Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.35
Liaison Christa Rieck
Submission Date Nov. 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Houston
EN-13: Community Stakeholder Engagement

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Has the institution adopted a framework for community stakeholder engagement in governance, strategy and operations?:

A brief description of the policies and procedures that ensure community stakeholder engagement is applied systematically and regularly across the institution’s activities:

A pillar of the University of Houston's mission statement is to "identify and respond to the economic, social and cultural challenges affecting the quality of life in the city of Houston, the state of Texas and the world through its education, research and service." This pillar is actuated by UH's many community projects, partnerships, camps, and other efforts detailed in the following sections. Furthermore, The University of Houston System Office of Governmental Relations coordinates the efforts of the four UHS universities to work with elected officials, administrative agencies and community organizations to advance both the priorities of the system and the surrounding community. Emphasizing an engaged and comprehensive approach, the office focuses on establishing collaborative partnerships within the community, implementing a proactive external affairs program and maintaining mutually productive relationships with community stakeholders.

A brief description of how the institution identifies and engages community stakeholders, including any vulnerable or underrepresented groups:

In the past, the University of Houston engaged the community at large through a "needs based" strategy. Partnering with Houston City government and even having a permanent Government Relations Office in the state capital, university representatives have served as an "ear to the ground" during house sessions and other political events to learn how to best serve their community. This strategy resulted in university community engagement occurring all over Houston and even the state. However, in recent years, the University of Houston has adopted a commitment to to serve our immediate surrounding community (7- to 8-mile radius). This radius encompasses the Greater Third Ward, an area of high poverty, mostly populated by underrepresented groups; some reports listing a 99% poverty level demographic. Given the high need for community support, UH students, faculty and staff conduct various projects and camps to help serve the community. A detailed list of these projects and their outcomes can be found in the below linked "Year in Review", an annual community service report published by the Director of Community Relations, and the article link for UH's Community Service Honor Roll.

List of identified community stakeholders:

Alief ISD
Aldine ISD
Bayou Voices
BOUNCE Healthy Lifestyle Program
Councilman Dwight Boykins (UH alum)
East End Chamber of Commerce
Black Shear Elementary School
Center for Houston’s Future
Children at Risk
City of Houston
Coalition for the Homeless of Houston

Fort Bend ISD
Global Unisource
Gulf Coast Community Services Association
Habitat for Humanity
Harris County Clerk’s Office
HISD, Fifth Ward Redevelopment Corporation
Houston Area Teacher Center
Houston Food Bank
Houston GLBT Community Center
Houston Independent School District
Houston Public Media
Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston 

League of Women Voters
Manna House Food Pantry
Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods
March of Dimes
Mi Familia Vota

Pride Houston
Rice University
Spring Branch ISD
Star of Hope
Swinging for Seniors
Texans Together

Texas Legislature
Third Ward Community Cloth
United States Congress
United Way

A brief description of successful community stakeholder engagement outcomes from the previous three years:

The Third Annal Mayor's Back to School Fest impacted 13,000 students and their families by supplying school supplies, backpacks, city information, health screenings, immunizations, and social service resources.

Once again working in conjunction with the City of Houston, the University of Houston participated in several citywide as well as on-campus events helping support the city’s Citizenship Month initiative. Citizenship Month is a series of community driven events and programs designed to raise awareness of the diversity, cultural experience and citizenry of Houston. The Office of Community and Government Relations took on the role as direct liaison with city officials and attended city-wide events including the luncheon to help launch this year’s initiative. We also worked together with our Student Affairs Division to confirm our student events on campus were recognized as part Citizenship Month and were able to secure an interview for the Daily Cougar with Houston’s First Lady Kathy Hubbard who chairs this cause.

The Office of Community and Government Relations spearheaded a UH Day of Giving at the Houston Food Bank. The goal of this project was to offer UH faculty, staff and students a unified opportunity to volunteer their time for a worthy cause. Our goal was to bring together as many UH volunteers as possible in one location. Initially our goal was to host 100 volunteers, but the momentum surrounding this event turned into over 200 of our own representing our Cougar pride in the community.

For the 2014 March of Dimes March for Babies campaign, the office of Governmental and Community Relations officially took over the role as UH administrator and liaison with the March of Dimes Houston Chapter, a role previously held by the Division of Student Affairs. During this time our office worked closely with March of Dimes officials as well as on campus personnel such as parking and police overseeing logistics for hosting this event on campus. As part of the official university liaison, our offices took on the responsibility of attending a number of city-wide events and meetings related to the March of Dimes. Houston hosts the largest March of Dimes walk in the nation. Hosting this event on our campus brings together a number of corporate sponsors, community stakeholders vested in the March of Dimes cause.

In addition to working closely with March of Dimes organizers, our offices also spearheaded the University of Houston fundraising campaign for the March for Babies. Through our offices we worked closely with department team captains ensuring they have all fundraising details and materials readily available. The campaign runs from January through June and leadership and direction for our efforts are managed through our office during this entire time. In preparation for this campaign our offices hosted a kick-off luncheon specifically for our UH team captains as a way to rally their efforts and help prepare them for the campaign ahead. Our office also maintains direct communication with team captains and the University as a whole to encourage walkers and participation in the walk.

This year we added a new element to our tent by welcoming the UH College of Pharmacy who provided over 450 glucose and blood pressure screenings to walkers. This resource allowed participants a quick and easy health screening opportunity as well as a means to showcase the work of our students. UH Pharmacy students also included the use of the “Mega Heart,” an inflatable educational exhibit that allows guest to walk through and learn about the different components of the human heart. The “Mega Heart” was visited by over 3,000 patrons at the March of Dimes Walk. This is a component we will welcome back for next year’s event. Pharmacy students benefit by helping serve the community as part of their field of study and to help prepare them for their career ahead.

In celebration of the life of work of activist Cesar Chavez, the Houston Tejano Preservation Society hosted the Cesar Chavez Parade in Houston’s Historic East End. Our office partnered up with a proud alum and owner of a spirited UH van that was used as an entry in the parade. The festive four-wheeler machine provided a spectacular presence of Cougar pride and support to our neighbors in the East End.

Working in conjunction with the UH LGBT Resource Center, our offices participated in the 34th Annual Pride Parade, showcasing our Cougar support to the over 70,000 people in attendance at this year’s parade. Pride Houston is one of the city’s largest parades that includes over 160 individual entries consisting of large corporations such as Chase Bank, Shell Oil and Center Point Energy just to name a few. Other entries include non-profit organizations, various elected officials and a number of higher education institutions within the city including Rice University, Houston Community College and Lone Star Community College. Members from the UH LGBT alumni group as well as current students participated in this event. Having our float provided a increased UH representation in a celebrated Houston event.

The website URL where information about the institution’s community stakeholder engagement framework and activities is available:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.