fields "interprofessional" teams in a number of collaborative settings throughout the Puget Sound region. Faculty are working with Seattle Public Schools (and districts in four other states) to give more power and discretion over budgetary decisions to individual principals and site-based community groups in return for higher performance levels. Architecture and Urban Planning partners with community -based groups to create "environmental learning centers" and rehabilitate parks and public buildings. The Institute for Public Policy and Management offers public forums to educate the public and facilitate broad public debate on significant policy issues.
The College of Education has working relationships with a number of partner schools where education students, faculty, and public school teachers work on-site to address issues of teacher preparation and continuing professional education. Over 40 elementary and secondary schools in the metropolitan area participate as partners. In addition, the College has established collaborative partnerships with school districts and the business community directly related to school reform. These consortia are developing policy and procedures for their districts.
There is also a wide range of continuing education courses enrolling over 100,000 students annually. Increasing number of units provide resources through Internet communication, especially through award-winning Web sites. The Medical School, for example, has a medical hot line on the Internet which provides information to physicians statewide. Among the departments in Arts and Sciences, the sciences appear to be most involved in the community, bringing their expertise to schools and community groups on such topics as the Human Genome Project, chemistry and math. The University Library serves many thousands of non student residents every year. University theatrical, dramatic, and sporting events are open to the public. University relations, UWTV and KUOW reach many thousands through their publications, broadcasts, and speakers bureaus.
The University of Washington's Health Sciences Libraries and Computing and Communications are key elements in the success of the Information Network for Public Health Officials. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and in cooperation with the Washington State Department of Health, the State's 33 Local Health Departments, and the Washington State Department of Information Services, an information infrastructure is physically linking each of the local health jurisdictions to the State Department of Health.
Health Sciences Libraries and Computing & Communications are developing a World Wide Web home page to provide public health information via the Internet. In order to include Local Health Departments prior to the completion of the overall infrastructure, UW provides dial-in e-mail services and access to the Internet. In addition, the Libraries provide extensive help desk support for both Internet and e-mail use. This project was a winner of the prestigious National Information Infrastructure award in 1995recognizing its national significance in fundamentally extending the use of the information highway.
While extremely difficult to quantify precisely3, UW public service and outreach activities are valued in excess of $10-$20 million, some estimate as high as $100 million if UW hospitals are included, in services to the public. Many of these services and activities are supported by funds awarded through federal and foundation grants and contracts, bringing significant additional resources to the state benefiting the local economy4, as well as enhancing UW research efforts and financial aid for students. (President McCormick recently noted that the on a biennial basis, University generates approximately $3 billion of economic activity to the region.)
At the same time, traditionally most of the public service and outreach efforts at the University are not well known even within the University, and have not served strategic purposes for the entire institution. They tend to have been initiated by individuals or units for the benefit of specific external groups, with their aggregate impact not necessarily visible on campus, let alone beyond the campus. For example, the children's dental clinic in Yakima and Toppenish facilities, the Seismology Lab or the Marine Labs at Friday Harbor, and the activities associated with the million-dollar-a-year outreach program of the Washington Sea Grant, such as the revitalization of two communities' waterfronts [Raymond and South Fork], all provide valuable services to people and communities at a considerable distance from the campus, and much of the campus community is unaware of them. Further, the level and nature of UW involvement with the community has depended primarily on individual or administrative leadership within the various units and rarely has been initiated or rewarded by the central leadership of the University.
For nearly a decade, students from the School of Dentistry have been providing dental care for children of migrant and seasonal workers in the Yakima Valley as part of a clinical extramural course in pediatric dentistry. For the last several years, 40% of the class (about 20 students a year) have been participating in this two week clinical elective. Fourth year predoctoral students have provided comprehensive dental care for children in the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) in Grandview, Toppenish, and Yakima facilities. The students who have participated in this activity have had praise for this educational experience. Since this educational experience has been offered to predoctoral students at the University of Washington the YVFWC has not had a significant problem recruiting clinicians for its dental clinic. Dentists who have participated in the YVFWC course often apply to the clinic for employment as staff dentists following their graduation.
Both the University of Washington and the State can benefit significantly more from the investments in public service and outreach if they are strategic, focused, and communicated more effectively.
