Survey Says: Despite the Pandemic, UNLV Remains Very Engaged in the Community

Nov. 25, 2020

UNLV faculty and staff reported involvement in nearly 1,000 community engagement projects with more than 400 community partners, according to a 2020 campus survey conducted by the university’s Office of Community Engagement.

Faculty and staff respondents identified 983 new and ongoing community engagement projects and activities with 440 community partners.

“The results of this year’s survey tell the story of a campus very involved in the community despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic,” said Sue DiBella, interim executive director of the Office of Community Engagement. “In many cases, the pandemic provided motivation for increased engagement, including a wide array of projects designed to fight the disease or address its many impacts in the community.”

She noted that 12.9 percent of projects/activities reported involved COVID-19 in some way.

“This is the fourth year of our survey and data continue to demonstrate the university's deep commitment to our community,” DiBella added. 

The Office of Community Engagement, which was established in July 2016, began tracking community engagement project and activity data with the assistance of UNLV’s Cannon Survey Center in spring 2017.

DiBella said that every college and school at UNLV, as well as multiple departments and offices, were represented in the survey data. 

The top five areas of focus of the community engagement projects/activities were children/youth (27 percent), health/health disparities (25 percent), civic engagement (21 percent), diversity (20 percent), and educational equity (18 percent).

Just over 44 percent of the reported projects involved non-profit organizations. Other partner types included community members/general public (25 percent of projects), government agencies (23 percent), public or private schools (22 percent), and community-based organizations (21 percent). The balance represented partnerships with businesses, social organizations, and faith-based groups.

More than 56 percent of respondents indicated that contributing to the public good was the primary intended outcome of their projects and activities. Other intended outcomes included preparing educated, engaged citizens (44 percent); seeking to enhance curriculum, teaching, and learning (26 percent); and enriching scholarship, research, and creative activity (23 percent). Finally, about one in five (20 percent) sought to strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility through their community projects.

Additional information and several infographics representing survey findings are posted on the Office of Community Engagement’s dashboard. For more information about UNLV community engagement or the survey, please contact the Office of Community Engagement at 702-895-4298.