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Wednesday, June 1 • 11:00am - 12:00pm
Building Mutually Beneficial Partnerships: It's Complicated

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As engagement work goes beyond one-day service projects to deeper, more meaningful work, relationships become complicated. "Mutually beneficial partnerships" are frequently cited as a best practice. This presentation looks critically at what it means to develop mutually beneficial partnerships at the college or university level. Who should be involved, and how, and when? Presenters from two state universities will share their institutions' different models of engagement, citing the advantages and disadvantages of each. The role of staff, faculty, students, and the larger university will be examined at various stages of the partnership. Session attendees will have the opportunity to examine their own models of engagement, consider what is working well, and discuss how positive changes might occur. In this session we will consider an engagement continuum that ranges from technical assistance to complex community change, examine our places along the continuum, and examine the hypothesis that students may be the best agents of change for community development work in which we are involved. Crafting partnerships carefully may be a crucial ingredient in paving the way for students to act in ways that encourage positive change in community development.


Nick Benson

Director of Community Development and Outreach, University of Iowa
Nick Benson currently serves as the Director of Community Development and Outreach for the Provost’s Office of Outreach & Engagement and the Program Director for the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities. He shapes the university's community development initiatives by... Read More →

Susan Erickson

Interior Design Specialist, Iowa State University

Wednesday June 1, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm CDT
Indiana Room 346