While emphasizing continued high quality education and research, the Task Force believes a more proactive, strategic institutional position on integrating public service and outreach with teaching and research, far from being a distraction, can enhance their excellence and bring substantial additional benefits to the University, including added leveraging of University's resources, and better public understanding and appreciation for the institution as a whole.
Thus, the overall goal of the recommendations contained in this report is to increase the accountability of the University by enabling it to facilitate public service and outreach in a manner which is more responsive to diverse communities of the State of Washington. The Task Force believes that implementing its recommendations will achieve this goal and will contribute to more fully realizing the value of the entire University to the society of which it is a part. We expect that this will create new roles for faculty, staff, student research and service-learning, representing enormous scholarly opportunities for the University of Washington of the 21st Century. At the same time, engaging in these opportunities can enable UW to model institutional civic behavior; to support a habit of civic responsibility already well developed among some faculty, staff and students; and to encourage it among others.
The Trust in Government Project is an initiative of the Graduate School of Public Affairs developed to investigate how the rampant public distrust of the nation's major institutions, including those of governance, poses threats to effective public service and ultimately to the American political system. The Trust in Government Project has sponsored a two-year series of events reaching out to the public on topics including: "Leadership and Civic Competence," "Trust versus Rampant Mistrust," "Media and Democracy," "The Information Explosion," "The Credibility of Government Data," "The American Voter in 1996," and "The Credibility of Think Tanks." Events in year one drew crowds averaging 400 and the 1997 events have been aimed at a smaller audience of practitioners.
Appointed by President Richard McCormick in March 1996, (see Appendix 1 for Charge Letter and membership) the Task Force has addressed the issues stated above in its full report: With Community Partners: Building Washington's Future. On the basis of our findings, the Task Force makes three action recommendations to the President and his staff, and outlines a set of strategic implementation steps and structures.
On the basis of the above findings and beliefs, the Task Force makes three action recommendations to the President and his staff. Each recommendation is followed by a detailed discussion, drawing on the interviews, focus groups, data analyses and deliberations of the Task Force, and a set of recommended implementation steps.
In order to clarify for the University community and for the public the role, meaning and priority of public service and outreach, the University leadershipregents, president, provost and their staffs should articulate and widely disseminate a new University policy.
This policy should:
The articulation, dissemination and discussions of such a policy are expected to lead to cultural change in the University community with respect to public service and outreach.
Faculty and staff express considerable uncertainty about where public service and outreach fall in the Regents' and central administration's priorities for the University. They are unclear how their department chairs view the relationship of public service and outreach to research and teaching, or its relative value. They say this lack of clarity sends mixed messages not merely to University employees, but to our larger public as well. They want clear messages from the University leadership about the importance of public service and outreach, and they want policies and procedures consistent with this commitment. They also want the central administration to provide means for advancing and consistently supporting unit-level public service and outreach.
Many faculty and staff who make significant investments in public service and outreach feel their work goes unrecognized by a reward structure more attuned to research and teaching. The result is that their outreach activity must be accomplished on top of an already demanding research and teaching schedule. Some faculty and staff report feeling so stretched by multiple commitments that they find themselves caught in a zero-sum game in which they simply cannot take on additional public service and outreach. They want a reward structure that is more broadly responsive to all of their efforts and that is flexible enough to recognize and foster the heterogeneous contributions of faculty, students, and staff to the holistic contributions of their unit.
A number of faculty and staff point out that intellectually valid and socially relevant public service and outreach frequently calls for interdisciplinary approaches. They are eager to work with faculty and staff across units, yet perceive that they are hampered by an institutional culture that discourages collaboration across units in its inability to recognize and reward such effort. They perceive the same obstacles to extra-institutional collaboration. They want a clear statement of support for interdisciplinary scholarly engagement in public service and outreach from the University's leadership as well as mechanisms and resources to foster such activity.
