Role of CPPSR in CCSU's Outreach Model
CCSU is following the advice of the 1999 Kellogg Commission report by making community engagement a priority, encouraging multidisciplinary activity, and creating new incentives for faculty to engage in community outreach work. Support for community outreach work is exhibited at the highest level as reflected by the university’s new mission statement which now includes specific mention of outreach activities and by the following public address made by former President Richard L. Judd (1998). “The needs of our communities are real and our faculty have a lot to offer in terms of research, training, and expert consultancy. CCSU has earned the reputation of a quality teaching school, I would like to see it known as a quality community outreach institution also. This vision will be well served by elevating the importance of applied work benefiting the community that is consistent with our high standards of academic excellence.”
Several incentives are offered that encourage faculty to engage in outreach activities. A mechanism for supplementing faculty salaries for outreach work that is performed in addition to their normal workload is included in the faculty union contract. Deans, at their discretion and with agreement of relevant department heads, can release faculty from teaching responsibilities by awarding “reassigned time” for engaging in outreach activities. Departments can then be “reimbursed” for lost teaching effort with part-time adjunct faculty if needed. In addition, based on Ernest Boyers Scholarship Reconsidered, outreach activities are now considered in promotion/tenure evaluations.
Several programs at CCSU are specifically designed to link the university with surrounding communities. The Continuing Education Division of the university offers a large number of noncredit training programs. The School of Education operates a very successful Professional Development School (PDS) Network consisting of five school districts. Each PDS hosts CCSU student interns and has a CCSU faculty member assigned to it who assists with program development/evaluation efforts. It is housed in the Office of External Affairs. The community outreach mission of the Center was furthered institutionalized during the late 1990s as a result of a HUD funded COPC project. The Center, which has become an important component of the university’s outreach mission, facilitates multidisciplinary linkages among faculty and community groups. The CPPSR is following the advice of Lynton and Elman by performing an information/communication function, a brokering/negotiation function, and a delivery function.
The Center for Public Policy & Social Research at Central Connecticut State University is dedicated to enriching the quality of public policy, public service, University outreach and applied research in Connecticut. We provide a wide range of information, training, research and consulting services to communities, municipal and state government and non-profit organizations. We develop, facilitate, and support faculty and student projects, which advance their scholarship, applied research and real life experiences.