Outreach and Community Engagement

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Objective: Leverage leading-edge technology, scholarship, and research in innovative ways to advance the public good and to foster the development of citizen-scholars.

Technology has allowed us to greatly expand how we connect with community partners, near and far. Our efforts are based in the disciplinary strengths of our 16 colleges and centers, the libraries, our network of extension offices, and in the creative and innovative interdisciplinary work of our students and staff in Student and Academic Life and other interdisciplinary academic units that are both curricular and co-curricular.

Our service extends across the breadth of our land-grant institution – from evolving Extension Service efforts that touch every county of the Commonwealth to high-tech, high-touch healing that is expanding access to quality, complex care. UK faculty, staff, students and alumni are engaged in their local communities, the Commonwealth, and abroad. We must accelerate our efforts to enrich and improve lives in all of the communities in which we engage. Also, we must use what we learn from those we serve to inform and augment learning and research at UK.


Strategic Initiatives and Action Steps

Strategic Initiative 1: Renew our institutional commitment to promote the public good through the sustainable application of our expertise and resources to meet challenges and disparities associated with social, economic, environmental, educational, and health issues.

Action Step 1: Invest in the implementation of an institutional model to define, support and incentivize community engagement in all its forms – civic engagement, service learning, and Cooperative Extension, among others.

Action Step 2: Employ leading-edge technologies to expand and extend our community partnerships in health, education, agriculture, the arts, and economic development.

Action Step 3: In partnership with local, state, and global communities, identify emerging issues, challenges and community assets and aspirations that are viewed as most important by our community partners and focus UK’s resources on meeting these challenges.

Action Step 4: Build a mutually-beneficial network of community, corporate, and University partners that facilitates a broad range of inclusive and accessible enrichment opportunities, to advance key economic development initiatives of our Commonwealth.

Action Step 5: Foster and sustain a comprehensive and multi-dimensional partnership among campus and community stakeholders in the communities in which we are located, based on meaningful and sustainable dialogue.

Action Step 6: Streamline our outreach, extension, and engagement approaches for sharing UK's research discoveries, scholarly and creative work in health, business, agriculture, education, the arts, and community vitality to improve the quality of life for citizens of the Commonwealth.

Action Step 7: Strategically and intentionally connect campus units with community partners, and track the success and impact of these partnerships for communities, faculty, staff, and students.


Strategic Initiative 2: Deepen student learning through community engagement.

Action Step 1: Provide every student the opportunity to participate in a community engagement experience through academic coursework, clinical outreach services, service-learning, internships, education abroad, research, co-curricular experiences, or cooperative extension services

.Action Step 2: Develop faculty and staff expertise to deliver quality community engagement and outreach, service-learning courses, and co- curricular experiences that will utilize current best practices and be culturally competent, measurable and sustainable.