UNLV’s overall impact on the community has continued a steady climb for the 5th year in a row, up 22.8 percentage points over five years, according to a survey of UNLV’s partners.
The Office of Community Engagement surveys UNLV community partners each year, asking, “Overall, how would you describe the impact of UNLV’s engagement with the community?”
The percentage who responded “very” or “extremely” impactful by community partners rose to 78.6 percent, a 22.8 percent increase from 2016, the first year the survey was implemented. The percentage of partners indicating “very/extremely” impactful has grown steadily from 55.8 percent, increasing a few percentage points each year.
“We are so grateful to our partners for providing us with this reinforcement,” said Sue DiBella, Interim Executive Director of the UNLV Office of Community Engagement. “It’s wonderful encouragement for our office and the many dedicated individuals across campus who utilize their expertise to serve our community. We will continue to strive for greater improvement in these numbers, as there is much work ahead. But we also want to recognize the outstanding commitment of our campus that these numbers represent.”
The UNLV Office of Community Engagement conducts the survey annually in partnership with the UNLV Cannon Survey Center.
The goal of the survey is to learn more about community partner perceptions of their engagement experiences with UNLV.
Surveying community perceptions is a requirement of the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement, which UNLV received for the first time in January 2020. It is widely considered the highest standard of recognition for community engagement efforts at higher education institutions.
The survey also asked participants to indicate the importance of a series of university attributes as they pertain to engagement for a community-university partnership or project, including the following:
- Expertise of university faculty, staff, and/or students
- Willingness to engage in a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources
- Ability to lead impactful projects in the community
- Helpfulness of faculty/staff/students
- Organizational structures to support partnerships
- Availability of university faculty, staff, and students
- Financial resources to support partnership projects
A clear majority of respondents rated all attributes as being very or extremely important. Willingness to engage in a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources was rated as such by all respondents (100 percent). The rating of this attribute was followed closely by availability of university faculty, staff, and students (97.1 percent), and helpfulness of faculty/staff/students (91.2 percent).
The vast majority also rated as being very or extremely important the expertise of university faculty, staff, and/or students (88.2 percent) and organizational structures to support partnerships (85.7 percent). A clear majority (79.4 percent) indicated this level of importance for ability to lead impactful projects in the community, while only 64.7 percent gave this level of importance to financial resources to support partnership projects.
Additional data about UNLV community engagement is shared online on the UNLV Community Engagement Dashboard.
For more information about UNLV community engagement or the survey, please contact the Office of Community Engagement, at 702-895-4298. To reach the UNLV Cannon Survey Center, call (702) 895-3394.