As part of the University’s efforts to establish a model for how a leading urban research university can best interact with and contribute to the city and community around it, the Office of Civic Engagement supports faculty whose work focuses on urban life and who conduct research on issues critical to the future of cities.
The following are examples of how the Office of Civic Engagement works with UChicago faculty in a variety of ways.
Helping faculty members partner with civic programs to strengthen the social impact of their research.
For example, connected researchers from Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Department of Psychology with the Collegiate Scholars Program and Office of Special Programs to analyze student performance data and identify best practices for college readiness preparation.
Working with faculty interested in getting more involved in civic engagement programs and initiatives -- whether new or existing.
For example, connected Biological Sciences Division faculty and graduate students to Brett Harte Elementary School, where the BSD faculty and students have adopted a fourth-grade classroom and help teachers and students conduct ecological experiments.
Raising the profiles of faculty members’ civic-related research and increasing its connectivity with national opinion makers.
For example, in partnership with the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture, organized three roundtables and a national conference to convene academics, activists, philanthropists, and civil rights leaders to identify evidence-based policy solutions and best practices to challenges that disproportionately affect urban communities.
Leveraging municipal, state, and federal relations to promote faculty and their work to city officials, state legislators, the White House, executive branch agencies, Congress, and other policy makers.
For example, on behalf of Argonne National Laboratory, the Office of Federal Relations coordinated outreach to the Illinois congressional delegation and Office of Management and Budget, resulting in a letter signed by several members of the delegation supporting federal funding for the upgrade of the Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source in the President’s FY17 budget.
Communicating about faculty research to community members and non-academic audiences.
For example, partnered with UChicago Urban to create Urban Research Review, an online, quarterly publication that profiles UChicago researchers whose work deepens our understanding of cities.
Creating infrastructure to support cross-disciplinary communication that helps University faculty and staff collaborate more effectively with one another on important research efforts on campus.
For example, created the Urban Research Roundtable, a working group of (non-faculty) staff from 24 research entities across campus, to explore opportunities for interdepartmental collaboration.
Providing technical assistance and capacity building support to faculty creating and growing community-based organizations that are making an impact on the mid-South Side.
For example, in the process of developing a Community Programs Accelerator faculty track that would provide selected faculty-led nonprofits with a suite of resources, including grant writing, coaching, and strategic partnership development.
Helping faculty navigate City of Chicago processes.
For example, connected faculty from the Department of Art History and Neubauer Collegium with appropriate department to secure approval to relocate a large public sculpture to the University’s campus.