Professional staff and non-tenured faculty, especially, perceive a number of administrative obstacles to their efforts to participate in public service and outreach at the division or departmental level. For example, noting that most public service and outreach is funded by modest grants, some professional staff report that they often have substantial responsibility for grant writing and administering their department's public service and outreach activities, yet are unable to serve as principal investigators or otherwise exercise leadership, resulting in unnecessary levels of administration that cause delays, complicate projects, and frustrate all parties. They want the authority and responsibility that will facilitate their efforts to advance public service and outreach.
Some faculty and staff find indirect costs, matching requirements, and reporting procedures disincentives to pursuing grants, frequently the funding mechanism for public service and outreach. They find the administrative tasks which ensue from such policies and procedures especially burdensome and disproportionate to the gains provided by smaller grants. In addition, faculty and staff are unclear about how to work with the Development Office and the limits of their own entrepreneurship in soliciting funding. They want streamlined requirements and a break on overhead for smaller grants, and they want more direct access to the resources and expertise of the Development Office.
Appendix 3 includes a list of barriers and recommendations which the Task Force received and heard via e-mail, phone surveys, hearings, and focus groups. Many of the barriers were identified by numerous respondents; five are listed below. Please review the Appendix for additional low-cost solutions to perceived barriers.
Finally, although the University annually presents a "Public Service Award" to a faculty or staff member who has demonstrated exemplary service, many faculty, staff and students are engaged in activities which merit at least some recognition or reward. Several of those the Task Force interviewed suggested the value of letters of commendation from the President, Deans or Chairs, or taking such work into account when making decisions about merit pay. The Task Force believes mechanisms should be established to increase recognition of excellence in public service and outreach by faculty, staff and students.
Develop effective, on-going means to inform the University community and external audiences about the University's public service, outreach, research and service-learning activities. Develop mechanisms for "listening" to UW constituencies and incorporating their feedback.
The notion of what constitutes public service and outreach varies enormously across campus. Some units see their activity, including their commitments to research and teaching, as public service, while other units involved in very similar work report that they are not engaged in public service and outreach. A university-wide, unit-based conversation could foster inquiry into differential notions of what kind of University activity constitutes public service and outreach and in what way. It could foster the development of a more complete language for thought and discussion of public service and outreach commensurate with our ways of thinking about research and teaching. It could explore the relationship between research, teaching, and public service, encouraging integrative conceptions of these three missions that more fully articulate the identity of the University. It could explore the centrality of such activities to the missions of the units, and their role in tenure, promotion and merit pay evaluations.
Many citizens view the University as a potent intellectual and creative resource, yet at the same time perceive the University as disinterested, self-absorbed, and too often driven by self-serving motives. A frequent suggestion of those the Task Force interviewed was that the University should be a leader, provide models, be a convener and "be at the table" when public issues are being discussed. While many University faculty and staff desire better communication with our larger public and encourage educating citizens about the University's role in the State, they are concerned not to create unrealistic expectations on the part of citizens of what the University can do. The Task Force believes the University can play an effective role by regularly gathering statewide civic, political, and corporate leaders in a neutral, information-based forum designed to address statewide issues and develop potential solutions.
The Institute for Public Policy and Management (IPPM), housed within the Graduate School of Public Affairs, initiates and conducts major applied research projects. Through research, consultancy, conferences, publications, and training, the Institute enhances the ability of public servants and the general public to understand major public policy issues and to make sound public management decisions. The Institute has developed a reputation as the leading university-based applied public policy research center in the region and has a national reputation for its excellent record both in designing analytical procedures that are beyond reproach and in broadly communicating the results of such studies.
The Institute regularly provides critical assistance to policymakers and citizens throughout the state. It acts as a catalyst in helping Washingtonians identify and implement strategies to shape the future, and as a bridge between university scholarship and the needs of communities. The Institute draws upon the resources of University faculty members, maintaining ties with the UW Graduate School of Business Administration and the Schools of Social Work, Public Health and Community Medicine, and the College of Education, faculty from other academic institutions. The Institute and center directors also have an extensive network of informal advisors around the state, including public and private leaders, experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, other sources both within the state, nationally and internationally. No major project is initiated without extensive consultation with critical constituency groups.
