Texas Tech Administrator Named to National Committee
November 30, 2009
APLU appointment puts Texas Tech among leaders in outreach and engagement.
Valerie Osland Paton, Texas Tech University vice provost for planning and assessment
and director of strategic planning, has been elected to the Association of Public
Land-grant Universities (APLU) Council on Engagement and Outreach’s executive committee.
Paton’s election, along with the announcement that Texas Tech has become a sponsoring
partner of the National Outreach Scholarship Conference, came at last month’s APLU
annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
“Texas Tech is quickly becoming a leader in the state and nation in outreach and engagement
efforts,” said Bob Smith, Texas Tech provost. “Engagement means that our university
is using its knowledge and resources to contribute to the public good and enrich the
lives of not only our local community, but also the people of the state of Texas,
the country and the world.”
Engagement and outreach have long been priorities at Texas Tech. In 2006, the university
was one of the first 62 institutions and the first university in Texas to earn the
Carnegie Foundation’s classification for Community Engagement. In 2007 and 2008, the
university was named to the Corporation for National and Community Service President’s
Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. Texas Tech was one of 20 institutions
in the state to receive the 2008 honor.
“Texas Tech was founded on idea that universities and communities can work together
to address the most pressing needs of society,” Paton said. “The university has a
long history of research partnerships that have had world-wide impact and improved
the quality of life in Texas, the nation and the world. We are honored that the university
is being recognized for its commitment to engagement by the Association of Public
Land-grant Universities, Carnegie Foundation, National Outreach Scholarship Conference,
and the Community Service Honor Roll. Texas Tech is the only university in Texas to
be recognized for its engagement efforts by these four national entities. Earlier
this year, Dr. Juan Munoz was appointed vice president of institutional diversity,
equity and community engagement to provide leadership for many of these efforts in
recognition of our continuing commitment to community partnerships.”
Community engagement takes many forms ranging from service learning, where classes
as part of their semester’s work do projects to benefit non-profit organizations,
to researchers working with community leaders and industry to solve a variety of problems
such as Texas Tech’s Cotton Economics Research Center.
The National Outreach Scholarship Conference will take place in October 2010 at North
Carolina State University. The 11th annual conference focuses on the civic connections between universities and their
communities and how these connections are made by faculty and students. Discussions
range from how research and creative scholarship improve not only the school’s local
community but also the global community. Texas Tech anticipates hosting the conference
in the near future.