Beyond Economics:
Examining UNF's Impact on Northeast Florida
2008

Here at the University of North Florida, community involvement is explicitly affirmed in the Mission Statement, declaring it a significant priority of the University:

“The University of North Florida fosters the intellectual and cultural growth and civic awareness of its students, preparing them to make significant contributions to their communities in the region and beyond.” This priority remains constant as one of the institutional goals is to “affirm the university’s public responsibility through civic engagement and community-based learning and research.”

Although community involvement is an important mission of the University, there has not been a single comprehensive source where one can assess the extent of engagement between the community and University representatives. To that end, the Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives (CCI) was charged by the President's office and the Provost to ascertain the impact UNF has on Northeast Florida through its engagement with the Northeast Florida community. While there are a variety of UNF representatives, including administration, faculty, staff, and students, initial data collection was primarily aimed to compile the outreach activities of faculty members including volunteer efforts and community service, professional and non-profit board memberships and activities, and courses taught with service-learning and internship components, among other activities. According to the Faculty Survey we conducted, approximately 2,784 students participated in Service Learning during 2007. These students contributed approximately 65,759 hours of service to the community. Engagement activities by others in the UNF community will be examined in future phases of this project.

Given the comprehensive nature of the study, it will be completed in phases. This report presents the findings from the first and second phase of the study, and thus represents only a partial accounting of the extent of UNF’s engagement in the community. In addition, this report seeks to highlight the types and extent of such engagement. To that end, the information discussed in the following pages should be taken as a “starting point” for building the ultimate comprehensive understanding of engagement. It is clear that as the next phases of this project are completed, a significant number of additional projects and volunteer efforts will be uncovered.

This study looks to provide the University with an inventory of faculty and student contributions to the educational, social and cultural offerings of the Jacksonville and Northeast Florida community. This information will prove invaluable to our efforts at promoting UNF’s reputation as a community partner.

Jeffry A. Will  

Director and Professor of Sociology

Tracy A. Milligan 

Assistant Director

Amanda L. Watson 

Research Assistant

 


 
Northeast Florida Center for Community Initiatives

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL