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Last modified: Thursday, January 13, 2011

Carnegie classification recognizes IU Bloomington for community engagement

Jan. 13, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington has been selected for 2010 Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, recognizing the campus's commitment to engagement through teaching, research, service and partnerships.

The Carnegie Foundation selected 115 U.S. colleges and universities for the classification, which encourages the schools to become more deeply engaged in generating socially responsive knowledge to benefit communities. They join 196 institutions that received the classification in 2006 and 2008.

Fairview Violins

A Jacobs School of Music outreach program at Fairview Elementary School is one of the activities featured in IU Bloomington's engagement classification proposal.

Print-Quality Photo

For IU Bloomington, engagement includes economic development assistance for the state of Indiana, arts and cultural programming, service-learning and community volunteerism, international studies and partnerships, research in areas such as health and education, and other activities.

"The Carnegie engagement classification is an affirmation of IU Bloomington's engagement and outreach activities 'around the corner and across the globe,'" said Provost and Executive Vice President Karen Hanson. "In keeping with the mission of the university, the campus supports dynamic partnerships that benefit communities nearby and far away. Credit for this important recognition goes to the thousands of students, faculty and staff who work every day to extend the reach of the university beyond the Sample Gates."

Unlike other Carnegie classifications, which are based on national data, colleges and universities apply for the engagement classification. They provide descriptions and examples of practices that show alignment among mission, culture, leadership and resources in support of engagement.

"Through service-learning courses, international programs, and participation in campus and community organizations, IU Bloomington students expand their horizons and develop leadership and problem-solving skills," said Sonya Stephens, vice provost for undergraduate education. "We know from the National Survey of Student Engagement and other research that engaged students are more likely to be successful students and committed citizens. This classification by the Carnegie Foundation is national recognition for the excellent work being done by IU students, administrators, faculty and staff to ensure that engagement is and remains a leading campus priority."

Campus-wide engagement activities are centered in the Service-Learning Program in the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education; the Office of the Vice President for Engagement; the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs; and the Student Activities Office.

For example, the Service-Learning Program offers dozens of courses in which students learn in partnership with community organizations; the Office of the Vice President for Engagement connects IU's capacity for invention, innovation and creativity with Indiana's economic priorities; and the Student Activities Office works with hundreds of student organizations, many of which perform service.

"The IU Bloomington campus has broad and deep connections with the greater community, and this relationship brings great benefits to the people who live in this area," said Barry Lessow, executive director of United Way of Monroe County Inc. "It provides opportunities for students, strengthens nonprofits, creates a better understanding of how to be civically engaged, and brings creativity, energy and knowledge to the work we all do. To see this recognized by the Carnegie Foundation is a tremendous achievement for the campus."

Partnerships featured in the IU Bloomington application include Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County, a Bloomington Continuing Studies program that develops leadership and service skills; the Fairview Violin Project, a collaboration between the Jacobs School of Music and a Bloomington elementary school; and the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, which provides information, research and services for people with disabilities and their families.

"Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County has been training leaders and bridging the gap between campus and community since 1986," said Mary Catherine Carmichael, director of the program. "We're delighted that IU Bloomington is being recognized for the many ways in which it engages with the world off campus."

David Mank, director of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, added, "The Institute is committed to putting good ideas into practice in schools and community settings. Our 'Research to Practice' is the result of partnerships in communities across Indiana. We are very pleased to be a part of the community engagement mission of Indiana University Bloomington."

Also highlighted in the application are the Bradford Woods Therapeutic Recreation Program, Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, Arts Week, Indiana NonProfits projects, Eppley Institute: Great Lakes Park Training Institute, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Kelley Business Education Network, Center for Sexual Health Promotion, RAICES (Research in Action Initiative for Community Health, Environment and Sustainable Tourism), Protective Order Project, Indiana Geographic Information Council and Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration.

Several dozen administrators, faculty, staff and community members were involved in documenting engagement activities for the application. "The process of applying for this honor has made it obvious to all of us how deep and wide the commitment to community and public outreach really is at IU Bloomington," said Thomas Gieryn, IU Bloomington vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.

The Carnegie Foundation created the engagement classification in 2006 as part of an extensive restructuring of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. It worked with a team of advisers and conducted a pilot study of a small number of institutions to develop the framework for the classification, which was previously offered in 2006 and 2008.

More information is available at