In my past blog posts, I’ve written about community engagement at TU, the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement application process, and the measurement and evaluation of community engagement and outreach. Since those blog posts, there have been exciting developments in the world of university-community partnerships.

Recently, Dr. Loeschke expressed a desire for a more streamlined partnership process at Towson. She wanted a better way to track, measure, and support them in order to know what we are doing, where we are working, and who we are working with.

Several steps have been taken to reach Dr. Loeschke’s goal. In addition to the work that has been done to develop new reporting and feedback tools for partnerships, a new Partnership Support Plan has been developed. This purpose of this plan is to group partnerships together to better support them, to raise awareness of partnerships happening across campus, and to better evaluate these partnerships. Partnerships will be grouped based on key characteristics, the level of institutional involvement, sustainability, and partnership purpose and goals.

The key characteristics that will be used to group partnerships include:

  • Number of partners including individuals, units, departments, colleges, divisions, and external organizations
  • Singular or multiple areas of focus
  • Student involvement
  • Timeframe: short- or long-term
  • Overall complexity of partnership

A Partnerships Working Group has also been brought together to identify which partnerships should be managed on a university level, to review partnerships to identify opportunities for collaboration or expansion, and to ensure that progress is being made on partnerships. This group will meet quarterly and includes the following members:

The hopeful result of this whole process will be a better grasp of the partnerships happening at Towson University, increased awareness of those partnerships across campus, and on-going measurement of them in order to see how we’re doing year over year. I’ll continue to provide updates as we progress with this new system, so be sure to check back!