Strategic Plan

UNM undertook a comprehensive strategic planning process with vision and goals for the year 2020. UNM2020 aims to build upon these successes and chart UNM’s course for the next several years. Click HERE for a detailed overview of the UNM2020 plan. 

The Office of Community Engaged Learning & Research in University College works directly with engagement and outreach representatives and offices from each of UNM’s schools, colleges, and branch campuses. Together we are focusing our own strategic planning efforts on UNM2020 Goal 3: Promoting Institutional Citizenship and Inclusive Excellence. 

Goal 3 states that:

UNM strives to engage people of all identities, and from all backgrounds, cultures, and communities to realize that they are capable of participating in all aspects of university life.  These interactions will inform institutional strategy, practices, and culture, bridge campus to community, and build knowledge and capacity to solve complex societal challenges. Our goal is to integrate community engaged teaching and scholarship throughout the university and implement single, central structure to lead and manage community engagement activities in support of the University's mission as a public institution of higher education.
While UNM’s journey to institutionalize community engagement will most certainly be a five-year process, we are putting forth four recommendations that can put us on a trajectory to achieving our goals. 

  • Enhancing students’ educational experience by engaging them in curricular and co-curricular activities that promote civic participation and build community capacity;
  • Expanding tenure and promotion policies to be more inclusive of, encourage, and reward community engaged scholarship by faculty; and
  • Expand and facilitate campus-community partnerships that maximize community assets and enhance local, state, national and global communities.

Community engagement, actualized through research, teaching, and service, can assist the University of New Mexico in accomplishing a broad array of institutional goals. The purpose of these recommendations is to encourage broad conversations about the value of engagement for academic culture, teaching, and scholarship, and connect community engagement to all of our major institutional initiatives. To address these challenges, we put forth the following recommendations:

  • Recommendation No. 1: Encourage senior administration to make a public commitment to community engagement as an institutional priority worthy of time and resources.
  • Recommendation No. 2: Create a central structure (office or institute) responsible for coordinating, monitoring, and tracking all community engagement initiatives.
  • Recommendation No. 3: Create a Council for Community Engagement to ensure that strategic goals and objectives are executed and accomplished.
  • Recommendation No. 4: Expand Tenure & Promotion policies to be more inclusive of and encourage and reward community engaged scholarship in teaching, research and service.
  • Recommendation No. 5: Enhance students’ education experience by increasing the number of curricular and co-curricular service opportunities. 

These strategies and actions will be systematically implemented in a way that creates and sustains reciprocal and mutually beneficial local, regional, state, and global partnerships with community through our teaching, research, and service and will inform and actualize our institutional strategy, practices, and culture and infuse community engagement through and with all other major university initiatives in a goal of collective and sustainable impact. It will also bridge our campus to our community and build knowledge and capacity to solve complex societal challenges to fulfill and strengthen our mission as a public flagship institution.

For more information, contact Dr. Monica Kowal, Strategic Planner for Community Engagement, Office of the Provost, at or (505) 277-3355.

Reports & Presentations


2016 Imagining America visit to UNM (Campus-Community Forum Report)

The University of New Mexico re-initiated its membership with the Imagining America consortium in August 2015 in an effort to leverage its work on institutionalizing community engaged scholarship, teaching and outreach and supporting public and engaged scholarship at those colleges and schools that support the fine and performing arts, humanities, social sciences and architecture and design. On April 14th and 15th, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Community Engaged Learning & Research co-hosted a campus visit from Drs. Scott Peters and Tim Eatman, Co-Directors of Imagining America (IA), a consortium of universities and organizations dedicated to advancing the public and civic purposes of the arts, humanities, and design. 

2015 UNM Community Engagement Recommendation Report

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich research, enhance teaching and learning, prepare students to be educated and engaged citizens, address critical societal issues, and contribute to the public good. The goal of this report is to recommend the strategic development of a community engagement agenda for the University of New Mexico. (See attached PDF).

2014 UNM Community Engaged Scholarship Forum (Briefing Packet) 

Briefing Packet for attendees of the 2014 UNM Community Engaged Scholarship Forum, where Dr. Barbara Holland presented the Keynote Address. (See attached PDF) 2014 UNM Community Engagement Action Plan Developed by UNM’s team of representatives at the Engagement Academy for University Leaders at Virginia Tech, June 2014. This UNM Community Engagement Action Plan operationalizes key components of the UNM 2020 and Vision 2020 Strategic Plans and sets forth an initial agenda for advancing and supporting UNM’s community-engaged activities and public scholarship.

The goal of this plan is to operationalize strategies and actions designed to: 

  • promote community capacity building to maximize and grow community assets, 
  • expand and facilitate institutional engagement with our surrounding communities, and 
  • create robust civic engagement and community-based learning opportunities for UNM students, faculty, and staff.  (See attached PDF).


The Pedagogy of Engagement (Dr. Monica Kowal)
2016: Graduate Student Success Seminar, University of New Mexico

Community Engaged Scholarship
2014 Get Set & Reset Conference, University of New Mexico

The Effects of Service-Learning on Student Retention & Success
2013 NMHEAR Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Strategies for Incorporating Service-Learning into Your Courses
2013 Center for Teaching Excellence Workshop, University of New Mexico