Princeton University, the University of California, and the University of Wyoming have all developed successful models for such forums that have benefited their respective states. The need and usefulness of such a forum in the State of Washington has been recognized for several years and has been proposed by University leaders at least twice in the last six years. (See memos in Appendix 6.) On a smaller scale, the UW's Institute for Public Policy and Management has conducted a number of such forums in recent years on debated topics such as the Growth Management Plan, State Fiscal Policies, the Metro-County Merger, the Transportation Plan, and Government and the Internet.
The University of Washington has a strategic opportunity to establish a systematic means of convening and conferring with state-wide opinion leaders to explore perspectives on issues facing the public. This effort could broaden and deepen the University's relationship with key constituents around the state. A Reflective Leadership Forum could be convened by the President as a vehicle for exchanging ideas. It could identify and examine major policy issues and consider a range of strategies to address those issues. The Forum could encourage active participation by a selected group of state opinion leaders in a joint effort with the University to help identity and shape the discussion of pressing state issues by bringing together leaders from industry, labor, government, community based organizations, and the media.
The Task Force envisions that Forum participants would receive briefing papers prepared by a team of university faculty, staff, and students that define each issue before the group in broad national, international or regional terms, and then focus on specific Washington State applications. Particular attention would be placed on exploring innovative approaches to current problems relying on research on 'best practices' developed in conjunction with the university's community partners. The resulting reports from the Forum meetings would be disseminated broadly. Priorities and issues emerging from the Forum could inform and drive UW public service and outreach activities.
One model for the Forum includes a semi-annual gathering of 20-30 regular participantscurrent and former governors, county executives and mayors, university presidents, community college presidents, K-12 superintendents, union leaders, corporate CEOsand others who are specialists in the policy area under consideration for a particular forum.
At the same time, the University should work to provide more amenable access for members of the community to knowledge available in the University. An effective communications strategy would enable the University to gather and coordinate more comprehensive information about its own activities, to create broad and meaningful profiles of University efforts, and to strategically target dissemination of information to a variety of audiences and partners. A Communications Web would enable the University to educate the state's citizens, institutions, and sectors more effectively about the scope and nature of its public service and outreach efforts. Such a communications strategy could be the basis for identifying areas for new initiatives reflective of the University's identity as a public citizen and articulation of its strategic role as discussed in Recommendation 1.
Due to the variety of activity and organizational complexity of the University, it seems likely that a web of coordination and access rather than a single point of contact would be most useful to users within and outside the institution. For example, such a web could engage units including but not limited to UW Extension, the Libraries, University Relations/Community Affairs, and News and Information Services in developing a more comprehensive profile of University activity. Further, it could identify different audiences or constituencies in the state with which the University is or can be a key partner. One potential model is a Public Service Brokerage House that would facilitate community groups seeking partnerships with the University.
Finally, the University must monitor and evaluate its communications mechanisms to ensure that they remain open and effective. While improving the Communication Web and establishing the Forum will certainly help, the University must also continue to pursue additional opportunities to communicate with its constituents, such as the "Community Conversations" held by President McCormick during the summer and fall of 1996.
Soccer and Softball are two of the University of Washington's intercollegiate sports that are under represented by members of minority groups. To help engender a sense of belonging and to encourage children of color to not only participate in soccer and softball, but actually consider the possibilities of a college scholarship, the coaches and players of these teams (on an annual basis) go into the inner city communities and put on one day instructional clinics. Free lunch is provided to all participants.
The University of Washington Department of Athletics annually serves as the host for the Sea-King District Basketball Tournament. By providing Hec Edmundson Pavilion and staffing at a very reasonable rate of cost, we're able to provide thousands of high school students, parents and general fans exposure to our University environment over the course of three or four days in March.
Establish and promote the partnership concept for public service and outreach activities. Assist by developing systematic ways that individuals and units of the University can build and sustain partnerships with communities to address key issues and build on these partnerships to enhance interdisciplinary learning and provide field experiences for students.
Citizens and leaders want the University to engage communities and assist in identifying opportunities and in solving an array of specific societal problems. They want the University's preparation of leaders and professionals to more effectively equip them to respond to emerging societal conditions and accompanying challenges. They want the University to conduct research that better meets community needs and assists in developing infrastructure through research and technology transfer. Citizens want the University to take an active role initiating these efforts and partnerships, and to develop better internal communication and coordination of its own numerous efforts.
