VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 57 POSTED ON: 9/10/2010
Summary of Public Engagement Public Comments
Summary of Public Engagement Public Comments There were 54 comments submitted regarding the Public Engagement project report. Many comments focused on issues related to overlap/duplication, finances, support for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement, communications, and critiques of data found in the report. Overall, most reactions to the report seemed to parallel whether or not the commentator was a beneficiary of a particular component parts of OVCPE, or whether the commentator had a specific positive or negative experience in relation to one of these parts. As a whole, the comments appear to straddle the issue of what kind of central direction is needed and provide little more guidance on the way forward than the report itself. The following summarizes the main issues presented in these often divergent comments: Overlap/Duplication OVCPE has significant overlap with other units on campus, yet there is a need for some sort of central coordination and/or widely-recognized “central point-of-contact” between the campus and community Many faculty take part in engagement activities as part of their teaching, research, and service Corporations often make contact with departments or researchers or donate through the Foundation. The Office of Corporate Relations creates confusion. Many units do not know how to take part in engagement activities Redundancy can, at times, promote greater communication across units OVCPE more directly deals with the public whereas engagement at the unit level is more closely related to students The overall lack of collaboration in a time of scare resources raises the question of what is the function of the office Office of Corporate Relations The campus at large should not be tasked with corporate engagement Corporate engagement is more effectively performed at the unit level Connections with and funding from corporations have been successfully facilitated by the Office of Corporate Relations Corporate Relations has played a key role in working on issues related to career services Corporate relations should focus less on philanthropy and more on revenue generation A smaller Corporate Relations Office would benefit the university The Office of Corporate Relations has not interfered with individual faculty engagement It is critical that corporations’ multiple interactions be coordinated by a primary point of contact. There are natural barriers that prevent faculty members from initiating and developing corporate relationships that are cooperative and collaborative across campus units. Office of Sustainability Contrary to the report, the Office of Sustainability has focused on education A lack of communication between Facilities and Service and the Office of Sustainability has led to problems The Sustainability Education task force has had several accomplishments including creating a learning outcomes statement and working with the General Education Board to create criteria for sustainability- related courses Sustainability efforts should be coordinated centrally OVCPE Finances The Campus-Community Interface should have more funding Salaries in OVCPE should be reduced The resources of OVCPE are not allocated properly OVCPE Support OVCPE has facilitated a more open relationship between the university and the community, especially through the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Corporate Relations There should be a single point of contact for outside agencies to work with the university, and OVCPE provides that resource OVCPE was successful in helping the Cline Center for Democracy create an alumni public-oriented program and obtain external funding; it also has been helpful in scaling up the Illinois in Washington Program OVCPE helps to connect with underserved sections of society and is an effective marketing and promotional tool for the university OVCPE has organized or contributed to several successful events Multi-college research groups can be facilitated by a central engagement office OVCPE provides transparency to the university’s engagement and research activities; greater visibility and understanding can greatly affect and connect internal and external researchers OVCPE does not replace the work of individual units, it compliments that work. Communication OVCPE does not coordinate with other campus units Problems with OVCPE are related more to communication and perhaps staffing issues than to structural issues Report Critiques The report lacks an executive summary or definitive recommendations and does not chart a specific course for future directions The report misses opportunities to call for consolidations Faculty members who work in engagement were not contacted for this report The report oversimplifies the role of OVCPE and the challenges of engagement with the community There is not enough emphasis in the report on the role of public engagement in a land-grant university The report should be closely aligned with the review team looking at Extension The report should have considered the need for support for so-called “service learning” The committee failed to speak to (speak to sufficient) several constituencies including members of the public, college OCR liaisons, and The committee failed to speak with any of the college OCR liaisons and spoke with very few corporate contacts Other Comments OVCPE tracks a variety of engagement activities taking place on campus Public visibility of, and access to, the University’s research and activities is critical The campus awards for public engagement are important campus recognition While several specific activities under the OVCPE umbrella were commended, others were criticized as either ill-directed, ineffectual, or wastes of money OVCPE is no longer connected to the fundamental mission of public engagement OVCPE should be renamed ================================== End of Summary ================================ LISTING OF PUBLIC COMMENTS It seems that the committee found that virtually every function of the office has overlap someplace else. My conclusion is that OVCPE responsibilities should be parsed out to other logical units. There is no reason Illinois shouldn't be a world leader and model of sustainability. F&S is an obstacle and needs new leadership. This is an observation, not necessarily a condemnation of the office itself. As an MBA student, my classmate and I started working with professors on class projects with local non-profits. This has been done on an individual class basis if the professor initiated it in the past. There are also at least 4 other initiatives on campus that address this type of campus/community collaboration. These are all good things. What surprised me in the course of this volunteer effort is the striking lack of coordination amongst these efforts. At the poster session in March, for example, one only had to read the brochure compiled by the Office of Public Engagement to realize that efforts were, if not duplicated, overlapping; however, when I approached the other groups at that event, none seemed aware of what each was doing. It seems that a big benefit of the OPE would be to formally connect these groups, since the office would have been aware of them just by reading its own brochure. It is this lack of collaboration and combination of scarce resources that makes me wonder what IS the function of this office if not to coordinate these types of efforts. That being said, it is an important function and one that should continue as a concept. Name (optional) Rebecca Motley, PMBA Class of 2010 I am a professor in Mechanical Engineering. I direct about $200,000 / year of corporate sponsored research. There is no campus level involvement in this fund raising. I do everything myself. The committee report seems to link the campus-level engagement activities with corporate sponsored research. In my case, the campus-level public engagement activities provides no assistance to me. The impact of public engagement on fund raising may outside the scope of the present committee's activity. But it is incorrect to imply that UIUC's corporate sponsored research results from campus level public engagement. Name (optional) William King The following statement about the Office of Sustainability (OS) is not supported by the available data: "For much of that time, [the OS] has avoided any interest in educational endeavors. Recently, the OS has returned its attention to curricular issues with the education taskforce." A simple review of the sustainability vision document, the implementation plan, the activities of the education task force, and the Prairie Project sustainability curriculum workshop (May 2010) would show that education has been a key activity of the Office of Sustainability since its inception. I would be glad to provide these documents if the review team does not have them. Also, my title should be listed as Associate Provost Fellow, Office of the Provost. Name (optional) Barbara Minsker It seems like this report is incomplete...There isn't an executive summary and the "final recommendations" aren't really synthesized together in a section. It is almost as if that the reader of the document is forced to deduce that the OVCPE should be dissolved, without explicitly saying it. Regardless, it is a generally well thought out report and I agree with the recommendations. Name (optional) Max Ellithorpe I applaud the Public Engagement Project Team in advocating that the Campus-Community Interface be better funded beyond the 2/3 time of its director, Nathaniel Banks, in the future. I would recommend that if this funding be increased it be done in a way that clearly articulates how exactly the University of Illinois wants this office to truly "interface" between the campus as a whole and the community as a whole. My recommendation would be to fund annual campus-community roundtables/symposia that may not bring everyone to the table, but would at least demonstrate a good faith effort to share resources both among the many campus units that either do community outreach or community-based research and the community at large. Such a roundtable/symposia could be done on a relatively low cost budget and would lead to substantial "bang for the buck" in terms of coordinating and improving the University's community foot-print. I was very interested to see the report on Public Engagement and given my individual and team role I felt I should respond. I currently serve as the Chair of the Student Affairs Green Team on Sustainability. The Team represents The Dean of Students Office, Cultural Houses, Housing, McKinley Health Center, the Assembly Hall, Campus Recreation and the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Office. We