We know that the best way to address challenges in rural communities is to approach those challenges with multi-disciplinary lenses. Our faculty, who are experts in their fields and committed to teaching the liberal arts, are ideal candidates for working with communities.
Faculty are more likely to value living, teaching, and working in a rural community--and to stay at UMN Morris--when their work benefits rural communities. We know our faculty bring expertise, skills, and energy to the rural communities they serve; the key is connecting them to projects that match their passions!
Here are some ways faculty can be involved
Most Center for Small Towns projects include at least one, and often multiple, faculty advisors. Faculty advisors are paid $500/semester to provide training and technical assistance to community partners and student interns. Advisors are approached based on their expertise and in dialogue with discipline coordinators and division chairs. Between 10-30 faculty serve each academic year. Contact the Center if you would like to be considered for a faculty advisor position but have not been approached.
Research and Creative Activity Fellows
The Center for Small Towns offers fellowships for up to three years to faculty who are committed to integrating community-engaged research or creative activity as key components of their research/creative activity agendas. In year one, fellows explore best practices in community-engaged research and creative activity by forming a learning community and, with Center staff, reading and discussing books and articles about community engagement and development. During this year, they also explore potential community partnerships related to their fields of expertise and, by the end of the year, propose a project or partnership. After year one, they are free to decide community-engaged work will not become a key part of their UMN Morris experience or that a specific project has not panned out. Or, they can continue their fellowship for up to two additional years, with support from the Center in implementing their project. Fellows receive $1,500 each year, as well as funding to support for project exploration and implementation. A call for proposals is sent out to faculty each January; 3-4 faculty are in each cohort.
Advisory Council Members
One faculty member in each of UMN Morris’ four divisions serves as an advisory council member to ensure that faculty input is a core part of the Center’s work. Advisory council members are appointed by division chairs, in collaboration with the Center’s director.
Community-Engaged Learning Fellowships
Faculty interested in integrating community-engaged learning into a class they teach can apply for a CEL fellowship through the Office of Community Engagement. They receive $500 for completing CEL training, and an additional $1,000 for planning and executing a project in a class for the first time.
Faculty interested in advising an Office of Community Engagement program, including the TREC (Tutoring, Reading, and Empowering Children) or the Morris Intercultural Education Initiative receive $1,500 each year they serve.