Engaging Illinois' Intellectual and Cultural Resources

A land grant institution, the University of Illinois has a long record of commitment to public engagement and to the discovery and application of knowledge. Its faculty, staff and students collaborate with external audiences and partners to address the needs and opportunities of society. Through these partnerships, critical societal issues are embedded in the research and educational missions of the University. The Office of Public Engagement initiates and supports a broad and diverse set of public engagement activities that link the campus to society. For more information on the Office of Public Engagement and its programs and activities, visit our latest information flyer.

Institutional Commitment

“The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be a pre-eminent public research university with a land-grant mission and global impact. We are positioning ourselves today for the challenges facing our world in the coming 20 to 50 years. Our ability to engage locally, nationally and globally will be critical in this mission. Our unwavering commitment to making the world around us better - to make a significant and visible societal impact – is as recognizable today as it was at our 1867 founding.” Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise, March 2014

Engagement Data from Academic Year 2012-13

During the year 2012-13, more than 700 engagement programs focused on diverse areas such as education, economic development, health and wellness, social justice and sustainability. About 200 external partners collaborated with the institution to address issues in the community. Nearly 500 service-learning courses were offered by the institution to over 6,200 participating students. More than 16,000 events and programs for the community that are sponsored by the University are listed on Public Engagement Portal.

Carnegie Classification

In December 2008, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in the foundation’s 2008 community-engagement classification. Colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement were invited to apply for the classification. Illinois was required to submit documentation describing the nature and extent of its community engagement, including descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices. In December 2013, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign submitted a report for re-classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in order to retain the community-engagement classification of 2008.

See the Carnegie Classification report submitted by the Office of Public Engagement in 2008.

See the documentation that was submitted for the 2015 re-classification.

Senate Committee on Public Engagement

The Senate on the Urbana-Champaign campus is a legislative body comprised of 200 faculty and 50 students. Duties of senate committees are specified in the Senate Bylaws. Membership of the Senate Committee on Public Engagement can be viewed at http://www.senate.illinois.edu/.

Task Force on Civic Commitment in the 21st Century

Appointed in 2006 by the Chancellor, the Task Force on Civic Commitment has recommended a wide range of curricular and co-curricular strategies to educate UI students to be leaders in their communities, the nation and the world. The Task Force submitted the Chancellor's Task Force for Civic Commitment in the 21st Century: Report and Recommendations to the Chancellor on July 12, 2007. Reconstituted in January 2008, the Task Force serves as an advisory committee to the Office of Public Engagement.

The Civic Commitment Task Force and Senate Committee on Public Engagement are charged to:

Identify and consider problems, needs, concerns and interests of the faculty, staff and students, as they pertain to public engagement and recommend desirable changes in campus policy; Examine trends in public engagement here and in higher education generally and recommend appropriate changes in campus policy; Serve in a broad advisory capacity to the Office of Public Engagement

See the Civic Commitment Task Force final report.

A Sampling of Public Engagement Partnerships

Action Research Illinois (ARI)

Center for Education in Small Urban Communities

Certified County Officials Program

Children and Family Research Center (CFRC)

Community Learning Lab (CLL)

Education Justice Project (EJP)
Girls Engaged in Math and Science (GEMS)

Helping Revitalize Medical Education Through Service (HeRMES)

Illinois Geometry Lab (IGL)

Illinois Research in Partnership with K-12 Science Educators (I-RISE)
Institute for Chemistry Literacy through Computational Science (ICLCS)

Krannert Art Museum - Week at the Museum (KAM-WAM)

LINC: Learning in Community

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC)

Parenting 24/7

Paseo Boricua Community Informatics (CI) program

Student Opportunities for After School Resources (SOAR)

Wildlife Animal Clinic