have individually and collectively made contact with The Office Of Sustainability and have had great success with their Student Committee relating to the Sustainability Fee. A number of us have submitted proposals and received funding but it appears that this group could use some guidance in their role. Campus Recreation, for example, was offered a 0% loan and did accept that but there was little guidance from the Office of Sustainability on the administration or protocol for this process. It did work out but it was a "fly by the seat of your pants" system that did make us a bit nervous. Speaking on behalf of the committee we would like to see more guidance and a tightening up of the process of funding for the student sustainability fee and committee. The Career Center has held two on-campus programs reaching out to "Green" Employers while also hoping to include The Office of Sustainability. They have not participated yet and in talking with the office after the 2nd event, they noted that they are having trouble getting student involvement in their efforts. Student Affairs touches students daily and have reached out to this office several times with our hopes of collaborative efforts. While they are welcoming to meet and discuss we aren't seeing action from any of these efforts. Our perception is that the office needs specific charges for campus-wide efforts and then direct relations with those already active and those who wish to be. There is a disconnect between the fucntion of F & S (Terry Ruprecht and Andy Blacker) and Dick Warner's Office leaving many confused and working between two different offices. Name (optional) Robyn Deterding, Director, Campus Recreation I write to thank Dr. DeBrock and the committee for providing an excellent and thorough review of OVCPE. I have had the pleasure of working in the area of public engagement on the Urbana campus for nearly 20 years. I began my outreach experiences with a 25% appointment as an extension specialist in ACES. In 2001, as Assistant to the Chancellor under Chancellor Aiken I served with a split appointment to Associate Chancellor Larry Mann and Associate Chancellor Steve Schomberg where I oversaw Partnership Illinois and other public engagement initiatives. This work continued to grow as Assistant Chancellor under Vice Chancellor Schomberg and Chancellor Cantor. I briefly served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement with Vice Chancellor Sonka, and left only after I came to the realization that the OVCPE had become distracted from and didn't understand the fundamental mission of public engagement; connecting faculty, students and community together through academic and scholarly partnerships. I left OVCPE and the Urbana campus in 2009 when it was apparent that the lack of leadership and understanding of public engagement wasnâ€™t going to change. With your committeeâ€™s recommendations, I have hope once again that the third mission of the University of Illinois, service (public engagement), can once again find the leadership, focus, and proper institutional organization the campus (faculty, staff, and students) and communities deserve in public engagement. Name (optional) Kristine Campbell As in many of your VP offices you could reduce pay to reflect the high end of the National average as opposed to the double or tripple that is currently bein paid. Over the past couple of years, we have had the opportunity to work closely with this Office on several initiatives notably, CCNet, the Illinois Green Business Association, and the Retrofit Financing Pilot project. We strongly believe that without this critical central unit on campus to lead the Universitys engagement, these initiatives would have never become possible. Since the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement opened in 2007, we have found the University to be more accessible, more open to collaboration, and easier to reach than at any other time. Additionally, the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement has facilitated our relationships with two key offices under his purview. Our participation in the Office of Sustainabilitys efforts has allowed us to develop a better understanding of the issues our community faces and a more concrete vision for our own company moving forward, and it has jump-started our engagement with other units on campus. The Office of Corporate Relations has opened up opportunities for us to engage with major corporations when they visit the campus relationships which have proven invaluable to our business and which would otherwise have not been possible. The report seems to find that these types of engagement can continue to occur without a central office to coordinate these efforts that engagement does and will continue to operate at the individual department and college level. While we agree that every branch of the University is integral to engagement, we feel the elimination of a central office would be short-sighted and mis-guided. The value of our recent engagement with the University has stemmed from the very global, overarching reach the Office has lent to the efforts. The problems our community and our state face, the very problems the University can come together to help us solve, cannot be tackled department-by- department, subject-by-subject. Often, they cannot even be articulated in a way that makes it immediately apparent exactly who at the University would need to engage. We need collaborative, interdisciplinary, multi-level problem solvers who can come together under an umbrella held up by the distinct convening power of a Vice Chancellor- level position. In short, we feel this office needs to remain in operation, despite the challenges of the current budget. We feel their efforts have created lasting value in the community and must be allowed to continue to do so. Sincerely, Jon Cody Sokolski Mike Royse Melia Smith One Main Development, LLC. 1 East Main Street, Suite 200 Champaign, IL 61820 P: 217.531.1122 www.1-main.com Name (optional) One Main Development A large number of faculty do public engagement as part of their teaching, service, and research. I have never understood why a separately funded unit was put in charge of this activity. It seems to me that a survey of what currently was occurring should have been conducted prior to the funding of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement. Enhancing the visibility of public engagement services provided by faculty would be a cheaper way to showcase the university's public engagement endeavors than funding a separate unit. I am the Executive Director of U of I BIS. Steve Sonka and Mark Nolan have assisted our unit in many ways: They have connected BIS with a number of Illinois faculty and administrators for a variety of public engagement opportunities with our companies. They have supported our activity with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and our Coalition for Manufacturers. They have supported our NIST grant application and provided required information for the grant and they plan to attend our NIST Site Vist on May 26 which will demonstrate the value of this MEP Center grant to U of I. They organized a meeting with the campus team that will receive over $1 Million in grant funds, if we are awarded this grant. They provided $15,000 in funding to assist BIS in the development of training materials for a new Health Care line of business. We wrote an ARRA grant for Rockford Health System for $500,000 which will greatly assist the Rockford economy and enhance the value of U of I in that region. We are using the training materials that we developed there that Public Engagement partially funded. They have provided numerous linkages to outside agencies and information for our customers to connect to economic development opportunities. Whenever a customer contacts us asking for a specific faculty member or department to assist them with some project or problem, Steve and Mark have always responded promptly. Our customers have been very impressed with the response from U of I and have valued the assistance. We believe that there should be one central source at U of I for outside people to contact when they are seeking U of I talent and expertise. For BIS, this office has done an outstanding job, and I hope that it is retained. Name (optional) Mary Rose Hennessy I attended the Lincoln Bicentennial and can say without reservation it was a going away party for then Chancellor Hermann--a completely inappropriate use of state funds. Consider the comments everyone made, the focus on Herman throughout, the lavish setting, the meal, and alcohol--all on the taxpayer. It was a shameful smokescreen and an abuse of resources which Dr. Sonka's office carefully orchestrated. This is not the kind of operation Illinois should condone. AS a CPA, I believe there is overlap, unclear agendas, and room to trim and realign this program. The University of Illinois is a vital part of our communities and our State. The research and the expertise that exists in this fine University has the ability to do great things for the benefit of our citizens and our communities. Many, if not all, of these efforts and initiatives can be research based in one form or another; it is not only application of existing knowledge. Outside of the University, it is not apparent who or what department is currently engaged in a given research topic. A centralized Office at the University to help bridge these gaps of communication, perception and understanding has the ability to greatly impact and connect internal and external researchers. This would not be realized as efficiently or effectively if Outside researchers had to work on a department-by-department basis. There is a big opportunity to attract and recruit more research dollars and projects to the University as a whole if a centralized approach is allowed to continue. To the extent that it has not been realized to date, it is more of a symptom of understanding all of the linkages and connections that should be madeit will come. From an outside of the University perspective, without a centralized Office, it is not clear nor easily understood all of the opportunities to connect with the very large University structure. It takes an outside of the box group of thinker with internal knowledge of the many different departments to effectively collaborate with us outsiders This report misses too many opportunities to enhance changes in public engagement. Report is comprised primarily of old reports (the May 2007 report contains excellent suggests); little analysis of the very high salaries of the two directors amounting to $500,000 (which could support 10 additional staff members) and bringing back a retired faculty member against stated policy; appoint an individual to head office who