The Division of Community Affairs in a Research University

The Division of Community Affairs is helping the University fulfill its mission to advance the intellectual and social condition of the people of Alabama through quality programs that connect our mission of teaching, research, and service in ways that improve the quality of life for individuals and communities through:

PTLA Logo-01Innovative programs such as the nationally recognized Parent Teacher Leadership Academy that teaches parents not only to be a crucial part of their children’s education but also to become local educational leaders.

SavingLivesLogo_webSaving Lives, a faith-based wellness program that reduces obesity, diabetes, and heart disease among high-risk populations.

SCOPELogoTransparentScholars for Community Outreach Partnerships and Engagement (SCOPE), an organization that connects undergraduate and graduate students interested in research involving communities with other students with similar interests and with faculty mentors.

SDCN Graphic Scholars for Community Outreach Partnerships and Engagement (SCOPE), an organization that connects undergraduate and graduate students interested in research involving communities with other students with similar interests and with faculty mentors.

Community Affairs provides research seed funding, recognition programs, and the publication of the leading international peer-reviewed journal on the scholarship of community/university partnership and engagement, all of which support the efforts of faculty, staff, students, and community partners.

Our Story

Since its inception in 2004, the role of the Division of Community Affairs and its subsidiary units has been to form partnerships in the solution of community problems at the local, state, national and international level.

Community Affairs is comprised of the administrative office, the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, Crossroads Community Center, Realizing the Dream annual program and activities, and the Consortium for Higher Education. 

While this is our structure, the success of the Division comes from the synergism resulting from a major research University joining forces with communities to address issues of major concerns in such areas as health, education, the environment, race and cultural relations, poverty, religion, science and the economy.

Community Affairs provides leadership and opportunities for students and faculty from all over campus to form partnerships that advance the field of community-engaged scholarship in the city, state, nation and world.

Under the leadership of Dr. Samory Pruitt, who has served as vice president of Community Affairs since its creation, the division has facilitated and supported research-based projects that have created scores of partnerships involving UA faculty, staff and students and community partners at all levels. 

UA was the first non-land-grant institution selected for membership in the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, an international aggregation of universities providing leadership in the scholarship of engagement. Dr. Pruitt is the current president of its Board of Directors. UA was the first non-land-grant institution to host and sends a large delegation to the ESC annual conference.

Since 2006, the Division has sponsored an annual awards program that highlights the centrality of community-engaged scholarship to the University’s overall mission. Awards at this event include recognition for Excellence in Community-Enaged Scholarship by faculty/staff, students and community partners and for travel, fellowship, and seed funds. Also held in connection with this event is a Research Poster presentation (possible link to coverage of this year’s event).