The UNI Community Engagement Committee is sponsoring a second meeting

to follow up on the campus conversation on community engagement at UNI

that was held at UNI on Tuesday, November 19, 2013.


This second conversation will be held

9 - 11 a.m., Wednesday, February 26, 2014

in the University Room in Maucker Union.


Any member of the UNI community interested in participating is welcome to attend.

Please RSVP to by  February 19, 2014.



For more information, please read on!



Some background:


The November conversation was funded by a Bringing Theory to Practice civic seminar grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU).  The conversation, based on an approach called Appreciative Inquiry, was facilitated by Dr. Mary Ellen Carroll, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of Experiential Learning, Loras College.


Questions for the conversation included the following:

•  How does community engagement support the mission of the University?

  How can our community engagement activities be leveraged to best meet our desired outcomes?

  How does our commitment to serving the region and beyond help to distinguish the student learning experience at UNI?


Invitations to attend the conversation were sent to directors and other key personnel from UNI centers and programs that provide programming, service, and support to organizations and populations in the Cedar Valley, the state of Iowa, and beyond.  Those receiving the invitation were encouraged to share it with others inside and outside of their group that might be interested in attending. Faculty with experience in teaching service learning courses were also invited, along with staff from the Maucker Student Activities Center, and administrators from the Provost's Academic Affairs Council. An invitation to the wider campus community was included in Inside UNI a week before the event.


What came from the first conversation?


The following needs surfaced from the conversation as key topics for exploration in a follow-up conversation:


•  Ways to increase communication about our community engagement activities and accomplishments, both on and off campus; 

•  Methods we can use to collect evidence of our community engagement activities and their impact; and

•  Strategies to add modes of collaboration that will increase and support community engagement activities and projects.


(To see a Wordle created from notes collected from the conversation, click here.)


What will happen at the second conversation, on February 26?


The purposes of the conversation will be to focus on the needs identified in the first conversation and:


•  Add focus to the topics--e.g., what do they involve? what would they look like? what impacts could they create?  

•  Identify targets for action related to the topics and the steps to achieve them.


The structure of the conversation will be built around:


group activities intended to encourage


participant engagement and interaction and stimulate


wide-ranging and productive thoughts and ideas that will lead to


doable plans for action by the end of the conversation.



Coffee, tea, and refreshments will be available beginning at 8:30 a.m.; conversation and activities will begin at 9:00 a.m. In general, depending upon the flow of group activity, the first hour will focus on clarifying concepts and brainstorming ideas and the second hour will focus on action-planning.


Please feel free to share information about this event with others who might like to participate and ask them to RSVP to Donna Vinton,  Questions about the event can also be addressed to Donna.



Please RSVP to by February 19!