has no understanding of public engagement; eliminate the job of outreach from the Office of Sustainability; no questions about over emphasis on corporate v. REAL world "feet on the street" public engagement; no interviews with people across campus who do this type of work; and no TOC. Further there is little discussion of the silos that exist across campus that affect public engagement; turf situations with UIUC extension, brought on by the structure of UIUC and extension; virtually no administration level support for academic/classroom public engagement projects that take 3-5 years to make sustainable--lack of funding and tenure support systems. Why do an Office of Public Engagement, Office of Sustainability, Extension, Institute of Government, and Illinois Sustainable Technology Center along with the merged surveys all exist separately--this just adds to the silos that exist. These are all fiefdoms rather than collaborative entities. The tone for change has to come from the president, not a posted strategic plan that has been virtually ignored related to public engagement, except for corporate relations. This report could have made a difference and enhanced a chance for change, but simply does not do the job. The report is overtly incomplete. One of the most important pieces of knowledge I gained when I did the evaluation of the Kellogg Project at UIUC has to do with the publics view of this institution. In essence, the public sees the university as an extraordinary source of cutting edge information/knowledge that is impossible for the public to accessthere is a virtual brick wall surrounding the institution. There is a break down of the old extension model. The university does not public engage the citizens of the state to share means and ways that the university could make this a great state. No wonder the state legislature takes little notice of the university rather than integrating the knowledge base here into cutting edge government. There is absolutely no centralized entry point within the university for a community entity to approach the university for a project. Specific example, the eliminated person in Office of Sustainability was the facilitator for a neighborhood watershed of 1700 household to make contact with a class working on mitigating storm water management through green solutions. This project has won awards, is continuing to grow, has become a community model, and will be presented as a case study at conferences. This is a win-win for students, faculty, households, modeling, and UIUC reputation. The report does not even mention these problemsbut how could this be included when faculty who do this type of engagement were not interviewed. I read with interest the project team report for public engagement. However the services will be configured in the future, there is definitely a need for the premier state university to engage with the public. The report states that many units and colleges already have processes in place for engagement, but a central office of engagement might serve as the logical first point of contact from outside parties. There would need to be streamlining and much more mutual communication between Public Engagement and units and colleges. Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. I want to emphasize the importance of an office at the campus level to help facilitate and coordinate public engagement and outreach efforts here at the University of Illinois. While most outreach efforts involving our faculty, staff and students may be able to function without the role of a central office, this overlooks the positive role of the office in making connections for certain partners of the university streamlined and less complicated. It also overlooks the role of the office in mobilizing and catalyzing new public engagement efforts that benefit Illinoisans as well as benefit the university in its teaching, research, and outreach missions. I see the office of public engagement as a relatively small office, relative to the overall footprint of FTE dedicated to engagement on our campus. From their reports and from my experience they serve a useful and important role in facilitating engagement strategically for the university. Name (optional) Paul E. McNamara, Assoc. Prof. Ag. & Consumer Economics, Div. of Nutritional Sciences, and Dept. of Family Medicine I am writing to express my support of the OVCPE based on the value that I have seen it bring to the local community through my experience with individuals representing Public Engagement and the Office of Sustainability. Much of this involvement has been through the newly revived activities of CCNet organization which is focused on bringing the community together to focus on sustainability issues. Through its participation, the OVCPE has provided a conduit to a variety of individuals, research projects, and other resources across campus that would have otherwise been very difficult if not impossible to establish. I have lived in Urbana-Champaign area since 1983 and in that time have had the privilege to work with various individuals and colleges across campus. I have been able to maintain and expand my on-campus relationships that I had established while in graduate school because I remained in Urbana-Champaign and my field of professional work allowed me to stay connected to the University. However even with these advantages, there have been challenges from time to time in gaining access to available resources in areas where I did not have existing connections. I can see where it would be very difficult for someone to establish relationships without the advantages I have enjoyed. It is my opinion that this part of the mission of the OVCPE is extremely important. In my opinion, the recent OVCPE Review report grossly oversimplified the challenges of true and rich engagement with the community. I agree the individual colleges do need to focus on engagement, but this does not take the place of the need for an overall engagement function that works in harmony with these individual efforts. Finally, at a time when the University is looking to establish new revenue opportunities, it seems that solid and productive partnerships with the non-academic community will be increasingly important. The OVCPE can serve a critical role in helping to establish such partnerships. For these reasons, I urge the University to continue to support these functions within the OVCPE. Name (optional) Chris Schroeder The Sustainability Education Task Force (SETF) had several accomplishments. We were charged by the Chancellor in January, 2010, and convened in February. Our charge was the second phase of planning for undergraduate courses in sustainability. The SETF is comprised of 19 faculty and staff. The first phase identified campus strengths in sustainability and vision. The second phase is directed at implementing the vision. We completed two tasks this semester: (1) Creating an Illinois learning outcomes statement for sustainability education (What Every Illinois Graduate Should Know About Sustainability), and (2) Working with the General Education Board to: (a) articulate criteria to be met for "sustainability-related" courses to be added to the general education list and (b) draft a general education theme on sustainability." The committee's agenda for Fall: (1) Follow through with the work in Spring: (a) disseminating the learning outcomes statement and facilitating educational activity related to it, and (b) working with the General Education Board to pilot sustainability themes and encourage their adaptation to campus General Education coursework, and (2) Complete other tasks of our charge (a) identify non-gen-ed courses that could link to learning outcomes, (b) identify gaps between courses and learning outcomes for future curriculum development, and (c) recommend whether undergraduate/graduate minors or concentrations are needed in sustainability. The SETF also participated in the planning and implementation of the "prairie project" curriculum workshop to integrate sustainability into campus courses. LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR SUSTAINABILITY (What every Illinois undergraduate should know). NOTE: These learning outcomes provide guidance to develop new coursework and assess gaps in current course offerings. The campus vision for sustainability is founded on a simple principle that the future of human societies depends upon the health of the world's environment and ecosystems. The vision embraces the goals of environmental, social, and economic vitality with the understanding that the needs of the present be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The University of Illinois will integrate its sustainability vision across the curriculum, such that, whatever their chosen discipline, each student will graduate with the following competencies: Sustainability in day-to-day life 1. Students will learn ways in which natural resources are used to produce what they consume, such as the food they eat, the water they drink, and the energy they use. 2. Students will understand ways in which their lifestyle and well-being are interconnected with those of diverse producers and consumers around the world, including impoverished communities. Sustainability knowledge and skills 3. Students will learn core concepts of ecology and develop skills relevant to their chosen field to provide a basis for environmental sustainability. 4. Students will learn to think holistically about sustainability using perspectives across multiple disciplines. Sustainability as Personal Vision 5. Students will understand relationships between global environmental and economic trends and their impact on diverse cultures and communities. 