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Check List 2: Campus-Community Relationships to Build Resiliency

At the USU summer meeting, we partnered with APLU’s Council on Engagement and Outreach, to dig deep into the topics of resiliency and partnerships. From that meeting, we developed two checklists to help institutions strengthen their resiliency.  Our second checklist, below, compiles strategies and tactics to strengthen university-neighborhood partnerships.

Checklist 2: Campus-Community Relationships to Build Resiliency

Where to begin

  1. Start with existing relationships, then expand networks intentionally with inclusion in mind, thinking outside the box in terms of partnerships (leadership, partners, and people).

  2. Be deliberate in addressing racial equity and social justice in plans and strategies, or they will not impact those goals. Effectively link between racism and resilience.

  3. Know the end game

  4. Get to the root cause of stressors, its’ easy to get lost in the symptoms.

  5. Equity is the nucleus

  6. Understand vulnerable communities surrounding and on campus and include them in planning and practice.

Building Support

  1. Knowing the history/background is useful to guide toward a new direction; Use in framing to garner support

  2. Start the conversation with data, but don’t end with it.

  3. Engage the municipality, which is critical for a share purpose

  4. Have strategies for getting those not ready to the table

  5. Acknowledge everyone’s humanity and default to good intentions.


  1. Create Rapid Response Teams for Hot Issues (e.g. conflict resolution, hate speech)

  2. Consistently, respectfully challenge the status quo

  3. Connect stories and communication to the human experience


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