Community Engagement

Prestigious Carnegie designation elevates OU’s commitment to community engagement

Community Engagement

icon of a calendarJanuary 11, 2024

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Prestigious Carnegie designation elevates OU’s commitment to community engagement
Community Engagement
Community Engagement Carnegie Classification Badge

For “exceptional commitment” and success in community engagement, Oakland University has received the 2024 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The highly regarded national designation was announced January 8 by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.   

For the past two decades, the Carnegie Classification has been the leading institutional assessment of outstanding community engagement in U.S. higher education.

“This recognition comes with national prestige and validates our efforts in a range of community engagement programs and activities throughout the region, especially in Pontiac, where we have great partnerships with city officials and community groups,” said OU President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz.

“We are appreciative of the faculty, students and staff who play a central role in Oakland’s community engagement work in education, health, economic and workforce development, and other areas,” she said, attributing success to the relentless work and leadership of the community engagement team along with Britt Rios-Ellis, Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs and Provost, Glenn McIntosh, Senior Vice President, Student Affairs/Chief Diversity Officer, and Teresa Rodges, Senior Director, Community Service/Pre-College Programs.

In June 2023, the OU-Pontiac Initiative was recognized as a national community engagement model by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, earning the inaugural AASCU Excellence & Innovation Award

Community engagement and serving as “stewards of place” are among President Pescovitz’s top priorities. In the upcoming months, a newly crafted university strategic plan will reflect the high value placed on forming community partnerships as a catalyst for economic and social opportunity, upward mobility, and improved public health and wellbeing throughout the region. 

"While the Office of Academic Affairs is incredibly honored to have led the Carnegie application process, the success of our application truly demonstrates the power of collaboration at OU. One of the amazing characteristics that makes Oakland so attractive is the myriad of ways in which we work alongside the community to transform individuals and families,” said OU Provost and Executive Vice President Britt Rios-Ellis. “We are indebted to the staff and faculty work through the OU-Pontiac Initiative and the other initiatives that shined throughout the application. I am also grateful to community engagement and service-learning expert Andrea Monroe for meeting with the stakeholders and helping us strategically frame our application. The Carnegie designation is clearly a very bright spot in OU’s history and the future of our collaborative work is undoubtedly even brighter.”

Oakland is the only university in Michigan, and among just 40 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie classification in 2024. This classification is based on a process of self-study by each institution, which is evaluated by a national review committee. Overall, there are 368 colleges that have earned the Carnegie Classification status to date.

“We recognize these institutions for their exceptional commitment to community engagement, and their work to transform knowledge into meaningful action,” said Timothy Knowles, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. “They exemplify the true spirit of the Carnegie endorsement and the power of serving the public good.”

Learn more about OU’s community engagement efforts at pearlpbx.com/community.

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