6. Students will develop an integrated vision for sustainability that embraces their personal lives, professions, local communities, and the world-at-large. Name (optional) Bill Stewart and Madhu Viswanathan, co-chairs, SETF On behalf of the Urbana Business Association and the 34th and 35th Urbana Sweetcorn Festival committee, we extend our gratitude to the Public Engagement Project Team's involvement in this years and last year's successful event. They took immediate initiative to establish the involvement of the University of Illinois College of Engineering and College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. With their help, this years festival presented new and amazing community-wide contributions, such as the One Community Together sponsored area on Broadway. The Illini Marching Band, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign College of Engineering and College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences booths, Health and Wellness exhibits sponsored by the Family Resiliency Center, and the One Community Together sponsored stage. These additions broadened our demographic spectrum to include that of the diverse student body of the University of Illinois. What better turnout than Main Street filled with both middle school kids and college students, music groupies and food lovers, to enjoy the bliss of the summer solstice (Staples, Emily. Sweetcorn Festival 2009 Buzz Article). As this festival continues to grow, please know that The Public Engagement Project Team's contribution has become vital to making this festival a success. You and your staff are truly appreciated. Name (optional) Susan Toalson, UBA Executive Director I would like to comment on the Office Corporate Relations. I have found it extremely helpful in making the right contacts at UIUC. Abbott has almost 2000 UIUC grads working for the company and we support many UIUC students though our intern program. We do research at UIUC and just started a presence at Rearch Park. We financial support many engineering and science events at UIUC. Almost all of the contacts have been made through the Office Corporate Relations. Name (optional) John Landgraf Senior Vice President Abbott As a faculty member, I have benefited enormously from the help provided by the OVCPE, and OCR in identifying, creating and sustaining corporate relations. To provide a specific example, Roger Van Hoy from OCR contacted me in the context of a visit by Chief Technology Officer Tawfik Sharkasi, given my role of the Director of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Management for Lifesciences. Over the 3 years, the efforts of the people at the OVCPE office were tireless, including accompanying me to Chicago to "close the deal" on the the most important non degree executive education program that is offered by the College of Business. Roger Van Hoy and Pradeep Khanna provided valuable advice and assistance that I did not receive elsewhere, including the College of Business' internal office of External Affairs. This is not because the internal staff at the College of Business was lacking in any way, it is just that they are not geared towards such type of corporate relationship development, in my opinion I know that I am not the only faculty member who is very appreciative of the role that the OVCE plays. Name (optional) Rajshree Agarwal I thought, on balance, that the review of the public engagement office was sound and balanced. I should add, however, that I have had some extended contact with the office that has been both positive and beneficial for the campus. For example, the office was very useful in helping the Cline Center for Democracy create a alumni and public- oriented program that was held in Chicago and focused on China- US relations. We had a number of luminaries on the program, including former Sen. Stevenson, and the program was well-received. The Public Engagement Office was helpful in planning, organization and identifying funding sources for the conference. The VCPEs office, including the Office of Sustainability, was also helpful in initiating a contact with CERL on some global research that the Cline Center was conducting on civil unrest. They recognized the implications of the research for climate change and this led to an extended dialog with the CERL folks that recently led to a small grant ($110k). More important than the grant is the network of interested folks that CERL has assembled as an advisory committee. There objective in assembling this network is to facilitate additional funding on climate change and civil unrest in the future, using the current project as a source of demonstration data for the potential of our work. Another off-shoot of this initiative was that the VCPE recognized the potential of a visualization system that we had developed at the Center to display geo-referenced civil unrest events (terrorist attacks, demonstrations, riots, assassinations, coups, etc.) for displaying the reach of UIUCs public engagement activities. We worked with the VCPEs office to integrate several years of data on the activities of UIUC faculty into our visualization system. It provided a very appealing way to demonstrate the reach of the campus. Unfortunately, it was completed at the height of the Tribunes series on admissions. That, in conjunction with the turnover of campus officials and the budget crisis, put this on hold. Hopefully this project will re-emerge in the near future. I would also like to comment on the Illinois in Washington Program as Richard Herman approached me to design and implement that program when I was head of Political Science. The reason that it was relocated at the campus level was that it began clear about a year into the program that we could never scale up the program to make it financially feasible if it was housed in a single department or college. There were simply too many discipline-related issues and challenges to address; it was viewed as unlikely that a college-level unit would have the incentive to tackle those issues. Moreover, Richard was intent on extending the campus visibility in DC and he viewed the IIW program as a vehicle to do that. Since he viewed the VCPE office as a central player in the DC initiative it made sense to locate the program there. Finally, I believe that the director of IIW is not full-time. He is also the director of the Civic Leadership Program, which includes an internship program. It made sense to merge the initiatives. Name Peter F. Nardulli Email address email@example.com This project team has done an excellent job reviewing this office and responding to the directives they were given. I have worked with staff from the Office of Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement on several projects and found their work to be first rate. Pradeep Khanna and Megan Puzey, in particular, have been extremely effective at quickly identifying and honing in on key aspects of programs that benefit and extend the reach of the University to off-campus publics. They have a good sense for how unrelated initiatives could explore opportunities for collaboration, and as a result, they often function as behind-the-scenes bridge builders. Their Office has a great track record in terms of facilitating events and programs that help our campus shine in important, but non-traditional ways. Their work does not replace the work of individual unit offices it compliments it. In my view, if their Office wasnt there for the campus, it would need to be created. Name (optional) Paul Hixson I respectfully disagree with Stewarding Excellence Committee on Public Engagement's findings/suggestions in the recently published report. While the need for cost-savings is very real in current times of grave fiscal stress, I strongly believe we'll be doing the University of Illinois disservice by dismantling or reducing our public engagement efforts. These efforts not only help the University connect with the under-served sections of the society but they are very effective marketing and promotional tools which have lasting effects on academics, recruitment, and research as well as endowment functions of the University. Cutting back on these efforts because of fiscal constraints only makes us less visible, be it to the public in Chicago or around the country or corporations we seek to liaise with, while opening up a path for other Universities usurp our place of prominence. Such a loss of position can sometimes take years to recover from. While it can be argued that much of work currently undertaken by VCPE office can and did originate in various units around Campus, the body of work and level of coordination we have seen in the last 2-3 years is an order of magnitude higher than what individual units could achieve. I believe, rather than dismantling the Office of VCPE or the Office of Corporate Relations we should be empowering them and perhaps consolidating the unit-based public engagement activity under the VCPE umbrella. Name (optional) Milind Basole When a corporation desires to award funding, contact is generally made with the researcher or department head who in turn speaks to the appropriate individual in that unit. Gifts given are generally through the UI Foundation even though designated toward a given unit. Most units have a contact individual for Corporate Relations. Having a Corporate Relations Office in OVCPE creates more confusion. It seems this office is unnecessary. With funding in several areas on campus for sustainability, it does not seem warranted to have another such office in the Office of Public Engagement. Research projects presently in the Sustainability Office can be transferred to an appropriate unit. Why is there a staff of 5 with a FTE 7.5? Something does not seem right. Are there hourly employees? A 100% Director seems to be a bit much, particularly if there are outside research projects involved with the unit. Upon reading the 2009 OVCPE Annual Report there appears to be outside funding. Why isnâ€™t some of the Directorâ€™s salary coming from the research projects in addition to State funds? By combining this office with another, there may be +/-$2,000,000 saved dependent upon amount $ given by Chancellorâ€™s Office for projects in addition to salaries paid. It appears this is another unnecessary office because there are other units that could probably incorporate most of the officeâ€™s activities into their mission. The IIW program was initially in Department of Political Science and once again should be placed into a unit with an outcome of becoming self-supporting. The Office of Public Engagement appears to be performing a lot of similar/same duties done elsewhere on campus. One wonders why it was really established except to perhaps give more power to the â€œadministratorâ€• who was in charge at the time. If this office is necessary, why is the administrator a retiree? If checked, I am sure one will find there has been a continuation of drawing a retirement annuity in addition to the UI salary. With layoffs, furlough days, etc. the $250,000 UI salary for an administrator cannot be justified. This Office seems to be another area of unnecessary bureaucracy within the University. Some responsibilities shown in the report of the OVCPE were performed previously under the direction of the OVCR, i.e., web site maintenance, etc., but were transferred to OVCPE when it was established. Reporting once again be to OVCR. When one examines the expenses at the University of Illinois and ways to make reductions, it appears eliminating OVCPE (and its office within) might be somewhat justified. I would like to mention that the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement (OVCPE) was the largest contributor and one of the main supporters of TEDxUIUC (www.TEDxUIUC.com), an event that took place on April 10, 2010 at the Business Instructional Facility. Organized by a group of MBA students, the one-day event featured 17 live presentations (19 speakers, of which 16 were from UIUC), one video made specifically for the event, and 5 pre-recorded videos. As a TED-licensed event, TEDxUIUC has the potential to showcase some of the UIUC research in front of very large audiences (TEDx talks that are featured on www.TED.com enjoy audiences that number in the millions). Name (optional) Cristian Mitreanu There is a place for an overarching Public Engagement Office, though it may need a great deal of refurbishment. To rescind this back to the colleges may save costs at the university level, and may make the university look better on paper, but will have two disastrous and counterproductive after-effects: 1.) Many of the public engagement offices at the college level are moribund and incompetent. ACES is notorious for this - the "public engagement office" has yet to benefit any research efforts and spends its time trying to pilfer faculty's industry contacts to use as its own fundraising base. The net effect of this change will be to reduce the campuswide effectiveness of large scale fundraising. 