Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

How can the CUP (Community and University Partnerships) Office help you?

  • Formally recognizing the work you are doing with off campus partners.
  • Publishing the formal partnership relationships that you have.
  • Assisting you by documenting your partnership activities.
  • Helping to identify others on campus who may be working with the same partner or who may be working with a partner who may be a prospect for you.

How can you help the CUP office help you?

Complete the appropriate forms for current and/or prospective partnerships so that they can be cataloged campus-wide and so that information can be published.

What students get from partnerships?

  • Link theory and practice
  • Keep curriculum current and responsive
  • Integrate skills into workplace
  • Ethical issues become part of the discussion
  • Prepare students for participatory citizenship

What MTSU faculty and staff get from partnerships? (MTSU Academic Master Plan)

Extend the teaching and learning environment beyond the campus and blurs
the boundaries between town and gown ---- may be evidenced by the following:

  • Internships
  • Co-ops
  • Research
  • Clinical opportunities
  • Service learning
  • Experiential learning
  • Practicums
  • Other Professional Exchange
  • Monetary Resources
  • Promote communication and understanding between the worlds of work and service ---- may be evidenced by the following:
    • Practitioners teach classes
    • Shared expertise back to the community to our participation on advisory boards
    • MTSU advisory boards
  • Integrate the workplace with the world of higher education
  • Enrich and update curriculum
  • Apply knowledge
  • Create interdisciplinary linkages

What Community gets from Partnerships with MTSU?

  • Provide access to MTSU.
  • Promote regional growth and development
  • May remove significant costs by locating/working with the University
  • Expand resources available to solve local challenges
  • Promote local solutions to local challenges
  • Offer the potential of "neutral ground"; for discussion and resolution of controversial issues
  • Provide opportunity to address priorities
  • Provide opportunity to involve county and city mayors and entire community in addressing issues

What MTSU gets from Partnerships?

  • Provide the opportunity for meaningful access to the community
  • Prove the importance of financial investment in the institution
  • Demonstrate how MTSU gives back to the community
  • Provide the opportunity to help improve the community
  • Provide a consistent framework for decisions about resource allocation
  • Provide a strategic systematic plan for community involvement that demonstrates institutional commitment - not just piecemeal
  • Demonstrate how MTSU can be the impartial partner in issues that could create division in the community

What are some intangible criteria for effective partnerships?

  • Provide a mission of each partner
  • Demonstrate the values of each partner
  • Provide a clear vision and focus
  • Establish mutual trust and respect
  • Provide the opportunity to build on strengths and assets

What are some action criteria for effective partnerships?

  • Plan and manage the partnership from start to finish
  • Address priorities and issues - link university activities to the needs and strengths of service area - both parties must benefit
  • Determine the ends to be achieved before considering issues of how to achieve ends.
  • Connect dots between community, business, university, funders
  • Develop clear measurable goals to include actions
  • Develop a process for formal and informal communications
  • Develop a process for mutual dialogue and input from all
  • Develop timelines and progress benchmarks
  • Develop feedback loop
  • Develop a process to share credit
  • Describe expected outcomes
  • Define roles and responsibilities of each partner (self interests of each identified)
  • Develop a system for monitoring progress
  • Describe how successes and failures will be detailed
  • Demonstrate process effectiveness
  • Develop a plan for detailed project assessment (including each partner)
  • Describe benefits to each partner
  • Develop a system for supporting faculty and staff
  • Define structure and process for shared control (balance of power)
  • Plan for consistent invitations to participate
  • Publish outcomes and information on a consistent basis
  • Provide a formal assessment and accountability report tied to mission and stated priorities on a periodic basis- what is public's satisfaction level with university's openness and responsiveness to community needs and include in assessment, stakeholder satisfaction with involvement in activities.
  • Develop strategies for corrective action as necessary.
  • Plan disengagement strategy prior to beginning work within partnership. What indicates end of project.
  • Acknowledge that other partnerships may evolve that neither of you may anticipate.
  • Celebrate small successes along the way.