Community Engagement

The Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement has worked to institutionalize the culture of engagement at UM. In 2012, Dr. Albert Nylander was hired as the University’s first ever director of community engagement.

The UM Council on Community Engagement was chartered by Dr. Nylander in October of 2012 to advise the Grisham-McLean Institute on how to strengthen the culture of engagement on campus. COCE members represent faculty, staff, and students from across campus, and have developed Common Definitions to expand the conversation around community engagement. COCE members have served as champions to advance the application process to obtain the Carnegie Foundation’s Classification for Community Engagement. Thanks to the Grisham-McLean Institute’s foundational work along with countless partners of UM the university was recently recognized with Carnegie’s classification. 

Community engagement is a partnership between the University of Mississippi and community partners throughout Mississippi. Community engagement occurs when UM faculty, staff, and/or students partner with non-higher education collaborators in the public or private sectors to accomplish a goal that benefits all parties. These partnerships evolve over time, and the types of partnership include: outreach, consulting, involvement, shared leadership, and community-driven, and characterized as long standing.

Community engagement occurs within all facets of the University’s research, learning, and service missions. Community engagement advances UM’s mission while benefiting society through the discovery, development, and/or dissemination of knowledge that ultimately improves the learning, behavior, and conditions of individuals and communities.

Whenever a University of Mississippi student, staff, or faculty member collaborates with a community partner to accomplish a goal that benefits all parties – that is community engagement.