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Summary of Public Engagement Public Comments


Summary of Public Engagement Public Comments

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									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:


         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

         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

         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

         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.

        OVCPE does not coordinate with other campus units

        Problems with OVCPE are related more to communication and perhaps staffing issues than to structural

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

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 wasn’t going to change. With your committee’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

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.


Jon Cody Sokolski
Mike Royse
Melia Smith

One Main Development, LLC.
1 East Main Street, Suite 200
Champaign, IL 61820
P: 217.531.1122

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

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
   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

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

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

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

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.

  Peter F. Nardulli

Email address
 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 isn’t some
of the Director’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 Chancellor’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 office’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 “administrator― 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 (, 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 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.)
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
- 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

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,, '89 (uni high), '00 (LAS), Staff, Founding member, Illinois Electric Vehicle
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
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
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
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

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:

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,"

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.


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.


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).

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

Name (optional)
  Robert J. Brunner for the Senate Budget Committee

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.

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.

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