Memorial University's new Public Engagement Framework was endorsed by Senate at its meeting on Sept. 25. Developed through an extensive consultation process including Memorial students, faculty and staff as well as external individuals and organizations, the framework will help guide and support Memorial's public engagement activities.
For the purposes of the framework, public engagement at Memorial is defined as collaborations between people and groups within Memorial and people and groups external to the university – i.e., the "public" – that further Memorial's mission. Drawing on the knowledge and resources brought by all involved, public engagement involves mutual respect, mutual contributions and mutual benefits for all participants.
"Public engagement is core to Memorial's mission, and the new framework helps establish it as an institutional priority, along with research and teaching and learning," said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Memorial's president and vice-chancellor. "The framework provides a vision, values, goals and objectives, offering a cohesive and tangible plan to work from."
The development of the framework was led by Dr. Rob Greenwood, executive director of the Office of Public Engagement and the Harris Centre. He believes that the framework will help make it easier for students, faculty and staff at Memorial to pursue research, teaching and outreach projects that include public engagement.
"Memorial is already a leader in Canada in connecting with partners and collaborators," said Dr. Greenwood. "This framework will complement the Research and Teaching and Learning Frameworks to support and facilitate even more opportunities."
Now that the framework has been endorsed by Senate, it will be submitted to the Board of Regents and planning will begin for an official launch. The Office of Public Engagement will begin working with internal and external stakeholders to identify ways to support its goals and objectives and establish ways to track and report progress.
"The Office of Public Engagement is there to support the implementation of the framework and work with the faculties, centres, departments and individuals who make public engagement happen," said Dr. Greenwood. "We have so many positive activities and initiatives to build on, we have no doubt Memorial will go from strength to strength in engaging locally, nationally and internationally."