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Jan. 22, 2015 Volume 36, No. 16

Mizzou recognized for community engagement across the state

Carnegie Foundation classifies MU as a “Community Engaged Campus”

MU community programs are an important reason why lives are changing for the better in Missouri. But you don’t have to take Missourians’ word for it. Recognition has come from a respected independent policy and research center.

On Jan. 7, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that MU has been reclassified as a “Community Engaged Campus.” MU joins 240 other American higher learning institutions receiving the classification.

“We’re delighted to receive this recognition, which highlights and showcases the true value of our land-grant mission to the citizens of Missouri,” Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said in a news release.

MU and the other institutions selected join 121 colleges and universities recognized in 2010, bringing the total to 361.

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national and global communities,” John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education, said in a Carnegie Foundation news release. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

MU-sanctioned community engagement programs number in the dozens. One is the Cambio Center, which helps Hispanic people immigrating to Missouri adjust to state culture and policies. Another is the  Area Health Education Center, which has several programs aimed at increasing the number of medical practitioners in rural Missouri.

Among the myriad outreach programs that MU Extension partners with is the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers.

Other programs are:

“Mizzou students, faculty and staff participate in a wide range of outreach efforts, including partnerships with schools, communities and businesses across the state,” Loftin said. “We are proud that our researchers strive every day to improve the quality of life for the citizens of the state, the nation and the world, and that we are nationally recognized for doing so.”

MU is classified nationally by Carnegie as a Doctoral/Research University, along with such powerhouse schools as Harvard, Princeton and the University of Michigan. The communication engagement classification is an “elective,” according to a news release, meaning institutions participated voluntarily by submitting required materials regarding community engagement, from town and gown relationships to statewide engagement efforts.

The University of Missouri was among 157 American institutions that were reclassified, meaning they were originally classified in 2006 or 2008, the Carnegie news release said.