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Objective 8

Provide service to Quebec, Canada and the global community by means of activities and international collaborations with measurable impact

For the purposes of ASAP 2012, the Work Group on Service to the Global Community has defined service as “an organized period of substantial engagement and contribution to the local national or world community, recognized and valued by society, and with minimal compensation to the participant.” Service also may be thought of as focusing on improving elements of social and economic development, where both the served and the server benefit from programs instituted.” 1

Under these definitions, aspects of McGill faculty, students, and staff, service and related activities may contribute to service to the local Quebec, Canada, and the global communities. (Work Group on Service to the Global Community; Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada; PTFDECE)

Rationale

McGill must affirm its commitment to the positive engagement with, and impact on, outside communities, locally, nationally and globally; build innovatively and progressively on the University’s history of service to society and thereby expand opportunities for research, scholarship, and learning. (PTFECE) More effective communication about McGill’s outreach to the local, regional, provincial, national and global community will serve as a source of pride and foster recognition.

Strengths

McGill is already engaged in extensive and far-reaching outreach activities in Quebec, Canada, North America and throughout the world. There and hundreds of McGill-led projects touch the lives of citizens in Montreal, throughout the province, throughout Canada, and around the world. (PTFECE)

McGill faculty, staff and students are involved in numerous local, national, and international outreach activities. These include activities related to McGill’s academic mission (scientific meetings, conferences, field work, internships, etc.) and community work as well as social action (or both). Service learning is an integral part of student engagement in their communities. It provides not only opportunities to develop awareness and an increased sense of citizenship, but provides unequalled possibilities for applying theoretical knowledge to real world situations, thereby fostering deep learning.  Examples include: McGill’s contribution to the Quartier de l’innovation for development and other on-going support that put research into action in the community. (Recommendations from the Principal’s Task Force on Diversity, Excellence, and Community Engagement were reinforced by the Work Group on Service to Global Community and Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada, Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE)).

Challenges

Information about these activities has not been appropriately communicated across the campus or to the community. McGill is host to a rich and diverse set of activities that serve society. The University serves as a research and teaching institution and also serves through direct engagement of students, professors, and staff with organizations and individuals at the local, provincial, national and global levels. Community engagement takes many forms. Some of this engagement transfers new knowledge or technology that benefits society. Others have direct benefits for the community, for example, well trained professionals who contribute to societal improvement.

Strategy 8.1: McGill will continue to endorse, encourage and support diverse forms of community engagement as integral to a research-intensive, student-centred university. (PTFDECE; Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada)

Action 8.1.1: Identify ways to promote the integration of an emphasis on community service in teaching and research, especially when the latter has direct links to constituencies. (Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada, SEDE)

Action 8.1.2: The University community must be encouraged to identify ways to further support community engagement. (Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada, SEDE)

Strategy 8.2: McGill will build on and promote the multiple service initiatives to local, provincial, national, and global communities to further increase university-wide collaboration in support of these initiatives. (PTFDECE, Work Group on Service to Global Community and Work Group on Service to Quebec, SEDE) 

Action 8.2.1: Establish a University-wide system for tracking and supporting international educational and service activities to the local, national, and international communities. (PTFDECE; Work Group on Service to Global Community; Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada)

Strategy 8.3: McGill will engage in strengthened internal and external communication about the extensive local, provincial, and national, and international service activities on our two campuses. (Work Group on Service to Global Community; Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada)

Strategy 8.4: McGill will enhance recognition and visibility of community service activities.

Action 8.4.1: Advance recognition in the internal and external communities about the extensive service activities on campus.(Work Group on Service to  Global Community, Work Group on Service to Quebec and Canada, SEDE)

Action 8.4.2: Encourage and facilitate hosting international events and activities, including conferences, with high-level international organizations. (Work Group on Service to Global Community)

Action 8.4.3: Improve communications with aboriginal communities.



1These definitions were provided by the Work Group on Service to the Global Community from the following sources: First definition: Sherredn, M. 2001. Civic Service: Issues, Outlook, and Institution Building. St. Louis, MO: Center for Social Development, Washington University. Second definition: McBride, A.M and M. Sherraden. 2004. Toward a global research agenda on civic service. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 33: 3S-7S.