Rutgers-Newark Receives 2020 Community Engagement Classification

Rutgers University–Newark (RU-N) is one of 119 U.S. colleges and universities to receive the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement. This important classification is awarded following a process of self-study by each institution, which is then assessed by a national review committee led by the Swearer Center for Public Engagement at Brown University, the administrative and research home for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. 
“These newly-classified and re-classified institutions are doing exceptional work to forward their public purpose in and through community engagement that enriches teaching and research while also benefiting the broader community,” noted Mathew Johnson, executive director of the Swearer Center. 

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in U.S. higher education for the past 14 years with multiple classification cycles in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2015 and 2020.

The Carnegie Foundation first awarded Rutgers-Newark the Community Engagement Classification in 2006 in the Outreach and Partnerships category. In 2010, RU-N was one of 115 U.S. colleges and universities selected for the Community Engagement Classification in Curricular Engagement.

Rutgers-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor sees a defining aspect of the university's identity in this track record. "When we look at how long Rutgers-Newark has been able to earn this rigorously evaluated classification from one of higher education's most respected national organizations, it is no wonder that embracing our mission as an anchor institution emerged so powerfully in our 2015 strategic planning process," Cantor said. "This new reclassification–for which Carnegie raised the bar considerably from prior classifications–reflects the importance of the strategic investments we've been making at Rutgers-Newark since then to strengthen, deepen, and broaden our commitment as an anchor institution in Newark. At the end of the day, our investments are yielding more and better opportunities to enhance education and scholarship, while also making a difference in our community with our partners."

The Outreach and Partnerships category acknowledged Rutgers-Newark’s ability to “collaboratively apply and provide institutional resources that benefit both campus and community,” according to the foundation. Carnegie Foundation defined Curricular Engagement institutions as ones where “teaching, learning and scholarship engage faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Their interactions address community-identified needs, deepen students’ civic and academic learning, enhance community well-being, and enrich the scholarship of the institution.”

The 2020 assessment required more extensive documentation and evidence to support reported elements than in previous years. In addition to requests for web links to reports, policy statements, websites, etc., the assessment required institutions to identify data driven impacts of its community engaged work on community, students, faculty, and the institution as a whole. 

According to Dr. Diane Hill, RU-N’s assistant chancellor of University-Community Partnerships, the new designation represents a collaboration between RU-N and external partners. Dr. Hill said, “The RU-N team, coordinated by the Office of University-Community Partnerships and a steering committee comprised of members of the RU-N leadership team, amassed more than 300 hours facilitating the contributions of the more than four dozen administrators, faculty, staff and community partners who completed the application’s 80-plus narratives and data tables. The resulting 77-page document provides a snapshot of the depth and breadth of RU-N’s commitment to community engagement measured through foundational indicators like RU-N’s strategic plan, funding, professional development and faculty rewards, as well as through curricular and co-curricular engagement, professional activity, scholarship, institutional initiatives, outreach and partnerships. Seven community partners competed questionnaires allowing them to attest to and affirm the value of RU-N’s community engagement efforts.” 

About Rutgers University–Newark 
Rutgers University–Newark is a diverse, urban, public research university that is an anchor institution in New Jersey’s cultural capital. More than 13,000 students are currently enrolled at its 38-acre campus in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered through the College of Arts and Sciences, University College, the Graduate School, Rutgers Business School-Newark and New Brunswick, the Rutgers Law School–Newark, the School of Criminal Justice, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Rutgers-Newark is exceptionally well positioned to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility. It has a remarkable legacy of producing high-impact scholarship that is connected to the great questions and challenges of the world. It has the right mix of disciplines and interdisciplinary centers and institutes to take on those questions and challenges. It is in and of a city and region where its work on local challenges undertaken with partners from many sectors resonates powerfully throughout our urbanizing world. Most importantly, Rutgers-Newark brings an incredible diversity of people to this work—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—making it more innovative, more creative, more engaging, and more relevant for our time and the times ahead. For more information, visit
About the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching aims to build a field around the use of improvement science and networked improvement communities to solve long standing inequities in educational outcomes. The foundation, through the work of the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, developed the first typology of American colleges and universities in 1970 as a research tool to describe and represent the diversity of U.S. higher education. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education (now housed at Indiana University Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research) continues to be used for a wide range of purposes by academic researchers, institutional personnel, policymakers, and others. For more information, visit 
About the Swearer Center for Public Service: 
In 1986, Brown University President Howard Swearer founded one of the first public service centers in the nation, now named for him — the Swearer Center for Public Service. The Swearer Center is a hub of community, scholarship, and action at Brown University. Through innovative programs and fellowships that reach across Rhode Island and around the globe, the Swearer Center connects people to co-create knowledge and positive social change, advances the field of engaged scholarship, and integrates social innovation with community engagement. In 2017, the Swearer Center became the administrative and research home of the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. For more information, visit