Part II: The Impact of Community-Campus Partnerships

  • By Alysha Karimi
  • 29 Apr, 2017
Community-campus partnerships require a great deal of collaboration and bi-directionality.
Let's see what Trail Blazer –   Annalee Yassi , Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Global Health and Capacity Building
Specialist had to say about this.
1. What does community-campus partnerships mean to you? Why should we care?

To me, community-campus partnerships should be the cornerstone of academia. Everything we do – whether in arts and humanities, social science, health sciences, natural science or engineering – should be with the underlying quest for better serving the community – from our local neighborhood to our global community to the planet itself. The idea of thinking globally but acting locally is incredibly important. To me, the most important characteristic of community-campus partnerships is mutual respect. If the academy lacks humility – we invite accusations of being out of touch (or even elitist). There are different ways of knowing, and academics must recognize the huge amount of knowledge and expertise that exists within the community. We need to respect that knowledge in the planning, executing – and indeed budgeting – our teaching and research. The bi-directionality in this partnership requires that, on the one hand, we honour the agency of our community partners and be humbly willing to learn about their realities, and, on the other hand, commit ourselves to our ethical obligations of solidarity and local capacity building.

Why should we care?

Simply put, the honour, credibility and utility of academia is at stake.

2. Defining and measuring the impact of our work. Can it be done?

It can be done and must be done. The key is to ensure we know what we want to “measure” before we begin; we must think about our theory of change – how we think that our work can have impact, what do we want to accomplish, what are our outcomes of interest, what are ways to study this, and with whom. Involving partners – appropriately and with attention to respecting their agency and what they bring - is key to success. Different parties have different objectives for the work; the work must be designed to meet the various research, training and service objectives of the diverse partners- not just the academic goals, nor just the funder’s goal. The university may aim to publish in peer-reviewed journals, train graduate students and serve university committees, while the community partner may aim to have renewed funding from its donors, train its staff and continue to have impact on the community it serves. The clearer all parties are on the various objectives of the work, the easier it is to “measure” success, keeping in mind that some objectives are best assessed by qualitative methods (observation, interviews, discussions, document reviews, etc.); arts-based methods can be used to assess impact (songs, murals, photos, plays, etc.); and quantitative methods can be applied in the right circumstances (surveys, analysis of existing data, etc.) Moreover, a mixed methods approach is highly welcome.

If we don’t then what?

We lose the opportunity of improving our work and risk not being able to continue the work at all; or worse, we allow good initiatives to die and ill-focused resource-consuming and even potentially harmful initiatives to flourish without the guidance of well-constructed research.
By Team #C2UExpo 05 May, 2017
There was a lot of excitement and great discussion on the final day from attendees! See what they discussed below.
By Team #C2UExpo 05 May, 2017
From inspiring panel discussions to open talks at Failure Waks - see what happened on day 2.
By Team #C2UExpo 04 May, 2017
By Team #C2UExpo 03 May, 2017
Day 2 of #SurreyJam took place yesterday and attendees had lots to say! Check out the Storify summary below for the highlights.
By Team #C2UExpo 02 May, 2017
Check out the Storify summary to see what great conversations and discussions happened at day 1.
By Alysha Karimi 30 Apr, 2017

In many instances, campuses and communities can often be thought of as separate clusters. C2UExpo 2017 has founded the Ambassador Program to bridge this gap by allowing communities participate and build employable skills in a reputable campus setting which the conference takes place at. Obtaining rigorous training, Ambassadors will have the opportunity to build capacity, and create an impactful difference both at, and outside the C2UExpo 2017 conference.

By Alysha Karimi 29 Apr, 2017
Community-campus partnerships require a great deal of collaboration and bi-directionality.
Let's see what Trail Blazer –   Annalee Yassi , Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Global Health and Capacity Building
Specialist had to say about this.
By Alysha Karimi 29 Apr, 2017

With C2UExpo 2017 beginning in a couple short days, we can’t wait to delve right into some of the themes each of our Gatherings will be addressing.

Let’s see what Trail Blazer David J. Phipps , Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services at York University had to say about the following questions!


By Mona Liu 28 Apr, 2017
We have an exciting array of exhibits for you to check out at the Community Square, the hub of the conference, open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on May 3rd and the 4th. 

Particularly, I want to mention a few fascinating feature displays:
By Mona Liu 26 Apr, 2017

Because we had such a great turn out of presentation proposals for the #C2UExpo 2017 , I’m happy to say there are a lot of concurrent sessions you can choose from this year! Here are a few sessions that have been the most popular so far, so you definitely don’t want to miss out signing up for them.

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