Michael Kimball

UNC CCE Office

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Michael Kimball
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Dear Provost Kalikow,

We, the undersigned Community Engaged Faculty and Staff, are writing to express our disappointment and concern with the recent email communique (8/28/2018) concerning the reallocation of space within the Campus Commons, in particular the impact this has on the Office of Engagement.

As you may be aware, it has been five years since UNC launched the Office of Engagement on campus and selected a Director of Engagement to lead the institutionalization of this work. Since its inception there was a commitment on behalf of leadership to find permanent and visible office space; a space that would be a welcoming place for students, faculty and community partners, as well as alumni and donors.

Since then, the Office of Engagement has been reallocated to three different temporary locations, all in the basement of Michener, each time with a promise of a permanent venue in the near future. Although we have all adapted to make these spaces work, they have not been ideal, nor conducive to raising either the visibility nor the institutional commitment to this work. As a Carnegie Classified Engaged Campus, designated office space is not only a fundamental need, but also an essential component, if we are to continue to meet the curriculum and engagement needs of students, faculty, staff, and partners.

Therefore, we respectfully ask that serious consideration is given to find an alternative, purposeful and accessible space for the Office of Engagement. This space should advance the daily functions and elevate visibility of the office, while also supporting the valuable work that the office realizes to promote community engagement with its stakeholders. There is space in the University Center, which, ideally, would allow access to stakeholders and continued collaboration with other units such as Career Services and Center for International Education, while remaining within walking distance from the formerly proposed location in the Commons.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts and about working to find a permanent space for the Office of Engagement.

Respectfully submitted,

UNC Community Engaged Faculty & Staff

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