2.) It will provide stagnating complications for research groups who are interested in doing creative, multi-college research projects that have an industry or external fund raising component. The myth that the individual offices can cooperate and continue to do the work (which is currently being done well at the campus level) is disproved by (1.) above This is obviously a difficult and time-consuming process. A couple of items for consideration regarding the OCR piece of this puzzle: First, OCR has been the only group (in this sort of role) on campus that has acknowledged the key role that career services plays in the corporate relationship with campus. Karen Bender regularly interfaces with the Career Services Network, and OCR partnered with the CSN to help fund the Hire Illini marketing campaign to employers. The results of this campaign have shown that more employers are coming to campus and more current employers are utilzing more career services offices during their visits here. Particularly during a rough budget, it is important to remember that students placed in jobs = happy parents = paid tuition bills. Second, I see a larger problem that is comminications-based, rather than organizational. OCR can continue to be moved to different areas or restructured, but as long as we don't have a good, centralized way to manage communications about the many, varied corporate relationships across this campus, we will continue to struggle. OCR has finally devised a way to regularly get the Unit Corporate Contacts in a room together on a regular basis to share information, which has never been an option before. I think this is an important step on the way to finding a better way to serve our companies, and it will hopefully be followed up with a way to revise or replace FACTS in order to properly capture all of the information surrounding our corporate relationships. Name (optional) Nell Madigan, Assistant Dean, LER - Regarding the FTE graph: were OCR FTE's prior to the move to PE normalized in the pre-2008 figures? Seems like a significant jump could have been due to a department that already existed elsewhere. - There have been times when personnel in OCR "claimed" the corporate relationship and this hindered department engagement. On the other hand, one can only imagine the corporate confusion in dealing with tens of units without any centralization. - How do we engage in an increasingly interdisciplinary research environment without ANY central, cross-unit review? - OCR must continue to exist for institutional memory and corporate relationships. These relationships are more important than the administrative home. - Talent required for public engagement, extension, sustainability, development, etc. are VERY different than those needed for corporate relationships that involve returns on investment. OCR should increase its efforts in non- philanthropic investment. - Public engagement is a poor use of words for a single department. At a public university don't we already engage with the public? Do we need a position to remind us that we should? - Some redundancy is OK if the loss without it leaves us with absolutely no cross-unit synergy. I appreciate the effort that the team devoted to this endeavor; however I was concerned that the area of Public Engagement received little to no attention in the report, compared to the other activities associated with the OVCPE. Public Engagement as defined by the Kellogg Commission needs to be viewed as one of the competitive advantages for the University of Illinois. Public engagement needs to be viewed more broadly than just work that can occur in Urbana-Champaign area as to include all areas of the state. The report indicated that There is no debate over the importance of Public Engagement to a large land-grant university. I agree, and think further exploration with a common definition of Public Engagement is needed for this report to be complete. While this statement is made, there is little narrative about what is going on at Illinois other than what is included in report submitted by the OCVPE. In 1999 the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities released its report on Engagement, Returning to our Roots: The Engaged Institution. Engagement is more than extension, more than outreach. Engagement involves an equal partnership between college and university and the community those institutions serve. An Engagement partnership is one in which goals and objectives are jointly developed, expertise and resources are shared and each partner benefits from the activities of the partnership. Excerpt from Kellogg Commission http://www.aplu.org/ Of course, one of the largest components of public engagement is Extension. As indicated above, depending on ones definition this statement could be open to discussion. I would propose that based on Kellogg that not all of Extension is Public Engagement. Certain initiatives of Extension may be, others not. However, on our campus extension is separated from the OVCPE. As this review moves forward I would recommend a team take a close look at the OVCPE report and feedback, and the report and feedback from the Extension Project Team. I think strengthening the connections between Extension and Public Engagement could be mutually beneficial. I believe it would enhance visibility of Illinois research throughout the state and provide additional engagement opportunities for faculty, students and staff within their areas of expertise. Extension has strong relationships with local officials and community organizations and agencies. Extension could benefit by drawing upon broader areas of expertise to address community and societal issues. There may also be opportunity for sharing of resources. Additional recommendation: In order to embrace the intent of engagement and add dimension to this report some additional interviews need to take place with individuals, organizations and communities who have been involved with sustained Public Engagement work with the university. This would enhance the report and help readers learn how the partners in Public Engagement assess, experience and evaluate Illinoiss Public Engagement. I would suggest that an accessible potential source for these interviews be the nominations from the last several years for the Campus Awards for Public Engagement. Name (optional) Al Zwilling Given the timeliness of these topics covered in this report to the general public, I find it to be extremely shortsighted per the words of the review team to see only a "tremendous opportunity... involving students and faculty in these various efforts at energy efficiency" The PUBLIC is also highly interested as well, and while they do not pay tuition (merely taxes), they can also be considered students IF we engage them. And that shows them the value of their tax dollars spent supporting the University of Illinois. While it is true that the individual departments COULD engage the public, this historically has not happened. Why? The departments primary roles are: research and engaging the STUDENTS. They also engage (solicit) the alumni. If instead, we examine the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, we find a department that engages all sectors (students, alumni, general public) quite well, but that is intrinsic to their primary mission: fill seats. When budgets get tight the focus at the department level will continue to be, as it should, on its primary goals and secondary goals will slip. The OVPE has done a very good job of bringing together all of the various institutions at the University that engage the public at the Public Engagement Symposium via poster sessions at the iHotel (I attended high school, college and now *work* at the University and it is often very hard to find out who all is doing the same or similar thing I am!) In between, the OVPE's Innovator's Improv and CCNET initiatives have been instrumental in working to not only get out into the public, but also invite the public IN to the the University and meet with our Students, Faculty and Staff and learn and work along with us as partners. As an employee and alumni I am on record as saying that the best job the University of Illinois does of engaging the public is when it needs its football or basketball stadiums filled; OVCPE has started to change this, with significantly less dollars than the sports programs. And now it is in jeopardy from a committee that failed to interview anyone from the population VCPE was setup to serve -- the public! Name (optional) Matt Childress, firstname.lastname@example.org, '89 (uni high), '00 (LAS), Staff, Founding member, Illinois Electric Vehicle RSO The Office of Corporate Relations plays an important role in assisting multi-disciplinary, campus-wide units. The Office of Corporate Relations serves as a central point of contact for corporations who interact with the University of Illinois. OCR staff help companies navigate campus and gain value from those interactions. They intentionally connect corporations to numerous resources that are available to them at Illinois. In addition, OCR is able to promote and steward campus-wide initiatives or programs at a level that individual units cannot, thus underscoring the importance of having a neutral place on campus that can support the entire campus strategically with major corporate partners and stakeholders. They also can help provide valuable insight and direction to campus units and advancement officers to maximize corporate interests and potential relationships of mutual benefit. OCR Staff assisted the Illinois Leadership Center in identifying and developing strong corporate partnerships with Caterpillar and Monsanto. In both