Although citizens and leaders that were interviewed by the Task Force expressed a desire for the University to fund projects, institutes, or other special entities, many of their more potent suggestions, such as sharing our rich data resources, require relatively little capital outlay to produce enormous benefit. Community members also cited numerous examples of the kinds of contributions the University has made which they want to see continue and grow, suggesting the ongoing dedication of resources to effective public service and outreach efforts.
Faculty and staff identify the need for time to carry out needed but currently unfunded public service and outreach initiatives. They also want institutional support to help them seed partnerships and projects, as well as to support the development of curricular approaches that integrate public service with scholarship. In addition, they want the University to provide mechanisms that facilitate individual and unit development of public service efforts.
Based on these reports and observations, there is a significant and appropriate role for the University to work with individuals and organizations as they engage in efforts to build on existing assets and revitalize their communities. By joining with community partners, University faculty, staff and students will gain from the knowledge and experience of practitioners and citizens involved in the hard work of bringing about change.
The University has entered a partnership through a contract with the Seattle School district and the City of Seattle Health Department to provide health care services to teens in one of the eight publicly-funded school-based clinics in Seattle. This clinic, located at Nathan Hale High School and Summit K-12, is directed by Dr. Marcia Killien, Dept. of Family and Child Nursing, and Dr. James Farrow, Division of Adolescent Medicine. It offers an interdisciplinary approach to public service as well as educational and research experiences for UW students in Nursing, Medicine, and Social Work. The clinic is a partnership with the community focused on K-12 programs and health care services by providing primary care and mental health services to over 1,200 students annually, many of whom have no health care coverage.
This approach has already taken hold in the "Principles for Community-Based Research" originally formulated in July of 1996 by the UW Health Sciences deans, and subsequently endorsed by the entire Board of Deans of the University. (See Appendix 2.)
Therefore, the Task Force recommends the formal acknowledgment and establishment of community partnerships as the conceptual foundation University public service and outreach activities. To do so will demonstrate the University's willingness to build bridges between the University and the broader community. The University has the opportunity to bring its considerable intellectual resources to the table of state decision-making in consultation with affected communities, while enriching the opportunities for scholarly research and giving new vitality to the University's teaching programs.
To enhance existing partnership and encourage the development of new ones, the Task Force recommends the establishment of a Community Partnership Pool with funds to support several $30,000-$50,000 projects that have been developed collaboratively by University and community partners. The Pool also should support a number of innovative smaller-scale, $1,000-8,000 seed projects intended to facilitate the development of new partnerships or add a dimension to an existing one.
Criteria for selection should include commitments to:
In addition to fostering outreach activities, it is essential to build the scholarly and intellectual base that is critical to an sustained University activity. Establishment of a Fund for Research on Community Partnerships would:
During the Summer of 1996, the Task Force interviewed a number of external constituents from around the State. These constituents were asked to identify key issues facing the State and their community over the coming years in which the University could play a leading role. The list below contains the major issues identified at the time (and can be found in more detail in Appendix 5). The Task Force recognizes that this list does not include the wide variety of subjects on which the University has expertise or the community has desires, but instead represents an example of the kinds of issues for which the community looks to the University for leadership.
Researchers and outreach specialists from two Colleges and four UW departments have worked jointly with the salmon gillnet industry and state and federal fisheries managers to develop methods for reducing the number of seabirds caught in fishing nets. Entanglement of seabirds is strictly regulated under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act between the US and many foreign nations. Locally there are also concerns that marbled murrelet bycatch in fishing nets could trigger action under the Endangered Species Act.
The applied research and outreach effort led by Washington Sea Grant Program grew out of the need to provide information that would allow for a gillnet fishery in Puget Sound during 1994. Information gathered during subsequent studies have permitted the opening of several commercial salmon fisheries during 1995 and 1996, and are forming the basis for new state fisheries regulations. Partnerships among the University, state and federal agencies, and the gillnet and other fishing-related industries have added to the research knowledge base about fisheries/bird interactions, have involved students in an active field program with strong policy implications, and have provided an invaluable service to small businesses and fishing families within the state.
