From the Director’s Desk- July 2017

Greetings Fellow Civic Engagement Champions!
Summer is a time for planning, reflection, and renewal in our work.  Most students are off campus, summer classes are in full-swing, and many people take time off work.  This is a perfect chance for us to take a hard look at what we’re doing and consider how to improve what we do in the community and on campus.  WiCC will be facilitating a retreat on July 27 and 28 dedicated to implementing Civic Action Plans.  Even if you don’t have a Civic Action Plan, this could be a good time for renewal and focused discussion about how to jump-start your community engagement efforts! Learn more HERE.
For those who are looking for additional reflection and renewal opportunities, I invite you to participate in our summer webinar series alongside Illinois Campus Compact.  Our next session will be on July 18 at 10 AM entitled “Engaging Students in Bi-Partisan Dialogue In and Out of the Classroom.”  Learn more HERE.
In June, I had an opportunity to go to a training about community organizing facilitated by the WISDOM organization.  They had us reflect on our self-interest-what brings us to our work? What kinds of public relationships help you advance those interests? Who can actually change the systems that currently are not working properly? Part of the reason I attended this training is because I view our work as movement-building.  Everyone reading this message is part of the movement to change higher education so that it becomes more connected to community-based problem-solving that places community voice at the center.  In the fall meetings, I hope to explore this orientation to our work more in-depth.
Finally, I wanted to share some changes about WiCC’s structure. Last month, the WiCC Board voted to approve major changes in the governance and hosting arrangement of WiCC.  We are pleased to announce that WiCC will be moving to Edgewood College in August 2017! A special thanks to President Scott Flanagan and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dean Pribbenow for hosting and working with us! Beginning July 3, we will be administratively and fiscally housed by the national Campus Compact.  That means that Campus Compact will hold our finances and provide many of the back-office-supports that are essential for operating WiCC.  We are excited about this arrangement, as we think it will make us better able to achieve our mission and be in line with national efforts.  Our current Executive Board will be replaced with an Advisory Board, chaired for the next year by Dean Pribbenow at Edgewood College.  Thanks to Dean for his service!
Finally, if you ever have time to host me on campus for a strategy session, or meetings with faculty, staff, administrators, and students on your campus, please let me know.  I’m always eager to get to your campus!
Enjoy the summer!
Gavin