CECC & Council Members

About the Community Engagement Coordinating Council

Brandenberger Jay Mc2 6117Dr. Jay Bradenberger, Chair of Committee

A top-tier goal of the University’s recently released Strategic Plan for 2014-2024 is to “Engage in external collaborations that extend and deepen Notre Dame’s impact.” Previous work toward this end garnered ND’s receipt of the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement elective classification.The University of Notre Dame embraces its identity as a longstanding anchor institution in the local community. This identity is claimed directly in our guiding mission statement, as we seek to foster among students “a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many.” In day to day operations, the University’s budget allocations, classroom and research initiatives, and public leadership consistently demonstrate the institutional commitment to community engagement for the common good. A few examples:

  • The University is among 30 institutions in The Research University Community Engagement Network.
  • Recently, the Office of the Provost created a part-time position, Director of Academic Community Engagement.
  • In the last several years, additional leadership positions have been created—in the Office of Public Affairs and the College of Engineering, for example—to further support and coordinate community engagement.
  • Toward this end, an active Community Engagement Coordinating Council provides for university-wide coordination of engagement efforts.                             

Resource commitments to a community service-orientation abound, but a few top-level examples are shared here. Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns has served as the focus of community-based learning since 1983. As a University institute with a full-time staff of 35 reporting directly to the Office of the Provost, this unit’s mission is to facilitate community-based learning, research, and service informed by Catholic social tradition. Since 2001, the University’s Office of Public Affairs has operated the Robinson Community Learning Center (with 9 staff), an inclusive, local community anchor serving as a hub for education, service, community-building, and personal development programs that enhance the community’s quality of life. 

The culture of service—built on convictions inherent to our mission—is highly integrated across campus. For example, student government, campus ministry and all 29 residence halls facilitate an array of community service. Over 80% of Notre Dame students participate in some form of service learning or service during their undergraduate career; hundreds of students each year participate in courses labeled ZCSC, designating community-based learning or research. Since 1980, the Summer Service Learning Program has provided more than 4,000 scholarships to undergraduate students, who serve for eight weeks in the communities of Notre Dame Alumni Clubs. Social Concerns Seminars, in which undergraduates spend fall and spring breaks offering assistance in Appalachia and other impoverished areas, are one of the most comprehensive service-learning programs in higher education. Commitment to service continues after graduation: approximately 10% of each year’s class spends a year or more in full-time volunteer service after graduation.

In recent years, Notre Dame has redoubled its efforts to make its community engagement posture more strategic, responsive, and attuned to measuring impact. Over the past three years, three separate inquiries into community engagement provided diverse stakeholder input. The investigations tapped over 400 campus and community-based individuals, resulting in a campus-wide Community Engagement Strategic Plan. Moreover, recently spearheaded by the Office of Public Affairs, development and implementation of the EngageND database is an important step forward in our ability to document community engagement and monitor its impact. In 2013, ND faculty and staff reported over 7,500 participants were involved in 315 projects, with community impacts including increased funding & capacity-building, positive media coverage, skills training, or enhanced quality of life.

Carnegie Foundation: Definition of Community Engagement: Collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

CECC 2018/19 Membership Roster and Email

Jay Brandenberger, Chair of Committee Center for Social Concerns  
Thomas Anderson Romance Languages and Literatures  
Ted Barron DeBartolo Performing Arts Center    
Ted Beatty Keogh School of Global Affairs  
Heidi Beidinger-Burnett Department of Biological Sciences  
Jay Brockman College of Engineering  
Annie Cahill Kelly College of Engineering  
Jay Caponigro Office of Public Affairs  
Mauna Dasari Biological Sciences  
Melanie DeFord Notre Dame Research  
Mansour Eid Director of High Schools, South Bend Community School Coorporation  
Mark Fox Indiana University School of Medicine  
Jim Frabutt Institute for Educational Initiatives
Gary Gilot College of Engineering  
Peter Holland College of Arts and Letters  
Hope Hollocher Department of Biological Sciences  
Isaac Hunt, Jr. Goodwill Industries of Michiana  
Marya Lieberman Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry  
John Lubker The Graduate School  
Gail McGuire Indiana University of South Bend  
Maureen McNamara Department of Athletics  
Connie Mick Center for Social Concerns  
Kate Morgan Office of Student Affairs  
Laura O'Sullivan Office of the Mayor, South Bend  
Hugh Page First Year of Studies  
Clark Power Program of Liberal Studies  
Kim Rollings School of Architecture  
Rev. Kevin Sandberg, C.S.C Center for Social Concerns  
Fritz Schemel Student Government  
Timothy (Tim) Sexton Office of Public Affairs  
Patrick Thomas The Law School  
Joel (Joe) Urbany Marketing, Mendoza College of Business  
Susan Visser South Bend Museum of Art  
Jim Wittenbach Mendoza College of Business