The University of Iowa

UI Awarded Carnegie Community Engagement Classification

Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

I am delighted to share with you the exciting news that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected the University of Iowa to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification.  In case you missed the announcement over the winter break (, I want to be sure to call your attention to this very important achievement.

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, awarded every five years, is the highest standard of recognition for community engagement efforts at institutions of higher education.  Colleges and universities apply for the classification by submitting extensive documentation that describes the nature and extent of their engagement activities and demonstrates strong institutional commitment to community engagement.

The University of Iowa’s decision to pursue the classification emerged out of the work of the 2009 UI Strategic Planning Task Force on Public Outreach and Civic Engagement, which was followed by the creation of the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Publicly Engaged Arts, Research, and Scholarship.  The latter committee, charged with beginning to operationalize an “engagement roadmap” for the university, strongly recommended that the university pursue the classification.  In January 2013 we committed to do so, with Professor Colin Gordon of the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences taking on responsibility for preparing the application.  When Linda Snetselaar took on the new role of associate provost for outreach and engagement in spring 2013, she joined the leadership of this effort.  Many faculty and staff across campus worked hard, in collaboration with Professor Gordon and Associate Provost Snetselaar, to prepare an application that accurately reflected the extraordinary range of work already being done by our faculty, staff, and students, as well as our commitment to greater emphasis on community engagement as a strategic priority for the university.

Receiving this designation recognizes the tremendous achievements of the many faculty, staff, and students who have long pursued publicly engaged teaching, research, scholarship, and creative work.  Even more important, though, it identifies us as an institution that is committed to contributing to important community needs, and to helping our students be better citizens.  My hope is that this achievement will not only raise the profile of the work that is ongoing, but also provide a catalyst to help us strengthen and create new partnerships with the communities we serve.

I extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to all those who worked with such dedication to realize this superb result.


P. Barry Butler
Executive Vice President and Provost