The Partnership for Youth, which is coordinated through the School of Social Work, involves 13 different academic units and the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Office in collaboration with the business and social service communities of the U District. In the two years since it was formalized, the PFY has worked to make UW a better neighbor to the U district community, to stabilize the lives of troubled youth, to provide education opportunities for UW students and to help find answers the questions posed by youth homelessness and their family situations.
Partnership members have helped to develop "alternatives to panhandling;" supported school to work efforts; developed training programs for shelter volunteers; sponsored Community Forums for parents and policy-makers; improved substance abuse services; offered volunteer service opportunities; initiated an education program for street youth; and worked with local businesses. Seven of the youth in a PFY-sponsored education program completed high school through the education program and were accepted for community college this fall. Information from PFY activities has found its way into classes in Nursing, Social Work, Law and Urban Planning; PFY-related research and evaluation projects have been fostered; a Health Services Research Class has linked with the County Health Department to carry out a "census" of street youth; university researchers and city staff have joined with community volunteers to interview the families of runaway youth.
Matching the concerns and needs such as those listed above to the expertise and resources of the faculty, students, and staff, the community partnerships should focus on projects and programs in areas of concern to both the University and its community. In this report, the Task Force has recommended a mechanism for identifying and addressing such a list of concerns through the proposed Reflective Leadership Forum (see Recommendation 2 page 20 of the report.)
Additionally, there are already several ongoing projects that represent this blend of community and University collaboration, including: University District Partnership for Youth, led by the School of Social Work and involving several Schools and Colleges of the University; Yakima Dental Clinic and the School of Dentistry; field agents and specialists with Washington Sea Grant Program working on marine resource issues with industry and community groups in several locations around the State; and Olympic Natural Resource Center bringing expertise and resources of the College of Forest Resources and the College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences to partnerships with communities of the Olympic Peninsula. (See Appendix 7 for additional vignettes of ongoing outreach and public service activities at the UW.)
In an era of undergraduate and graduate student demand for involvement in experiential learning and at a moment in time when national sponsors of distance learning may spawn solitary learning with or without invisible classmates, the University of Washington is in an advantageous position to capitalize on its flagship position in the region by offering more intense, more personal learning opportunities appealing to the best students. That is, expansion of opportunities for students to be engaged in public service and outreach activities that are directly related to or emerge from research and/or provide hands-on experience and understanding would seem to be a practical goal for the University.
The brain-child of Professor William Zoller of the Chemistry Department, the Science Outreach Program combines teaching and public service in an unique way, providing an opportunity for undergraduates to donate their time and abilities to local schools while enhancing their own college experience. The Chemistry Department has developed a set of six different talks suitable for high school and junior students on a scientific subject, ranging from climate change to volcanic activity. In part one of a three course sequence, UW students learn one or more of these lectures, as well as the skills necessary to present it. The second course allows them to go into local schools to teach the subject in Chemistry classes, where the teachers welcome the University students as an extra resource. Finally, in the third course, the best and most polished students teach the lectures to a new generation of students taking the first course, ensuring a continuous supply of prepared speakers. Although they can only receive credit once, many students continue to travel to schools to give their talks throughout their time at the University.
The first integrated middle level curriculum developed in Washington, The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Series, is the result of MESA staff work with teachers, scientists, mathematicians and engineers to connect the classroom and real-world of mathematics and science. This series combines essential pre-algebra topics with exciting, hands-on science explorations to motivate students in both areas of study. Student simulate real-world work environments by collaborating in groups. Each module focuses on a different topics but each includes career links, writing links, history links, family activities, and assessment strategies. The MESA Series is distributed nationally by Addison-Wesley Innovative Learning Publications.
The University can identify ways systematically to scale up and advance existing activities and units on campus already engaged in supporting curricular innovation that integrates field-based learning with scholarship, developing innovative partnerships between the professional schools and our larger public, pursuing extra-institutional research collaborations, or grappling with rapidly compounding access issues. For example, the University could extend its ability to support faculty engaged in service learning by working increasingly at the departmental or curricular level. In addition, this model could extend to the individual college-level internship programs to enhance and replicate their efforts in making connections and collaboration between students, faculty, and the public.
