Identifying strategic priorities for community engagement has been an important part of the initial work undertaken by the Office of Community Engagement. In 2005, strategic planning occurred involving faculty, administrators, staff and some community partners in a review of Calvin’s past accomplishments in the scholarship of engagement and in dreaming of where we’d like Calvin to be in the next five to ten years.
Four broad areas of interest emerged which are capturing the attention of a number of Calvin faculty and staff in response either to current needs or to particular issues existing within the Grand Rapids community—environmental sustainability, urban revitalization, literacy, and racial reconciliation. These emerging priorities form the foundation of our strategic thinking and decision-making about particular projects to pursue. Encouraging faculty to pursue research and scholarship in areas of importance to the Grand Rapids community is one focus of the Office of Community Engagement.