AUBURN – Auburn University has been selected for the 2010 “Community Engagement Classification” by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, recognizing Auburn’s commitment to community partnership and public service through its mission of outreach. The classification is the most significant recognition in higher education for a university’s total outreach body of work in the community.
“We’re honored to receive this national recognition for our faculty and student engagement,” said Jay Gogue, president of Auburn University. “Outreach is a defining aspect of our land-grant heritage, and this classification reflects Auburn’s significant commitment to serving the public in Alabama and beyond.”
Widely used in the study of higher education, the Carnegie Classification system is the leading framework for describing institutional diversity in the United States. Previously, Auburn had been recognized by Carnegie as a comprehensive, doctoral granting research institution. The community engagement classification was established by Carnegie in 2006 as an elective category for which institutions could voluntarily apply.
The application process for the classification was designed to assess institutional engagement in the curriculum, faculty scholarship, community partnerships and student life. In order to be selected for the classification, institutions had to provide detailed descriptions of institutionalized practices supporting community engagement and demonstrating alignment among mission, culture, leadership, policies, administration and resources.
Auburn’s application, which included materials submitted by each school and college, was prepared by University Outreach’s Office of Public Service. The application cited the importance of service in the institution’s culture, as reflected in the Auburn Creed and the extensive array of outreach programs and services at the university. It also noted Auburn’s expansion of service-learning programs across the curriculum; students’ significant involvement in service activities; and documented impact of the university’s partnerships in the community.
“Community engagement is an important aspect of teaching, learning, scholarship and outreach,” said Mary Ellen Mazey, Auburn’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This Carnegie designation is an important affirmation for Auburn’s engaged faculty scholarship and our service-learning programs.”
Auburn was among 115 institutions added to the Community Engagement Classification this year, bringing the total to 311 since 2006. The classification includes institutions such as Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin, long recognized as the national leaders in outreach.
“I am excited that Auburn is now recognized by such an influential organization as the Carnegie Foundation for the quality and scope of our engagement,” said Royrickers Cook, assistant vice president for University Outreach. “This shows that our faculty, students and staff alike understand the importance of civic duty and that we as the Auburn family value public service.”
(Written by Ralph Foster.)