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U of M Designated as "Community Engaged" by Carnegie Foundation
For release: Dec. 22, 2006
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The University of Memphis is one of only 62 colleges and universities in the nation and two in Tennessee to be newly classified as “Community Engaged” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  The U of M is the only public university in Tennessee to be so designated.

The University’s designation is for Curricular Engagement and Outreach Partnerships, the highest level in the classification system.  The Foundation’s letter of notification to the U of M said that the University has “…demonstrated excellent alignment between mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement.”

As defined by the Carnegie Foundation, “community engagement” is “…the collaboration between universities and their larger communities – local, state, regional, national, and global – for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

Qualifications for the new classification are two-fold: first, universities’ activities in teaching, learning, and scholarship, as those activities benefit students and the community; and second, the practical application of universities’ resources in the community for the benefit of that community.

At the University of Memphis, more than 74 percent of the academic departments are involved in community-based learning, and almost half of the student population of the University was involved in such courses.  Some of the U of M’s programs in the areas of outreach and partnership include the Center for Earthquake Research and Information, the Center for Community Health, the Center for Community Criminology and Research, the Mid-South Training Institute (for law enforcement agencies), the Mid-South Planning and Zoning Institute, and the Institute for Faculty Excellence in Judicial Education.

Other major Southern universities receiving the designation were Emory in Georgia, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Tech, and Rhodes College.

The Carnegie Foundation was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered by an Act of Congress in 1906.  An independent policy and research center, its charge is “to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of teaching and the cause of higher education.”

For more information about the U of M’s designation, contact Dr. David Cox, 901-678-2234.

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