The President’s Task Force on Community Engagement engaged in deliberations leading to an understanding of what it meant to be an “engaged university”. The Task Force placed special emphasis on understanding community-university engagement as it was consistent with York’s institutional mission, identity, and commitment, and developing means of measuring engagement within the activities of the University, including but not limited to, teaching/learning, research, and service.
Working within a strategic framework and using a consensus-building approach, the Task Force aimed to accomplish the following:
To develop an institutional statement on community-university engagement that:
- Is scholarship based (that brings York and its community partners together and spreads evidence-based practices in communities);
- Cuts across the mission of the University (teaching, research and service); and
- Is reciprocal and mutually beneficial (this involves mutual planning, implementation, and assessment among engagement partners)
- To establish and participate in a process of consultation with engagement partners
- To conduct a comparative/environmental scan of universities regarding promising practices and successful models for university-community engagement
- To make recommendations regarding the framework and promising practices for aligning York’s diverse initiatives and capacity towards a successful community-university engagement outcome
- To identify principles and measures of community-university engagement to be used throughout the institution
- To consider how communications strategies may be employed to profile York’s community-university engagement
- To explore the feasibility or potential for York to take on a leadership role in creating a consortium of engaged Canadian universities
The work of the Task Force culminated in a Final Report that summarized the findings of internal and external consultations, deliberations of the Task Force and provided recommendations for the University as it moves forward as an engaged university.