of these relationships, OCR staff is mindful of corporate interests and priorities and communicate with corporations as one point of contact with campus. They also have supported key events such as a Leadership Corporate Dialogue Day where multiple corporations were brought together to discuss ways to connect with Illinois around leadership education. Currently, we are working to develop additional corporate partner relationships as an outcome of this event. In summary, the Office of Corporate Relations brings value to Illinois by serving campus-wide and multi- disciplinary initiatives such as the Illinois Leadership Center. They serve as a single point of contact for corporations and connect these companies with appropriate individuals and units across campus. They strengthen relationships between the University of Illinois and numerous corporate entities. OCR is a valuable resource to campus-wide initiatives and the external stakeholders and partners who they serve. Name (optional) Sara Thompson U of I has a great program to engage industry in the process of educating the next generation of industry leaders. IT IS INTEGRAL TO INCLUDE BUSINESS IN THE PROCESS OF EDUCATION. We hire the students from your school and can be instruemental in helping you meet your goals and our corporate goals in one stroke. I am pleased with the opportunities for corporate interaction at U of I. Roger Van Hoy has been my contact/liaison with the University and the interaction has led me to support a sustainability project (a real current and future industry concern), to speak about careers to an Ag class, as well as having interaction with various groups aligned to the interests of my particular business. I believe this program must be continued and done well to assure that what comes from the University meets industry needs! Name (optional) Keith Schafer, Fonterra, VP Technical My comment is related to the section about the Sustainability Office. That office has made important progress in the short time since it was established, and I agree with the Team's conclusion that sustainability efforts should be coordinated centrally. Central coordination will be particularly important for implementing the climate action plan, since it will take a strong cross-departmental effort to acheive the plan's energy conservation and greenhouse gas reduction goals. Name (optional) Marya Ryan We worked with Corporate Relations which helped to obtain corporate sponsors for a course on sustainability we taught in Spring, 2010. This was a successful experiment and the work of the Office was very helpful. I write in regards to the CCII office within the Office of Public Engagement. I was happy to see that the team report recognizes the value of CCII's work and its role in keeping the spirit and drive of the Task Force on Civic Commitment alive on campus. I hope that final recommendations will support the expansion and increased funding of this office, given that it currently appears to be both understaffed and underfunded. The Education Justice Project, which I serve as Director, has benefitted greatly not only from the support of CCII and the Office of Public Engagement, but also from the information about resources, conferences, etc. that the Office makes available through its public engagement listserv. The annual symposium has also been a useful vehicle for meeting others involved in public engagement work and, certainly, for community members. I hope there will be a way to continue such programs. Name (optional) Rebecca Ginsburg I have worked as part of the Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (MSTE) for 16 years. We have participated in, contributed to, and benefited from the University's commitment to public engagement. MSTE works in partnership with schools to improve mathematics and science instruction. We also work with University faculty and staff to support teachers and learners of all ages. With that as context I will comment specifically on the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement. It is essential that Illinois has a prominent campus office for public engagement, and that the office itself has the feeling of being truly engaged. This implies that it listens, that it models learning, and that it recognizes and supports creative initiatives that reach out to the community. The OVCPE provides an important access point for institutional history of interactions between the campus and the community. The most important efforts of the OVCPE include: 1.The continuing effort to keep abreast of the thousands of engagement activities and programs that take place on the campus, through Extension, and throughout the community. It is sometimes very difficult to pinpoint engagement activities. Is a lecture that is open to the public classified as engagement? Is a grant-funded special program for high school teachers considered outreach? In a sense, all the work of the University is engagement, since the public benefits from research and teaching. Yet, the intentional, active effort of reaching out to the broader constituencies outside the academy needs to be recognized and rewarded. The attempt to systematically identify those efforts began with Partnership Illinois and its intention to track programs. It continues with the Public Engagement Portal that the OVCPE spearheaded and MSTE houses, but that is developed with input from campus constituents and the community. 2.The campus awards for public engagement. These recognize the efforts and commitment of students, staff, and faculty. 3.The small grants to programs that reach out to the community are very important. The huge response to the call for proposals is evidence of their importance, and of the desire of the campus community to find modest support for the many outreach ideas. The prominence of the Public Engagement Office is important. No one doubts the commitment of the campus to research, or to teaching. The extent of its active commitment to engagement must be demonstrated in ways that are visible and empathetic. The University should always be able to answer questions about its contributions to the State as a whole, the many communities within it, and the individuals who look to the University of Illinois as a personal educational resource. Name (optional) George Reese I understand and fully appreciate the importance of avoiding duplication of services and programs across the university in order to become more cost effective and efficient. It appears that there may be several areas of duplication within the Office of Public Engagement and other units. I write not to comment on these findings, but instead to advocate that UIUC maintain and strengthen its efforts in the area of public engagement and service learning. As a land grant university, this function is essential to our being. The University has supported faculty in this mission by providing start-up funds to incorporate service learning in courses, recognizing service at the campus level awards program, offering courses and reading groups through the Center for Teaching Excellence, and recently being recognized nationally for its efforts in service learning. I hope that as the university is streamlined that there will continue to be an emphasis on service learning. I can say that in my own Department of Special Education, we have several tenure and non-tenure line faculty who incorporate service learning into their courses and their research. Students in our programs actively participate in service learning activities and several doctoral students are pursuing research in this area. I think it is particularly important for research universities to make public engagement/service learning a highly valued pursuit, as it helps us to think about the greater good of our community, and allows us to prepare our students for all aspects of their lives. Saying public engagement is important is not sufficient. It must be a visible unit or department on campus. Name (optional) Stacy Dymond, Dept of Special Education It appears that the comments regarding Public Engagement acknowledge that the work done by the office is of value to the university and to the public. The question as to whether or not the functions can be carried out elsewhere on campus is an interesting one. It should be remembered that the office was indeed created to address the perception that the university and its engagement activities were not tranparent to many who would want to collaborate with the campus. The university in its complexity was lacking a central coordinating unit with regard to engagement activities. The need for a (as opposed to "the") central point of contact came from community and campus input. It was also expressed that the office should need have sufficient university status in order to be effective. This was not simply the brainchild of the former Chancellor. He was responding to an articulated need. If the office is dismantled, the need as articulated by both on and off campus entities will still exist. There may be room for refocusing the office and function, but it would be a mistake to remove the office and its function from its current administrative level. Name (optional) Nathaniel C. Banks - A single point of initial & ongoing contact is critical for industrial engagement and growth. - Once initial contact is established and connections are made, work with specific faculty and skills crucial. - An increased sense of urgency and less bureacracy would facilitate repeat business and growth in grants and research projects by staff. - Ongoing monitoring, contact and opportunity generation to build on existing situations is critical to continue to be top of mind with external sources I served as Chair of the Chancellors Task Force for Civic Commitment in the 21 Century from August 2007 to May 2009. In reviewing the PE project team report, I found several sections that I think need clarification or deserve more attention. First, the timeline presented on p. 3 says: July 2007 The Task Force on Civic Commitment for the 21st Century (CCTF) findings were published on July 12, 2007.4 Footnote 4 points to Appendix 2, which in fact is the report for the initial period of the CCTF's existence, before I became Chair. CCTF's later report and recommendations are at: http://engagement.illinois.edu/PDF/CCTFLeadershipRetreatMemo.pdf Second, the PE project team's report (p.6) gives only passing reference to a huge amount of activities associated with the OVCPE at UIUC: "There is no debate over the importance of Public Engagement to a large land-grant university. Of course, one of the largest components of public engagement is Extension. However, on our campus extension is separated from the OVCPE. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement has a professional staff that works hard to provide many services that are important to the mission of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These services and functions are well documented on the OVCPE website, http://engagement.illinois.edu." I believe that a much stronger statement regarding the critical role of public engagement for UIUC is called for. Further (and I know the project team had constraints on their time and the length of their report), merely pointing to the OVCPE website, in the context of the rest of the project team's report, does not provide enough evidence of the significant activities conducted and facilitated by the OVCPE. The project team may be suggesting that all those engagement activities NOT spearheaded by, and addressed under the team's discussion of, Sustainability, Corp Relations, CCII, and Illinois in Washington are important and non-duplicative, but it's hard to tell from the short shrift given to, in effect, the Public Engagement and Special Program boxes of the OVCPE (and you could say, to the VCPE position itself). In fact, it appears that the project team ascribes the bulk of these activities to the CCII (p.16), which it says serves a "great need" and is "underfunded." My point here is that there is indeed a critical set of greatly needed activities housed in, or otherwise supported by the OVCPE, including but not solely associated with the CCII. Further, I agree that activities of this sort are underfunded on our campus, compared to peer institutions. In sum, I don't believe that the project team's first key question [Given our financial challenges, how can we most appropriately and efficiently support public engagement? Are there less costly means of enhancing public engagement? Could the essential services now provided by the OVCPE be addressed adequately by other means if that VC-level office were discontinued?] can be adequately answered without fuller and more explicit description and assessment of the structure, activities, and accomplishments of the OVCPE. Thanks for the opportunity to provide feedback. Name (optional) Ann Bishop In response to the OCVPE review, I offer the following comments and observations. While I appreciate the amount of work and effort that went into the report, I believe that it would have been more helpful to have a standard report format that included a table of contents, a brief executive summary, and a specific section of recommendations. While many of the reports observations note that the activities of the OVCPE could be managed in other units, there are valid reasons for retaining them in an office of public engagement (whether it is at the level of a vice chancellor, or subsidiary to another office, such as that of the Provost). For example, the Office of Corporate Relations within its prior locations was not responsive to the variety of requests that came in from corporations. The focus was instead on corporate funding, or on corporate research. This sometimes neglected the more general needs of corporations looking for a way to interact with the university in terms of potential employees from graduating students, connections to various departments, and so on. Within the OCVPE, the Office of Corporate Relations provides a clearinghouse of information and an entry point for referrals to the appropriate faculty and departments. If this Office is relocated, it needs to be positioned so that it responds to a broad constituency. Similarly, the Illinois in Washington program has a history of being too insular when located in a single department. That departments interests and needs take priority to the detriment of students in other departments and colleges. The big picture viewpoint is lost when housed in a single academic unit. While the OCVPE is not necessarily the optimal location, it is preferable to a more narrowly focused academic unit. Alternatives to the OCVPE location for this program might include an arrangement similar to the Study Abroad office within Student Services, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (although the academic aspects do not fit well), or an operation under the Office of the Provost (since that could incorporate the academic aspects of the program). The Campus Community Initiatives program is highly respected in the community and should continue to receive support, and as suggested in the report, additional funding and staff. Overall, the report does not make many explicit recommendations, but may not recognize the value of having a public engagement operation that takes a holistic view of the decentralized campus community and builds connections to external stakeholders. The current OCVPE has a mission to create a face for public engagement at UIUC, provide an easily identifiable way for external stakeholders to find the contacts they need, promote and publicize the excellent public engagement work already occurring across campus, provide support for new outreach activities, and not interfere with successful programs. I believe this is occurring and should be taken into account when making decisions about this office. Name (optional) Nancy P. O'Brien I would like to voice my opinion concerning the future of service-learning and support structures to promote/enhance course and instructional development work related to service-learning at Illinois. In these uncertain economic times, the role of service-learning in students' lives is more important than ever. Service-learning experiences provide our students with authentic life skills, including leadership, team building, and critical decision making, all skills that will have a direct impact on their role as contributing members of society. What could be more important than this? My comments are regarding the project team's conclusions for the OCR, which I find to be problematic, only partially informed, and detrimental to maximizing corporate relationships on this campus. I have direct experience in this area as I spent 17 years in "Big Pharma" R&D and am currently responsible for corporate relations and the OCR liaison for my college. Each college has a similar OCR liaison, all of whom are most informed regarding the benefits/conflicts of OCR activities. I find it troubling the project team did not interview any of these liaisons, and only spoke to three of the contacts they were provided from companies that have dealt with the OCR. I recognize there are many individuals and groups on campus that are involved with various corporate interests, including instances of multiple persons/units interacting with the same individual corporation. Therein lies the problem that I believe the project team has been mislead into not understanding or perceiving at the level necessary to optimize their conclusions. As a former corporate manager, I know it is CRITICAL to have those multiple interactions coordinated by a primary point of contact. In the report it is implied that a corporation with diverse needs and areas of interest would generally be satisfied with a single campus point of contact residing in an individual college or unit. In my opinion, this implied conclusion is incorrect and likely driven by biased information provided to the project team. That single individual would likely be focused and knowledgeable on the potential relationships for his/her college/unit and less likely or able to direct a company to other campus entities that can address other disparate company needs and research interests. That is exactly what the OCR strives to do, and I have experienced it directly and witnessed it indirectly many times. From another standpoint, it is true that many faculty are proactive in developing effective corporate relationships; however, many others, due to conflicting demands or lack of confidence in it being productive, fail to take the critical steps to initiate and develop those collaborations. The OCR, working with college corporate liaisons, can help initiate and facilitate those relationships and then match other expressed corporate interests to appropriate faculty and units across campus. While some campus professionals in the areas of advancement, academic programs, and research may have enough big picture awareness to serve as an all campus matchmaker across all three areas, I dont believe that is generally the case. In various conversations, I have experienced an underlying and unwavering negativity towards the OCR from some individuals, which when queried, seems to lie largely in shared turf issues. I believe the confusion and conflict expressed to the project team arises primarily from those perceptions. The OCR is striving to facilitate and enhance communications in these areas, not "own" them as some seem to fear. If instead of a competitive attitude, all corporate relations stakeholders would 1) take a cooperative, collaborative approach, 2) value the potential big picture coordination and synergy the OCR might deliver, and 3) allow sufficient time for this relatively new operating model to be optimized, as a campus we might finally achieve the benefits of maximized corporate relationships that we aspire to. Name (optional) Michael Biehl The report does NOT give clear recommendations, thus defeating the purpose. If we take into account the various initiatives and support provided by the OVCPE for the Illinois community and for the university to help the public with what we learn and have become experts in, the question of whether the OVCPE should remain would not exist. It is very surprising that very essential units such as the OVCPE have been considered for review. One of the strengths of the current OVCPE is that it contains both the Office of Corporate Relations and the Office of Sustainability. Given that so many corporations are concerned about the economic benefits that accrue to businesses that engage in more sustainable behavior, this connection may be more important than is apparent on the surface. The interests that so many corporations have today about sustainability can be put to good use through an Office of Corporate Relations that has a strong connection to the Office of Sustainability. Name (optional) William Sullivan Corporate Relations (CR) is increasingly important to the University of Illinois. Effective CR initiatives have impact beyond gifts and grants dollars, and student hiring. A strong CR organization provides the ways and means to make the University of Illinois a national and international leader in university-industry relations that benefit scholarship, teaching, and outreach. