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Strategic Direction #4 – Regional and Community Engagement

We will deepen our commitment to regional, economic, and community engagement as connected to our higher education mission.

Strengthen relationships and communication between the University and our external partners.

Initiative 4.1.1: Provide the appropriate level of institutional support necessary  to ensure success with external partnerships and collaborations, including creation of transparent, easy-to-navigate structures. 

Initiative 4.1.2: Create an institutional council with representatives from each division and college to provide direction and enhance internal communication about external partnerships and engagement. 

Initiative 4.1.3: Engage external partners to facilitate economic and community development in Cullowhee, Jackson County, and surrounding counties, through community leadership initiatives, collaborative research and development efforts, and regional development conferences.

Initiative 4.1.4: Develop the West Campus, with its Millennial Initiative designation, as a national model for rural, public, private partnerships that are integrated into the academic enterprise and which support community-based economic development with a focus on improving the health of the region.

Initiative 4.1.5: Enhance existing and develop new curricular, continuing education, and professional development programs at Biltmore Park to prepare skilled employees to serve growth in the greater Asheville-Hendersonville area (e.g., professional and business services, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, retail trade, and advanced manufacturing technology).

Initiative 4.1.6: Expand and enhance interdisciplinary outreach efforts and potential partnerships focused on economic and community development to support curricular and co-curricular foci.

Develop and implement a plan to communicate the University's regional and community engagement activities.

Initiative 4.2.1: Develop and monitor (annually) university resource inventory of programs, services, facilities, and faculty/staff expertise that are available to the public.

Initiative 4.2.2: Develop a network within the University and with regional businesses and institutions to enhance employment opportunities for spousal and partner hiring and facilitate a network of opportunities, where possible, for affordable child care, health care, and housing options for faculty, staff, and students.

Initiative 4.2.3: Promote, publish, reward, and celebrate staff and faculty community engagement.

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