Engaging with the broader community remains a top priority for the university. To that end, we seek to characterize past experiences, current activities, future willingness, and specific skills that faculty and staff at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville have to support community organizations in Knoxville in order to:
(1) create a database representing past and current activities, and
(2) create a system where community organizations may examine faculty and staff capacity to work with them in collaborative partnerships with UTK.
The purpose of this study is to understand the level of past and current community engagement (teaching, research, and service) by faculty and staff at the University of Tennessee, as well as identify both interest in and barriers to fostering future community engagement.
In 2013, the Office of Community Engagement and Outreach (OCEO) was established as part of UT’s intention to more deeply integrate community engagement with its land-grant mission of research, teaching, and outreach. In 2019, OCEO was moved to the Division of Diversity and Engagement, which is the sponsor of this survey. This realignment reinforces UT’s commitment to building bridges between university knowledge and community knowledge while also providing resources to administrators, academic departments, faculty, and staff. The UT OCEO characterizes community engagement as connecting university knowledge with community knowledge in mutually beneficial ways through external partnerships that co-generate, apply, transmit and preserve knowledge. All partnerships aim to be collaborative, participatory, empowering, reciprocal, and anchored in scholarship. Community engagement is diverse, curricular, and co-curricular ranging from one-time individual faculty consultation with a community group, to longer-lasting collaborative projects, to student-centered projects and internships coordinated by faculty and staff.
For the purpose of this survey, we are asking about community engagement specifically in regard to activities through your role at UTK. Other types of community engagement you participate in personally are not the topic of this study and should not be included. Also, for the purpose of this survey, by community we mean organizations, groups, and other kinds of collectives within Knoxville and the greater East Tennessee area.
We hope this survey will provide the university with a clear assessment of who is engaging with the community, in what kinds of projects, how often, and what those experiences have been like. We also intend to find out what barriers may be in place keeping university employees from engaging with the community, in order to understand how we might remove those barriers.
We expect this survey will take approximately 18 minutes to complete.
Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There are no foreseeable risks associated with this project. However, if you feel uncomfortable answering any questions, you can withdraw from the survey at any point. It is very important for us to learn your opinions. If you have questions at any time about the survey or the procedures, you may contact Dr. Jon Shefner at firstname.lastname@example.org
, or Dr. Lisa East at email@example.com
To prepare for this survey, you may consider having your CV or resume on hand to pull specific project names and titles when prompted by the survey questions.