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN COMPANIES & UNIVERSITIES HAS CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY IN THE LAST 5 10 YEARS: U.S. companies that used to work with and give philanthropic dollars to hundreds of universities across the USA are now pursuing all their academic research, all their giving and hiring with 10 20 U.S. universities and 10 20 international universities. Research and strategic hiring set the agenda. Gifts from companies are increasingly strategic: companies have gone from good neighbor love to topical self-interest. A philanthropic approach as primary focus for CR corresponds poorly to the interest of companies. A number of peer-and-above universities around the US have recently reorganized their CR offices in order to shift the focus toward a revenue-generating CR model that more strongly takes research- and scholarship into account. At Illinois, OCR was housed in the OVCR at a time when OVCR was responsible for our Research Park. This is not the only way we want to engage companies but a strong connection between OCR & the RP appears to make sense; other ways to strengthen OCR includes focused strategic initiatives that correlate industry relations with critical research- and scholarship initiatives across campus. The collaborative and interdisciplinary tradition at Illinois makes such an approach both feasible and desirable. A philanthropic approach to CR should not be neglected, but effective CR today is a comprehensive and complex endeavor. VALUE OF CENTRAL CR / OVERLAP / CONFLICTS An interdisciplinary and comprehensive university like Illinois attracts corporations that have interests beyond one college. A central CR office can facilitate collaboration with College CR representatives, Deans & Department Heads, etc, Advancement, etc. Administrative units within universities are famous for being siloed,. A central campus CR office can facilitate comprehensive and long-term approaches, where it may be difficult for a college-based CR officer to justify spending months trying to extend existing corporate relationship to other parts of campus (this we have recently seen with several companies working with ACES). LOCATION OF CR A yet to be published NACRO survey of ~50 top private & public research universities made in 2009-10 offers some insights: over half of OCRs report to a Foundation or the Philanthropic body at the University. Two smaller groups of OCR offices report to Research & to the President respectively. Other institutions report to Public Engagement (the U of I), or have joint reporting to Research & Advancement or to the VP for University Relations. There appear to be several good possible homes for a central CR office at Illinois. A campus-wide CR office that emphasizes collaboration across colleges, with Advancement, Foundation relations, and external (especially Federal) grant initiatives could serve the University well. The deciding factor should be what the best match is with goals we set for this office in the next, three, five and ten years. Name (optional) Olof Westerstahl As a member of the Champaign City Council I have been working with CCNet, the Illinois Green business Association, and the Retrofit Financing Pilot project. These groups and associations provide an important link between the community, businesses, and orgainzations that are attempting to move our Cities forward to a more sustainable community. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement, which houses both the Office of Sustainability and the Office of Corporate Relations has been integral in providing opportunities to facilitate the forward movement our communities need. I know there are current budgetary needs that the University is facing, but I hope that this office will continue to function at its current level. Our communities need to continue to be able to gain momentum in the sustainability focus that we have envisioned which this office provides leadership for. Thank you for the opportunity to share my comments. Name (optional) Karen Foster The Senate Budget Committee (SBC) reviewed the Report from the Public Engagement Project Team, and has the following comments. The project team tackled their challenge with a considerable amount of due diligence. They discussed the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement (OVCPE) in terms of its basic functions: Corporate Relations, Sustainability, Community Relations, Technology Transfer, and Economic Development. While the project team did not provide a succinct list of recommendations, they did note that, in their opinion, these functions did not require the OVCPE, and could in fact be more naturally housed in other units. Based on the data they present, we agree with their assessment and encourage the campus leadership to explore cost savings that would result from eliminating the duplication of effort present in the OVCPE. We also would like to highlight an important finding from this project team that a lighter weight Corporate Relations program would be more appropriate. Name (optional) Robert J. Brunner for the Senate Budget Committee RESPONSE PART 1 I wish to register my strong disagreement with several of the findings of the Public Engagement Project Team Report regarding the Office of Corporate Relations. A University is a collection of parts that operate as a whole: many diverse units, each pursuing their own separate agendas, with a central administrative layer to offer coordination and help bring those units together as a cohesive organization. Even the University of Illinois Foundation, referenced often in the report, consists of college and departmental-level development officers each focused exclusively on their own small portion of the campus. The Foundation has a strong central layer that coordinates the activities of all of these individuals to ensure a consistent message and establish a central point of contact for large funding sources. Indeed, while the report suggests there is no need for a central layer of corporate coordination, the very model it describes, of individual faculty and development officers competing in a campus-wide free-for-all, is the very model that the Foundation long ago recognized as a failure. There is little incentive for a development officer or faculty member in one department, working with a company, to take the time to solicit all other faculty and development officers across the entire campus to find other research opportunities that the company might fund, compile them together, and sit down the company to review all of these other opportunities. Indeed, there are strong disincentives: a perception that funding dollars awarded by the company to those other projects might be funding that would have gone to that faculty member instead. Even more simply, faculty often dont know what each other are doing, especially those outside their narrow subdiscipline, and development officers are strictly trained to maximize the amount of funding raised for their own units. A central OCR is a neutral body with a single purpose: maximize funding for the campus as a whole and can freely reach across disciplinary boundaries. The report recommends faculty be more involved in generating corporate contacts. Given the difficulty in getting faculty to submit disclosures to OTM or provide updated vitas for their departments annual reports, what is the basis for thinking faculty would simply set aside large amounts of their time from research and teaching to reach out to corporations? More importantly, faculty tend to be very poor at understanding how to portray the industry applications of their research. Further, most non-engineering disciplines on campus LACK any kind of college or departmental research-oriented corporate relations support: their development staff are trained to focus on donors and philanthropic interests, not driving industry-funded research dollars. In fact, for non-engineering faculty the Office of Corporate Relations is their ONLY resource in exploring new corporate-funded research opportunities. RESPONSE PART 2 The report also raises the concern that having a central body that works with a small number of large companies to drive further engagement with campus has inhibited faculty engagement. Given my ten years on this campus, I honestly have to ask how many faculty have really been affected? Large corporations by their very nature are highly compartmentalized, and exposing other divisions of that company to UI research will result in MORE funding dollars to the University while actually strengthening existing faculty-cultivated relationships by increasing the overall investment of the company in the University (and thus justifying the expansion and continuation of existing research with the institution). The largest funding comes from large collaborative projects, and that only happens when you have a central unit to help bridge faculty across campus. In a time when the University must increasingly look beyond state resources, combined with the incredible return on investment to the public that comes from corporate-funded research, I would think this institution would only look to strengthen the kinds of resources like the Office of Corporate Relations that help build this funding base. It was disappointing to see so little mentioned about service-learning and community-engaged scholarship in the report. What role does/should the OVCPE play in advancing service-learning and community-based research? How are the recommendations in the attached report from the "Task Force on Civic Commitment for the 21st Century" being addressed? The project team report states, "The review team finds that CCII appears to be the most interested in attacking the issues discussed in the Task Force on Civic Commitment for the 21st Century (Appendix 3)." Does CCII alone have the resources to do this? Are there specific plans in place for the OVCPE to address the task force recommendations? A centralized Office of Corporate Relations is useful to act as a primary point of contact with the outside corporate world. Most companies like to have one phone number to call. The key is the relationship internally between the OCR and the individual colleges, some of which have extensive corporate interactions of their own as well. If the OCR sees its role as facilitating interactions between the key individuals and programs and the interested corporate entities then that's great. By this I mean to make the introductions and arrange the interactions then fade into the background while the colleges/units pick up the details of interaction. If the OCR see its role as managing and directing interactions between the individuals/programs and the companies then there is a possibility for inefficiency. The OCR would work best, and serve a valuable role, as a service organization that is a conduit between the colleges/units and the outside corporations. However, to do so would require tighter coordination with, and service to, the individual units.
Pages to are hidden for
"Summary of Public Engagement Public Comments"Please download to view full document