In a time of public scrutiny of higher education, there is good reason - both for the survival of the campus and the survival of the community around it -- for institutions to promote outreach. Yet even within those institutions with formal structures -- mission statements, faculty handbooks, and presidential leadership that support community service -- the practical considerations -- work assignments, evaluation mechanisms and institutional rewards -- present real challenges. Service-enclaves are structures that exist or are developed within institutions that allow faculty and staff to work collectively as they serve their communities. While individual service work is no less important, these enclaves make this work visible, legitimate, and institutionalized. And they are places where traditional academic notions about what constitutes acceptable research and the value of created over applied knowledge are being tested and changed. As colleges and universities seek to connect more to their external environments, they should look to service-enclaves and ensure that they incorporate the following characteristics: leadership, integration with teaching and research, institutional support, flexibility, visibility, and institutional savvy.
Singleton, Sharon; Hirsch, Deborah; and Burack, Cathy, "Organizational Structures for Community Engagement" (1997). New England Resource Center for Higher Education Publications. 23.