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Meeting, reception launch community engagement planning

Jazz trio from the College of Music, Town and Gown planning meeting, Sept. 27, 2012The President’s Community Engagement Council and Denton community leaders are taking initial steps to work together to support the quality of life in the North Texas area.

The council and the UNT Engagement Advisory Committee, which includes business and civic leaders, met Sept. 27 at Apogee Stadium to discuss a 20-year vision of community engagement, where mutual strengths and resources are engaged, and shorter term goals impacting the regions’ quality of life.

Trends discussed at the meeting included diversity, green living, job placement, cultural distinction and mentorship.

“Community engagement is one important way that UNT serves the community and extends our resources,” said Herman Totten, vice president for university and community affairs and co-chair of the Community Engagement Council. “It's also about collaboration and finding ways to foster the progress and success of two important entities, UNT and the Denton community.”

The creation of the division of university and community affairs and the President's Community Engagement Council signal a commitment at the highest level that UNT will be a strong partner to its communities, Totten said.

“UNT and the Denton community are each other’s best asset,” says Advisory Committee member Kevin Roden, assistant director of student life for the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences and Denton City Council member. “I can’t conceive of a community problem or local social issue that can’t be solved by the collaboration exhibited at our first Engagement Advisory Committee meeting. I’m proud that UNT has initiated such an ambitious plan to work together.”

President V. Lane Rawlins announced the university’s four bold goals earlier this year. Goal 4 is is specifically devoted to growing mutually beneficial hometown community partnerships. These partnerships are aimed at enhancing the cultural, social and economic well-being of both UNT and its community partners. The President’s Community Engagement Council and the associated Community Engagement Advisory Committee provide a structure for addressing this goal.

The Town and Gown Fall Harvest reception included the Engagement Advisory Committee members, members of the Denton County Commissioners Court and Denton City Council, plus community and UNT representatives.

Bill Kozek, general manager and PACCAR vice president at Peterbilt - one of Denton County's largest employers - was the guest of honor and spoke at the event.

Below, Rawlins and guests at the reception. (Story and photos by Randena Hulstrand, URCM)

Town and Gown reception, Sept. 27, 2012

Posted on: Wed 03 October 2012

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