When Megan Swezey Fogarty was appointed Stanford’s first affiliate vice chairman for group engagement on March 1, she couldn’t have foreseen how native, nationwide and international occasions would form the work of her new workplace.
Nevertheless, regardless of these early challenges, and in some ways motivated by them, Fogarty and her staff have shortly established the brand new Workplace of Neighborhood Engagement (OCE) as a part of the Office of External Relations to additional join Stanford with the communities it serves.
OCE was first established by President Tessier-Lavigne as a part of the Long-Range Vision course of, in response to the recognized want for extra purposeful and arranged engagement between Stanford and exterior communities. From all corners of campus and several other faculty-led discovery and design groups, there was a recognition that whereas plenty of natural engagement already exists, there wanted to be extra institutional coordination. There additionally had been constant suggestions that Stanford ought to lean into mutual points it faces alongside the broader area.
Fogarty just lately employed Preeti Hehmeyer, beforehand the affiliate director of the Invoice Lane Heart for the American West, as assistant vice chairman for group engagement. Collectively, they may direct OCE’s engagement efforts, develop the workplace’s strategic plan and proceed constructing a team targeted on partnering with college and different Stanford group members.
The 2 mentioned the trail ahead for OCE and their plans for serving to the college forge deeper ties with Stanford’s neighbors and different communities positioned farther from campus.
OCE was established throughout what has been an eventful and difficult interval. How have these occasions affected your imaginative and prescient for the way OCE can strengthen Stanford’s reference to communities within the surrounding space and around the globe?
Megan Swezey Fogarty: I by no means may have anticipated all that will occur in my first 9 months on the job. The COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter demonstrations for racial fairness and justice, wildfires, a divisive nationwide election and extra have introduced into better aid the mutual challenges we face with our area and world.
This second presents Stanford with an distinctive alternative to place itself as a strategic and devoted associate to regional leaders as we start to navigate a post-pandemic world, and to put the inspiration for longer-term engagement that reconnects Stanford’s educating and analysis mission with our area, nation and world whereas additionally demonstrating the college’s dedication to the communities that we contact.
What are your key aims for OCE?
Preeti Hehmeyer: Our focus is to create a extra purposeful and arranged engagement between Stanford and the exterior communities with which the college interacts. To attain that, we’re partaking college, employees, college students and postdocs, and leveraging the experience and assets of dozens of various campus engagement hubs to strengthen and advance collaboration with exterior communities. The present focus is on addressing mutual challenges round affordability, training, well being and sustainability.
Fogarty: We’ve recognized 4 fundamental approaches for attaining our aims: 1) showcase discovery and experience on well timed matters; 2) interact college and different college associates to set the tone for better collaboration; 3) seize and mobilize that modern Stanford spirit on seemingly intractable points by serving to empower campus engagement hubs to work with group companions; and 4) regularly determine strategic alternatives to assist deal with challenges whereas additionally specializing in attaining optimistic outcomes.
What have you ever heard from inside and exterior stakeholders?
Fogarty: Through the spring and summer season, I went on a digital listening tour, speaking with over 120 stakeholders on and off campus – each supporters of Stanford and those that have been essential of the college.
Practically each stakeholder opened the dialog expressing enthusiasm for a heightened focus by the establishment on engagement. They noticed the appearance of this workplace as a manifestation of dedication by present Stanford management. Stakeholders additionally steered many ways in which Stanford can attain out, associate and assist remedy issues, and by doing so additionally assist change perceptions in regards to the establishment.
4 fundamental themes emerged from these discussions:
- Individuals look to nice establishments for assurance and, within the case of a world analysis college, innovation. That is very true during times of elevated chaos and doubt. An important instance of that is the experience and discovery supplied by Stanford Medicine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals respect Stanford’s ingenuity, and the general public hungers to collaborate on options.
- Impressions are knowledgeable by an infinite variety of small selections. If we will discover extra methods to get to “sure” in relation to sharing our out there tutorial assets and experience, it may have a big effect.
- Stanford must be out within the regional group extra. There was a really pure civic connection between Stanford and our area. The college was so intertwined with the encompassing communities that nobody needed to work exhausting at it. Our college and employees had a better presence in native authorities and civic organizations. Now we should be extra intentional to encourage our campus group to make civic connections. To facilitate that, we’re working with College Human Assets and an Worker Engagement Process Drive to discover how we’d additional the numerous methods our staff volunteer within the area.
- Lastly, an insider vs. outsider theme emerged, and the notion of a “moat” that separates Stanford from the group. There’s an eagerness to revamp a few of the traditions which have traditionally introduced the group and Stanford collectively. For some, Stanford additionally has a status as a black gap for requests, so we’re establishing a “concierge” ingredient in OCE as a technique to be high-touch connectors.
With so many alternatives for brand new and deeper group engagement, what are you specializing in first?
Fogarty: It’s been a busy interval concurrently standing up a brand new workplace and diving into hands-on group engagement, all whereas navigating the pandemic. For instance, our workplace performed a job in group relations across the campus zones program necessitated by state public well being necessities for larger training.
A lot of our early work has targeted on figuring out and compiling current areas of engagement. We just lately launched a brand new website to function a group doorway to the college and supply methods to attach, largely nearly for now. Within the spring, I began mapping engagement hubs on campus and shortly recognized greater than 70 throughout all seven faculties, along with DAPER, Stanford Arts the Hoover Institution and extra. These hubs of exercise are the places of work, facilities, institutes and different outreach and engagement actions that repeatedly join with exterior communities as a part of training, analysis, cultural and recreation actions. In partnership with various places of work on campus, the Future Bay Initiative in Stanford Earth is supervising a gaggle of scholars to create an illustrative open-sourced engagement database.
OCE is constructing on the Stanford for You theme by curating campus assets for the group. In partnership with Persevering with Research, Exterior Relations will launch a public program in February referred to as Discover Stanford for You. OCE can be within the course of of making a singular advisory council of inside and exterior stakeholders and finishing a nonprofit panorama evaluation with a concentrate on inclusion.
Hehmeyer: Along with the operational work Megan described, there are a few early actions that mannequin the methods we wish to interact with our area on areas of mutual curiosity. One instance is President Tessier-Lavigne’s service on the 100-day Silicon Valley Restoration Roundtable with 59 CEOs, leaders and thinkers from throughout regionally primarily based industries. The group, convened by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, produced a report with actionable suggestions for the right way to innovate to construct the inspiration for making a “new regular” in Silicon Valley as we emerge from the pandemic. OCE supported management’s engagement. As part of the college’s engagement, Stanford Impact Labs and the Stanford d.school framed convenings and the workstream construction.
One other instance of our engagement was with a gaggle of native jurisdictions as they labored to assist their communities reply to quite a lot of present points. Metropolis managers from six cities had been confronted with main selections stemming from the present set of shared challenges round public well being and racial justice. OCE labored with the Bill Lane Center to showcase how Stanford experience may shortly and successfully be made out there to native officers. Stanford researchers delivered case research and finest practices on key questions round policing – targeted on group oversight, use of information and tradition change.
One focus of my position might be to assist construct on these efforts by deepening connections between Stanford engagement hubs and a set of regional efforts.
Fogarty: This is a crucial second for Stanford to be reminded of the profound interconnectedness of the college and the area and world. We’re very excited to assist construct upon these relationships with key stakeholders and organizations, and we stay up for working with college, employees, college students and postdocs on the formidable goals of the Stanford imaginative and prescient. The widespread denominator right here for all of us is group.