Academic, business leaders to discuss community engagement at UNT conference

Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - 17:56

What: Annual Master of Public Administration Alumni-Student Conference at the University of North Texas featuring keynote speaker B.J. Reed, senior vice chancellor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and panel discussions about UNT and Its Community Partnerships -- A World of Possibilities

When: 9 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. March 21 (Friday)

Where: Gateway Center Grand Ballroom and Conference Room at UNT,
801 North Texas Blvd.

Cost: Registration is closed. Members of the media are welcome to attend; the keynote speech is 9:45-10:30 a.m., and the colloquium address is 12:15-2:15 p.m.

Contact: UNT Alumni Association; 940-565-4466;

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Community outreach and civic engagement are a pipeline for innovative exchange between universities and local businesses, and the partnerships often yield mutually enriching benefits. University of North Texas faculty and administrators, guest speakers and business leaders, students and alumni gather to share ideas on the theme of UNT and Its Community Partnerships -- A World of Possibilities at the annual Master of Public Administration Alumni-Student Conference on March 21 (Friday).

Panel discussions will offer fresh perspectives on the challenges and successes of university-community partnerships, and examine various win-win models used by universities and business that are transforming the educational and research experiences of students while stimulating the goals and interests of businesses.

Keynote speaker B.J. Reed, senior vice chancellor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will lead the morning session and participate on a panel. UNO is about to open a $25 million facility, paid by a major donor, dedicated to community engagement. Reed will discuss the collaborative vision and strategic planning that shaped the creation of the new UNO Community Engagement Center, its programs and curriculum, and offer insights on building sustainable partnership solutions that will inspire the next generation of leaders and discoveries.

Sessions will begin at 9 a.m. at the Gateway Center Grand Ballroom and Conference Room at UNT and conclude with a PASA Dessert Extravaganza from 2:15-3:15 p.m. A luncheon in the Grand Ballroom at 12:15 p.m. will feature Mary Suhm, former city manager of Dallas and alumna of UNT in business and library science delivering the Chester A. Newland Colloquium Address on the topic of UNT's Vision for Community Engagement. Additional conference participants include:

  • Jean Keller, vice president for community engagement and UNT professor of kinesiology
  • Ron Whitehead, former city manager of Addison and UNT alumnus of public administration
  • Brian Collins, UNT associate professor of public administration
  • Bob Hart, city manager of Kennedale
  • Jane Massey, director of neighborhood research and revitalization for Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity and UNT alumna of public administration

"The annual MPA conference provides an opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of leaders in the field of public service," said Robert Bland, professor of public administration at UNT. "It also provides a venue for recognizing faculty and students for their accomplishments and to thank donors to the department's scholarship and award funds."

About UNT's College of Public Affairs and Community Service

The College of Public Affairs and Community Service blends academic programs, applied research and collaborative external partnerships to provide innovative education and strengthen metropolitan communities. The college offers programs that were established as the first of their kind -- including emergency administration and an academic certificate in volunteer and community resource management. Two programs, rehabilitation counseling and city management, and urban policy, are ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the Top 20 nationally (13th and 8th respectively) and both are first in Texas. The college also offers the first accredited master's program in applied behavior analysis in the world and the first online anthropology master's program in the nation. Other academic programs include alternative dispute resolution, applied gerontology, criminal justice, disability and addiction rehabilitation, public administration, social work, and speech and hearing sciences.

This news release was written by Julie West.

UNT News Service
(940) 565-2108