CARNEGIE ACKNOWLEDGES COMMUNITY ENGAGED UVU – The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has selected Utah Valley University as one of the newest members of its “community-engaged” classification. This classification is presented only to a fraction of universities and shows a direct reflection on the school’s involvement in and support of its community. UVU was one of 110 institutions to successfully receive classification in both the Curricular Engagement category and Outreach and Partnerships.

According to the Carnegie Foundation Web site, “community engagement describes 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.”

There are two qualifications for the new classification. First, the foundation looks at a university’s activity in teaching, learning and scholarship, and the benefits for students and the community. Second, it assesses the practical application of a university’s resources in the community for the benefit of the community.

“Receiving this classification puts us in the family of community engaged institutions that focus on becoming stewards of place by identifying unique community needs and servicing those needs in a direct and relevant way,” said Scott Hammond, UVU assistant academic vice president. “It provides a great deal of joy for students and educators who embrace the service aspect of community engagement. The learning is enhanced, but so is the feeling about the subject, the institution and the community.”

While UVU has grown rapidly from its trade school roots and added other dimensions, the university has never altered its goal to provide students the real-world skills and experiences they need. Programs throughout each department, as well as the university’s community-focused, Center for Engaged Learning, provide students a way to leave campus grounds and relate the knowledge they have gained in a practical setting.

“UVU has had a long history of community engagement and service,” said Elizabeth Hitch, interim president. “An award of this classification by Carnegie is confirmation of this long-time and continuing commitment to meeting community needs. It is gratifying that Carnegie has recognized our goals of preparing students who are professionally competent people of integrity who are stewards of the places in which they live and work as being consistent with the standards they set for community-engaged institutions.”

The Carnegie Foundation was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered by an Act of Congress in 1906. As an independent policy and research center, its charge is “to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching and the cause of higher education.”


MAN KILLS NINE ON CHRISTMAS EVE – 45-year-old Bruce Pardo dressed in a Santa Claus suit, walked into his ex-wife, Sylvia Ortega’s holiday family party, a week after their divorce was finalized, and shot ex-family members and torched the home before committing suicide. It was reported that the killings left as many as 13 children orphaned. With four semi-automatic handguns, Pardo shot an 8-year-old girl in the face and then continued shooting others at the holiday gathering. Because the bodies were burned badly, police are still identifying who was killed by the attack. Those believed to have been killed include Pardo’s ex-wife, her parents, three of her siblings, two spouses of her siblings and her nephew. Pardo had no previous criminal record. Attroneys who represented Pardo and Ortega in their divorce said Ortega never expressed any fears that her husband would be violent.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR APPOINTS BURRIS TO REPLACE OBAMA’S SENATE SEAT- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced last week the appointment of former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris to replace President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate. Burris is 71 years old and has served as Illinois’s comptroller and has previously ran for governor three times. Blagojevich praised Burris’s integrity and said he hoped that the allegations against himself will not “taint this good and honest man.” Blagojevich was previously arrested on Dec. 9 and accused of trying to profit from appointing Obama’s replacement.