Up to this point in the report, the recommended actions and implementation steps are relevant to all public service and outreach activities of all faculty, staff, and students wherever they are conducted, and regardless of their source of funding.
However, the Task Force was asked to make recommendations about how the University could focus its activities and make more strategic use of any incremental funds to engage its public throughout the State and more effectively fulfill its role as an institutional citizen.
Our recommendation for a strategic investment of incremental funds is for the University to highlight, strengthen, and expand partnerships within the State. Further, we recommend packaging several implementation steps into an identifiable, thematic, ongoing program of activity.
The Task Force envisions Building Washington's Future as employing the competencies of UW faculty, staff, and students in partnership with Washington's citizens and communities to address challenges and opportunities before this State. Faculty, staff, students, civic leaders and ordinary citizens who testified in open hearings or were interviewed by the Task Force agreed that with a commitment to "being at the table" and a willingness to work as a partner, the UW can fulfill a critical role in supporting the State's continued vitality and its citizens realizing their greatest potential.
To provide a strategic focus on partnerships which can contribute to the University's engaging its public throughout the State and more effectively fulfilling its role as an institutional citizen, the Task Force recommends the following steps and structures:
Linked by a thematic focus, tentatively entitled "With Community Partners: Building Washington's Future," several recommended components could create an integrated and strategic umbrella for UW's public service and outreach in the State. They could highlight and support current partnerships in which the University already is engaged, create new funding opportunities and incentives for faculty and staff interested in establishing new partnerships, and facilitate an on-going University-wide dialogue.
This linkage would make clear the University's commitment to accountability by effectively using current resources and leveraging additional resources through public service and outreach activities. At the same time, it would demonstrate the University's intent to participate as a full partner with other Washington stakeholders in identifying and shaping the issues that will determine the future of our state.
Building Washington's Future can serve as an organizing mechanism for several of the specifically recommended activities found in the body of this report, including:
Therefore, we believe the University should establish a small, permanent, proactive Public Service and Outreach Advisory Council to be appointed by the President for staggered and limited terms of service. Initially it should include representation from this Task Force. This Councilbecause of the importance of the integration of public service and outreach with teaching and research, and because of changes in evaluation of faculty and administrators implied in this reportshould report to the Provost. The Council should represent the diversity of the University community in terms of public service and outreach activities and would be responsible for:
The Advisory Council should be led by its Chair (a senior faculty member appointed by the Provost with course reductions similar to University Senate officers) and supported by a permanent, senior professional staff Director and student assistants, with the necessary budgetary support to ensure that the Council functions both efficiently and effectively. The Director should be able to command the respect and cooperation of senior faculty and students.
Articulate public service and outreach as University priorities requires no additional funding.
However, successful implementation will depend on the time and thoughtfulness of current administration, faculty, staff and students.
Develop mechanisms to ensure effective, on-going, two-way communications with internal and external audiences
This requires funding for the Public Service Directory, elements of the Communications Web (including the Public Service Brokerage House), and establishment of the Reflective Leadership Forum.
Coordination of and improvements to the Communications Web require: leadership and supervision from a 0.5 FTE administrator; a full-time web master with responsibility to gather and disseminate information on public service and outreach projects, to design and maintain data bases of this information, to create and update a public service web page on the Internet and link it appropriately, and to provide this information for inclusion in the Public Service Directory; and student assistance to support the other positions. Estimated costs for the Public Service Brokerage House include funding for consulting with and referring community participants to appropriate University students, staff, and faculty and units.
Estimated costs for the Reflective Leadership Forum include staffing for preparation of semiannual meetings, including administrative support costs and preparation of briefing materials. It does not include out of pocket costs or meals for participants, or the costs of reproducing and disseminating proceedings. We also expect matching funds from external partners.
Establishing community partnership as the basis for public service and outreach activities; strengthen and increase community partnerships
This requires funds for the Community Partnership Pool, and the Fund for Research on Community Partnerships. Their funding requirements are addressed as follows:
Funding for the Community Partnership Pool includes resources for community partnerships and seed grants to foster and support public service and outreach activities.
Support for the Fund for Research on Community Partnerships includes financing for release time and seminars for faculty and staff supported by the Fund.
