UI to establish Office of Outreach and Engagement
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The Office of the Provost at the University of Iowa is establishing an Office of Outreach and Engagement to promote collaboration between UI faculty, staff, and students and community partners across the state.
Linda Snetselaar, professor of epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health, will fill the role of associate provost for outreach and engagement on an interim basis effective June 1. A search for a permanent associate provost will begin within the year.
The new position reflects the university’s emphasis on creating “better futures for Iowans,” one of four strategic priority areas outlined in the UI strategic plan, Renewing the Iowa Promise.
“Engagement with the community strengthens everything we do,” says P. Barry Butler, executive vice president and provost. “Community-based learning courses promote student success. Publicly engaged scholarship and art create new knowledge and make us better teachers and researchers, even as we help to build stronger communities.
"This new position backs up the university’s commitment to public engagement and the value it brings to all aspects of our mission, as well as to the people of Iowa and beyond.”
The new associate provost will coordinate existing and new efforts to recognize and promote publicly engaged scholarship and creative activity by UI faculty, staff, and students.
Other responsibilities include facilitating the development of the technological infrastructure needed to support engagement activities; helping to build a community of engaged scholars by facilitating seminars, workshops, awards, and grants; and pursuing new sources of revenue to sustain and strengthen engagement programs.
One key goal will be the creation of a dynamic, full-featured web “portal” for UI outreach and engagement. The web presence will include a searchable database of community partners and projects; a calendar of engagement activities; and a wealth of information about the university’s impact on Iowa, the nation, and the world.