On February 5, 2010, the President’s Task Force on Community Engagement submitted its Final Report and Recommendations to York’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Mamdouh Shoukri.
York University is proud of its reputation as a socially responsive and engaged university, and is committed to improving access to university education among mature, part-time students and first-generation students (those who are the first in their families to pursue post-secondary studies). Our commitment to social justice and accessible education, clearly articulated in our Mission Statement, continues to be demonstrated through our wide range of community engagement activities, academic programs and research activities. Knowledge developed through our collaborations with our closest neighbour, the Jane-Finch community, informs our new strategic partnerships in York, Peel and Durham Regions and international efforts.
At the same time, we are at an important juncture of York’s history as we work to solidify and articulate our unique identity. And it is becoming increasingly clear that when we really ask ourselves what we are most proud of and ask others what they value about York – it is our commitment to working alongside communities, addressing pertinent social issues and sharing knowledge.
For the past year, the President’s Task Force on Community Engagement (membership including representatives from York University and our cross-sectoral partners) met to develop an understanding of what it means to be an “engaged university”, how engagement enhances teaching/learning, research and knowledge exchange, the student and faculty experience while building capacity in the community (locally and internationally). The valuable contributions of Task Force members have led to the development of a draft Statement and Principles on Community Engagement and other ideas as the University moves forward. In particular, the Task Force has been considering what opportunities exist for York to distinguish itself and to provide leadership as an engaged university. The Task Force’s Report has also been informed through various consultations and key informant meeting with key constituencies.
Rhonda Lenton (Chair)
Associate Vice-President Academic