1 When Economic Development is also Economic Engagement: Why Does it Matter? Emily Janke, Ph.D. Kristin Medlin, MPA
3 Traditional Campus Structures for ED and CE Examples (if they exist): Service-learning offices Volunteerism offices Leadership Offices Economic Development Community Engagement Examples (if they exist): Economic development offices Entrepreneurship offices Continuing education/workforce development offices Innovation commercialization offices
4 Brainstorming Differences List the kinds of activities, processes, drivers, goals, measures, and who is involved in Economic Development. List the kinds of activities, processes, drivers, goals, measures, and who is involved in Community Engagement. Where are the points of distinction? Where are the points of overlap? What is the significance of each?
5 Common Definitions Economic development is improving the economic well being of a community through efforts that entail job creation, job retention, tax base enhancements and quality of life. Community Engagement is the collaboration (among) institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity (Carnegie Foundation)
6 Eureka! Community Engagement Economic Development
7 At UNCG, we have a model and approach that also includes Economic Engagement the goal of putting ideas to work in the realm outside of (but also including) academe; from the shelf, lab, office, studio into the school room, board room, home, and community. the measure of success of a university (of a chief EE officer) doing a good job is that ideas are moved out into the world in a way that uses the market to make the idea or innovation better (tested and refined as a function of marketplace pressures to literally sell the product) and to have more broad impact (more people know about it and can use it).
8 At UNCG, we have a model and approach that also includes Economic Engagement the emphasis is on revenue as a way to fund getting ideas and innovation out to work not about profit alone the main areas of economic engagement, in UNCG s view, are focused on curriculum, professional development modules, arts and literacy programs, and dance companies in addition to traditional measures the main disciplinary players are broader and include UNCG s liberal arts strengths, such as social sciences, arts, humanities, design
9 Economic Engagement The use of collaborative and reciprocal partnerships using economic mechanisms to create and sustain healthy, safe, and vibrant communities Economic Engagement Community Engagement Economic Development
10 Healthy Lives & Vibrant Communities Community engagement and economic development, together, serve as parallel, complementary, and sometimes collaborative, mechanisms to create and sustain healthy, safe, and vibrant communities UNCG has shaped its community-based partnerships to align with the socioeconomic needs identified by the city, county, region and state itself.
11 In Summary, when done well, CE and ED both enact: Collaborative partnerships we work best when we re all on the same team Reciprocity - Requires access to and commitment of talent and expertise among all Mutual benefit must be a win for ALL involved Spread the credit/recognition among partners High degree of trust is needed Geography - Often location or community focused Improve the long-term capacity of a community to thrive Often addresses an immediate priority, as well as long-term priorities
12 In Summary, when done well, CE and ED both enact: May require initial investment ($$ & in-kind) to start up Can take a long time to cultivate the relationships to take advantage of opportunities that happen in a moment Requires a long-term commitment Politics (and optics ) play an important role among many and diverse stakeholders - faculty, staff, board of trustees, legislature, citizens, media, city officials, neighborhood associations, etc. Significant investment of time by individuals who are often behind the scenes Higher education partnerships can be key (faculty/staff talent, student talent and energy, future/potential employees/citizens)
13 The Environment Matters! Research/ Creative Activity Community Engagement Economic Development Teaching & Learning
14 Views of Community Engagement Practitioners Principles of mutual benefit and reciprocity --- necessary to build capacity in a socially just and ethical way Capacity building of students intellectual, personal and civic development is an important aim as well as capacity building for the organization/community Usually/mostly involves faculty and community engagement staff and students Benefits are expected to provide a public good not to benefit a few investors
15 Economic Development is often perceived by faculty as focusing on and supporting: the goal of raising money for the university and/or local region and/or state The measure of success of a university (or a chief ED officer) is raising funds to support the bottom line of the university (alternative revenue stream) the main areas of economic development, in this traditional view, are focused on. Patents, tech transfer, spin offs, etc. the main disciplinary players are those (only) which are likely to raise considerable revenue (ROI) nano, techno, and bio/med fields.
16 Some Essential Questions/Challenges What are the strategies and activities, and who are the partners/allies to bridge the gap between CE and ED? How do we involve more students (graduate and undergraduate) and faculty as colleagues in education, contributing to the short and long term success of their communities? How do we shift the focus of ED to see students as colleagues, investigators, and inventors? What is the role of liberal arts colleges or regional serving 4-year colleges and universities that do not have an outreach/extension arm and staff, ED offices/staff, or workforce development goals? How do we support their conversation and efforts?
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