Convening and Supporting Campus-Based Networks
Collaboration is central to outreach and engagement, both in terms of scholars working with communities and with one another. UOE assists this process through efforts to foster and support campus-based networks.
MSU's Cultural Engagement Council (CEC) is composed of leaders from MSU's many academic units that focus on the University's cultural institutions and venues. The CEC seeks to build a common understanding of the importance of culture among students and the community through innovative partnerships and collaborations, and to enhance teaching and research in all aspects of the study of culture. Kurt Dewhurst, director of UOE's Arts and Cultural Initiatives, chairs the Council.
Through the CEC, faculty and units from across the University come together to plan and implement cultural initiatives meant to engage both MSU and its wider community. The CEC's inaugural project was the Year of Arts and Culture in 2007-2008, which featured dozens of coordinated and co-branded cultural activities. It was accompanied by the launch of a website designed to promote public access to the breadth of MSU's offerings (see it at: artsandculture.msu.edu.). The Council is currently supporting the 2015-2016 China Experience initiative, exploring China through art, film, music, performances, lectures, events, and exhibits. See p.26 in this issue for more about the China Experience initiative, or visit artsandculture.msu.edu/about/focus.aspx.
The Pre-College Committee (PCC) is composed of program directors and administrators who coordinate the activities of MSU's many programs for children, youth, and pre-college students. It is supported by the offices of the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement, the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education, and the Director of Admissions. The Committee provides guidance on policies and procedures and offers a framework for the staffs of pre-college programs at MSU and other organizations to collaborate. It has also established a set of common goals and encourages all programs to pursue them.
One step toward building a campus-wide network was the establishment of a collective annual report featuring data from many programs about their audiences, funding, overall impact, and other information. All pre-college programs are invited to submit a program summary in a common format designed to convey both their similarities and their variety.
The PCC organized the first Michigan Pre-College and Youth Outreach Conference in 2008. The conference has subsequently grown to become an annual all-day event that brings together leaders in education, workforce development, and government from across the state to engage with other professionals interested in strengthening support for pre-college and youth development programming, and college access in Michigan. The conference site rotates among universities across the state, with MSU having hosted in 2012 and hosting again in 2016.