The Commission on Outreach and International Affairs has appointed 18 people from across the university to lead an effort to retain Virginia Tech’s Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The designation recognizes “collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities — local, state, national, global — for the mutually beneficial creation and exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

Community engagement is part of Virginia Tech’s DNA, said Susan E. Short, associate vice president for engagement in Outreach and International Affairs.

“This type of engagement is at the core of Virginia Tech’s land-grant mission of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement,” Short said. “Our engagement leaders work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship and designed to help build community capacity.”

Virginia Tech was first classified for community engagement in 2006. Of the more than 4,000 universities in the country, it is one of only 80 that can claim that distinction as well as the Carnegie system’s elite “R1” research status.

The Elective Classification for Community Engagement is a voluntary classification that involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission. Selection is based on the alignment of the university’s mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices in such a way that promotes community engagement among faculty, staff, and students.

“Virginia Tech is a force for good in communities across Virginia, the nation, and the world. The Carnegie Community Engagement designation is a testament to the commitment of our students, faculty, staff, and partners to push the boundaries of knowledge in order to make a difference in the world,” said Guru Ghosh, vice president for outreach and international affairs.

If reclassified, Virginia Tech will hold the engagement classification through 2032.

The Carnegie classification leadership team includes

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