University Earns New Carnegie Foundation Classification

The Carnegie Foundation has selected Suffolk University for its 2010 Community Engagement Classification. The honor recognizes “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities … for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

Suffolk University applied for this Carnegie classification by documenting and analyzing its service learning and community engagement efforts.

“One of the hallmarks of a great institution of higher learning is that it is involved and extends its educational and social programs beyond the borders of its campus,” said Barry Brown, acting president and provost of Suffolk University. “Suffolk University is now recognized as one of the select universities in the United States to meet this challenge through the dedication of our students, staff, faculty and administrators in serving Boston and the region.”

The University’s application “documented excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement,” said Carnegie Foundation President Anthony S. Bryk in a congratulatory letter to the University.

He cited the University’s examples of institutional practices and its documentation of community engagement in areas such as the Law School’s clinical programs, the Connections to College program and the work of the S.O.U.L.S. Community Service and Service Learning Center.

“This achievement was the result of a University-wide effort, and we found a lot of passion and commitment in the work people are doing in the community,” said Carolina Garcia, director of S.O.U.L.S., who, with University Archivist and Moakley Institute Director Julia Collins, led the effort to collect and analyze data for the Carnegie Classification application.

“There are many unsung heroes on campus who are making sure that our students are educated about social justice issues and who are leveraging University resources for the good of the Boston-area community,” said Garcia.

Suffolk University is one of 115 institutions to be added to the Community Engagement Classification this year, bringing the total of colleges and universities so recognized to 311.

“It is heartening to see this level of commitment and activity,” wrote Bryk. “Clearly, higher education is making real strides in finding ways to engage with and contribute to important community agendas.”