The Signature Partnership Initiative: A University-Community Collaboration

By Henry R. Cunningham, Vicki Hines-Martin and Daniel Hall.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: November 24, 2015 $US5.00

The University of Louisville takes pride in its role as a metropolitan research university that understands and values the importance of being an “anchor” institution in the community. It established as one of its primary goals the desire to be an engaged institution committed to direct interaction with external constituencies and communities through “partnerships and collaborations.” The Signature Partnership Initiative was created to collaborate with community organizations on social, educational, and economic issues affecting residents of west Louisville. It aims at enhancing the quality of life for residents in metro Louisville’s urban core. Community residents and partners, along with professional experts in the fields of education, health, economic development, and social services have developed thirteen programmatic objectives that focus the work of the university and community partners. A University Community Partnership Advisory Board, a Resident Advisory Council, and faculty liaisons from every school and college in the university guide the work of the initiative. The work involves engaged teaching, research, and service from faculty, staff, and students. This paper provides a description of the Signature Partnership Initiative and discusses the types of programs implemented through the university as part of the initiative. It also explores the successes and progress made thus far as well as identifies some of the challenges encountered in this university-community partnership.

Keywords: Anchor Institution, Collaboration, Partnership, Community Revitalization

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.17-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: November 24, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 481.583KB)).

Dr. Henry R. Cunningham

Director, Community Engagement, Office of the Vice President for Community Engagement, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Dr. Vicki Hines-Martin

Professor and Director, Office of Health Disparities and Community Engagement, School of Nursing, School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Daniel Hall

Vice President for Community Engagement, Office of the Vice President for Community Engagement, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA