The Engaged University: Future Directions and Challenges

The University must continue to promote intellectual and civic engagement among its students, build relationships with its alumni and fulfill its mission of service to the state.

UD will enhance student engagement by expanding New Student Orientation and First-Year Experience activities; this year, for instance, we launched a Fall Semester Welcome Week program series. Student Life leaders are involving more staff and students, especially the Council of Student Leaders, in student engagement initiatives and leadership development activities, and in setting priorities for in- and out-of-classroom learning opportunities. In addition to formal programs, UD aims to increase opportunities for informal interaction and engagement among students, faculty and staff.

The University will play a leading role in improving public education in Delaware. The state’s $119 million Race to the Top award provides new opportunities for engagement with Delaware’s K–12 public school system. Educators will look to UD’s College of Education and Human Development for professional development and technical assistance in this critical reform effort, and the college’s new field-intensive teacher education program—supported by Race to the Top funds—will supply the state with high-quality STEM teachers. In fall 2011, the College of Arts and Sciences, in cooperation with five local school districts, will launch the Delaware Teacher’s Initiative in New Castle County to cultivate content knowledge, leadership skills and collaboration among teachers in high-need public schools.

The establishment this fall of an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Dover advances a key University goal: better engagement with the citizens of Southern Delaware.

UD’s alumni are valued as potential donors to the University—donors who contribute not just their money but their talent and expertise. Alumni serve as career mentors, internship providers, guest speakers and adjunct instructors. The University is building a robust database of alumni information that will be easily accessible to colleges, departments and other academic units, so that we can better engage our alumni in UD’s mission.