Imperative III: Strengthening Partnerships

CMU values community partnerships. We will emphasize partnerships with alumni, communities, corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations that lead to mutual growth and enhancement, starting with those in Michigan and going beyond to our country and the world. 

One of the hallmarks of a public university is its impact on various community stakeholders. Some of ours are defined by geography (e.g., Mount Pleasant, the Great Lakes Bay Region, the state of Michigan). Others are defined by category (e.g., higher- education institutions and subject-matter expertise). For example, our College of Education and Human Services helped develop an Ag-STEM curriculum for the teachers in a rural Michigan school district, students in our College of Medicine and College of Health Professions help foster the well-being of Michiganders through their hands-on expertise, and our College of Business Administration trains SAP technical experts for major corporations in Michigan and elsewhere.

 The Carnegie Foundation defines "community engagement" in terms of collaboration between the university and its partners to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

The Carnegie Foundation also provides criteria for deciding whether universities merit receiving Community Engagement Classification, and we will use those as strategies for strengthening our partnerships. Strengthening our partnerships relies heavily on the other two imperatives: nurturing student success and fostering scholarly activity. Partnerships demonstrate our excellence and the value of a CMU degree. The partnerships we have already established and those we seek to establish are intended to benefit in tangible ways not only our partners but also our students, faculty, and staff. The benefits to our partners include, for example, economic development, public health and wellness, technical assistance, and problem solving. Benefits to students, faculty and staff include, for example, opportunities for scholarly activity (broadly defined), community service, and real-world teaching and learning.


  1. Increase the number, scope and quality of our community partnerships, especially those that create jobs and provide public service.
  2. Identify results for each community partnership that benefit them and us.
  3. Survey our various community partners about how they perceive the benefits to them of partnering with CMU.
  4. Promote community partnerships as a priority, especially by CMU's executive leadership.
  5. Prioritize programs of distinction (e.g., our United Way campaign, Special Olympics, Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center, New Venture Competition, CMU Research Corporation).
  6. Recognize our community, corporate and civic partners through universitywide awards and celebrations.
  7. Emphasize our community, corporate and civic partners in our marketing materials.
  8. Implement sufficient infrastructure and resources to collect curricular and cocurricular information to apply for Community Engagement Carnegie Classification.

Establish an Office of Community Engagement to coordinate and implement the above strategies and submit a proposal to the Carnegie Foundation.

Imperative 3