Community Engagement

Building Capacity

Building Tri-Campus Capacity for Community Engagement

Learn about the Funded Community Engagement Leads, launched Winter Quarter 2024!


Building on each campus’ comprehensive assessments of community engagement through the Carnegie Foundation, which led to each campus’ successful classification as Community-Engaged Campuses in 2020, the UW continues to grow our collective abilities to partner effectively and equitably in community. In recognition of the potential of this collective work as the core to an “impact ecosystem”, in 2022 President Cauce directed resources toward improving tri-campus community engagement infrastructure. Supported by a generous anonymous gift, the goal of this new tri-campus effort is to catalyze measurable, positive progress across the University of Washington toward deeper, ethical and effective community engagement by building organizational capacities that support, improve, and celebrate community engaged work. In fall 2022 a tri-campus Community Engagement Working Group was charged to synthesize existing understanding of campus and university infrastructure, develop strategies and recommend priorities and processes toward that goal. Over the first half of 2023 the Working Group laid some groundwork for strategically investing resources to build capacity for community engagement, in alignment with existing campus and institutional capacities, priorities, and needs. (See an overview of this effort (PDF).)

In spring 2023 President Cauce approved initial priorities and allocated funds to build foundational infrastructure and set the stage for additional capacity-building. The initial priorities for community engagement infrastructure to be addressed through this funding include:

  • Develop community engagement best principles and blueprints in alignment with diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Support or incorporate community engagement in campus-scale strategies and planning
  • Remove fiscal policy/process barriers to community engagement
  • Improve data collection (tracking, mapping, documentation) and analysis (assessment, evaluation) of community engagement
  • Support faculty and staff community engagement by developing and expanding resources for professional development, promotion and tenure, and other supports  
  • Grow student community engagement training and professional development opportunities
  • Build appropriate tri-campus institutional efficiencies and coordination of community engagement to center the benefits to community partners


Community of Practice

As part of this tri-campus effort to build capacity, a UW-wide series of conversations was launched in November 2023. Entitled Cultivating Connections for Community Engagement, the purpose of these conversations is to connect with others across the UW who practice, support, or are interested in community engagement; to explore what’s happening across the UW in this space; and to contribute your ideas and perspectives for building the university’s capacity for community-engaged research and learning.

Winter Quarter Community of Practice: February 27, 2024, 12-1:30pm, Zoom. Register here!

November 30, 2023 launch:

Funded Community Engagement Leads

Officially kicking off at the start of winter quarter 2024, twelve faculty and staff from Bothell, Seattle, and Tacoma campuses will collectively tackle key infrastructure priorities for community engaged research and learning at the University of Washington. Stemming from the tri-campus capacity-building effort launched in 2022, these Community Engagement Leads will work within and among campuses to assess, evaluate, and build community engagement supports for faculty, staff, students, and community partners. Learn about the Funded Community Engagement Leads

UW Tacoma is now hiring a Staff Community Engagement Lead! The position closes February 28, 2024; See the position description and share or apply today!

Learn more

The Working Group is now reaching out to UW campus partners to gauge their interest in learning more and/or engaging in this work. UW faculty, staff and students, please subscribe to the communityengagement listserv to learn more.