The Task Force recommends the first step should be the establishment of the Advisory Council to oversee implementation of the recommendations.
During the first year, the Advisory Council should:
During the second year, the project should continue first year activities and add remaining elements. This staggered implementation plan will provide important visibility for initial activities while delaying full implementation costs.
The Task Force wishes to note that other successful, focused public service and outreach programs are more expensive, andwith visible, sustained University supporthave quickly attracted external funds. For example, the Great Cities project at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was initially guaranteed support from internal University funds, but word of the project was so welcomed by the Illinois Legislature, that it received partial temporary funding from the State the first year, and full permanent funding the second year. In addition, after 5 years, it has attracted significant external funding.
The University of Washington is strategically poised to move strongly, swiftly, and elegantly into the 21st Century as a national leader in higher education as well as an effective partner with the communitiesstate, local, regional, and beyondof which it is a member. The Task Force looks forward and stands ready to work with the University leadership to make this vision a reality.
1Precise figures are not available. Several previous attempts to assess the monetary value of public service and outreach have not been successful, including a 1994 effort in which the University contracted with a well-known accounting firm to make such an assessment. The only measures available currently are judged by the Task Force to be dramatic underestimates, incomplete and unreliable. About 30% of the faculty do not complete the 1461 forms, including many faculty who are significantly engaged in public service. Many cite confusion over the directions on the form. Further, information on public service performed by professional and classified staff is not collected, and student service is not reported or aggregated unless it is arranged by the Carlson Center. A table,"The Data Exchange Group Comparison, 1994-95" reporting the percentages of "budget spent on public service" for 36 AAU institutions, prepared by the Office of Institutional Research and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shows that the UW spent 1.07% of its budget and ranked 26th out of 32 reporting these data. Carnegie-Mellon, Duke and Toronto reported 0%, and Michigan State reported the highest figure, 13.62%. The UW budget office reported to the Task Force that the UW figure was calculated by summing the amounts in 03 ("Public Service") budget categories. Faculty and staff engaged in funded and unfunded public service and outreach indicate this figure is a significant underestimate of the true amount, especially if numerous health science department clinics, marine and seismic laboratories, K-12 and technology transfer activities are included. (return to text)
2Many of the UW's public service and outreach activities directly benefit the Seattle Public Schools and other school districts in the State. See the 1996 directory of such services. (return to text)
3Several previous attempts to assess the monetary value of public service and outreach have not been successful, including a recent one in when the University contracted with a well-known accounting firm to make such and assessment. The only measures available currently are judged by the Task Force to be dramatic underestimates, incomplete and unreliable. About 30% of the faculty do not complete 1461 forms, including many faculty who perform significant public service, many citing confusion over the directions. Further, information on significant public service and outreach performed by professional and classified staff is not collected. Student service, as volunteers or as part of class assignments is not reported or aggregated unless it is arranged by the Carlson Office. A chart of "funds spent on public service and outreach" by the AAU Universities grossly underestimates UW expenditures because it includes only the sum of amounts in funded research budgets designated in an "outreach" category. (return to text)
4State support for the University represents 18% of the total budget. It is estimated that external funding and activities of the UW generate approximately $3 billion of economic activity per biennium. (President's luncheon address to the
University's Visiting Committees on Jan. 31, 1997.) (return to text)
|Element||Year 1||Year 2||Total|
Materials for unit-level discussions
| Public Service Directory &|
|Printing of Directory||$50,000||$0||$50,000|
|Community Partnership Pool||$50,000||$500,000||$550,000|
|Fund for Research on Community Partnerships||$ 0||$300,000||$300,000|
Service and Outreach Advisory Council |
(Including Director & Student/staff support)
|Public Service & Outreach Roundtable||$ 5,000||$5,000||$10,000|
1. Members of the Task Force, President's Charge letter to the Task Force, and list of Subcommittee membership
2. "Principles of Community-Based Research" document
3. Barriers to public service and outreach and recommendations for action
4. List of institutions consulted and documents reviewed
5. Subcommittee Reports
6. Internal Documents
7. Vignettes of UW Public Service and Outreach activities
Return to the University of Washington Home Page