EAST ST LOUIS ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT

[ Update ]

Summary of ESLARPís retreat

April 27th. 2000 



 
 

This document summarizes the ESLARP retreat held at the Anita Purves Nature Center on April 27th 2000.

As preparation for the retreat all participants were asked to complete a SWOT. The results of these individual SWOT's were combined into broad headings that made the structure of the agenda for the retreat. In this way all participants had influence on the agenda for the day.

One decision that came out of this early SWOT was that we needed to focus on concerns for the near future and hold off on long-term decisions at this point due to time constraints. This decision will be reflected in the following summary of the retreat.

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Agenda for ESLARPís retreat April 27th. 2000

10.00am to noon: Elaborate on SWOT categories listed below Identify key issues on which action is necessary

Noon to 12.45p: Lunch

12.45 to 2.45p: Respond to key issues identified before lunch Identify specific actions to take in the next year

SWOTs The following are *broad* categories of issues that emerged from the lists of SWOTs sent to Varkki over the preceding week. (Many thanks to all who responded.)

Strengths:∑ Great reputation and track record! ∑ Great people involved! ∑ Administration on the mend!

Weaknesses:∑ Organizational flaws ∑ Poor working conditions at NTAC

Opportunities:∑ Increased visibility ∑ Expanded campus and other collaborations

Threats:∑ Loss of relevance to campus and community ∑ Loss of key participants ∑ Local government animosity

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Background:

a. Funds we are currently seeking

  1. Bonner Foundation...........................$50K for three years
  2. Ford Foundation............................. .$500K for three years
  3. East-West Gateway..........................$50K next fiscal year
  4. EZ................................................... $50K next fiscal year
  5. HUD COPC.................................... $75K for two years
  6. UIUC.............................................. $50K additional for NTAC (starting FY 2001-02)

b. Income and Expenditure (this fiscal year)

    Revenue Expenditure

  1. UIUC ...............................................$175K
  2. EC ....................................................$128K
  3. St. Clair Cnty.......................................$13K
  4. UIS.................................................. ...$10K
  5. Total $326K

    Expenditure

  1. NTAC............................................. ...$172K
  2. Info Systems...................................... . $43K
  3. Administration.................................... ..$34K
  4. Tech Assistant.................................... .$34k(1)
  5. Work weekends ................................. $10K
  6. Overhead ........................................... $14k
  7. Deficit Reduction ................................$19K(2)
  8. Total $326K

    (1) This includes salary paid to James Jones (about $18K) that we will not have to cover next fiscal year.

    (2) Last year, we overspent our revenue by about $23K. We will pay back $19K this year, and the remaining $4K in the next fiscal year.


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Summary of Swot's

Groups separated into Faculty - Staff - Students discussed what ESLARPís priorities should be in the coming year. The following is the results of the 3 groups discussion.
 
  Strengths:

  1. Despite low activity this year we can 'live' on our legacy
  2. 15-year involvement
  3. Contrast to UIS
  4. NTAC activity level shows the positive relationship to resident partners
  5. Referrals show trust
  6. NTAC is a high mark of current ESLARP presence
  7. Service learning is a fine product of campus activities, spreads from ESL to all over the country
  8. Great people involved including resident leaders
  9. Trust
  10. Administration is under control
  11. NTAC/Campus
  12. Communication is good between campus and NTAC
  13. Staff at NTAC is communicating better
  14. Professional development is OK Strengthen cross disciplinary curriculum
Weaknesses:
  1. Do we have to have a philosophy?
  2. Visible front person (faculty)
  3. Need "special project" faculty members (additional disciplines)
  4. Lack of undergrad students
  5. Need to go after community development faculty, undergrad faculty
  6. Nurture new faculty members over time
  7. Organizational
  8. Other competing scholar interests of faculty, other obligations
  9. Hire RAs from other departments
  10. Survey potential faculty for skills, time, willingness to participate - computer base - survey different institutions
  11. Incentives for faculty, do not rely on volunteers
  12. Great Cities barriers? - willingness
  13. Dean 'buyout' one full-time faculty Utilize the RAís work And make it more fruitful, effective and valuable
  14. Ntac/Campus
Opportunities
  1. Site search for NTAC office
  2. Increased visibility
  3. Bonner Foundation
  4. Encourage SIU to start service learning projects (involve in WW)
  5. PrairieNet
  6. Connect with experts
  7. Washington University environmental program
  8. Ken Salo, Environmental Justice
  9. UP 260 Social Planning issues (60 to 80 students) instead of UP 101
  10. Work with schools Involving more leaders (youth recruitment)
  11. Environmental Issues

Threats:

  1. Less relevant to campus and community
  2. Not enough research in ESL (students)
  3. If we do not increase capacity we will start walking backwards (NTAC)
  4. Campus loosing interest
  5. Need students from all units to build broad support
  6. Turnover of people
  7. Local government
  8. Making promises we cannot keep
  9. Other organizations are threatened by their relationship to NTAC in relation to CDBG and City Bonner Foundation

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Important issues identified after lunch hour

Following the SWOT exercise we had lunch and time to think over the issues raised in this first session. After lunch it was time to prioritize the issues to limit our discussion so our remaining time was maximized. Having each participant identify what he/she perceived to be the most important issues to discuss completed this prioritizing. The following issues were identified:

  1. Service Learning
  2. Lack of Central figure
  3. NTAC staff & Space
  4. Prairie Net/work with schools
  5. Information technology

Service Learning:

  1. Involve ARCH199 and UP260. UP260 TA should be an ESLARP person.
  2. Match themes with actual events in ESL
  3. General Education undergrad requirement
  4. Service learning courses, raising level of consciousness (Varkki)
  5. Increase money for work weekends
  6. Need Urban Planners in ARCH workshops (Janni)
  7. Community Development minor (Mike)

Lack of Central Figure:

  1. Stay on the issue
  2. Be a vocal presence to keep the process on track (community development person)
  3. Call Department Heads
  4. Teaching position
  5. Full-time ESLARP faculty
  6. Memo to Dean, Heads and Steve Schomberg (Kieran)
  7. Service Learning TA Colleen leaving, hire Jason Johnson?

Ntac Space and Staff:

  1. Present location is great
  2. CBD - Rehab possibility
  3. Cathy, Craig, Mike develop space strategy in the next month
  4. Potential of two staff positions
  5. Cathy will meet with Castello
  6. Remind Dean (Provost office?) of underfunding compared to Great Cities

PrairieNet:

  1. Invite Paul Adams to join the Executive Committee
  2. Work with the schools
  3. ESLARP technology development (write proposal)
  4. Connect with existing youth programs

Information Technology:

  1. Next generation of GIS
  2. Impact analysis
  3. Workshops
  4. Template for Neighborhood plans
  5. Ph.D. student in Information Technology (advertise in Planet)
  6. Community on campus might be able to fill position
  7. Funds need to go up from external grants
  8. GIS for surrounding communities (Cathy)
  9. Incentive for faculty
  10. Feature article in Inside Illinois
  11. Contact Sue Noeffke and Lawrence Parker (Janni)

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Please go to the ESLARP discussion forum to follow up on the retreat.

Document author(s) : Nidhi Tomar, Vicki Eddings, Janni Sorenson
Last modified: 12-May-2000, Nidhi Tomar