ESLARP Retreat April 2001

This document summarizes the ESLARP retreat held at the home of Varkki George, 1710 Ridge Road, Champaign, on April 24, 2001. ESLARP faculty, staff and students decided this retreat should focus on the coming year. In attendance was Paul Adams, Mike Andrejasich, Cinde Geerdes, Varkki George, Gary Kesler, Bob Selby, Bruce Wicks, Cathy Klump, Craig Miller, Latonya Webb, Deanna Koenigs, Vicki Eddings, Janni Sorensen, and Jassen Johnson. Kieran Donaghy and Yoon Park were unable to attend.


10:00am to noon:       Review current fiscal year accounts. Review last year’s retreat decisions this                                             year’s actions. Review present year in terms of products, processes and relationships.

Noon to 12:45pm:      Lunch

12:45 to 3:00pm:      Review mission statement and fundraising materials. Look forward to next year. What do we need to accomplish? Set priorities.

The following summary of accounts was presented:

Income and Expenditure (this fiscal year)








NTAC (Outside funded)





Overhead (Outside)


St. Clair








Admin  (UIUC)


ESL Housing



Info Systems  (UIUC)





Tech Asst  (UIUC)





Work weekends (UIUC)










The retreat continued with a discussion of problems and challenges experienced throughout the past year.


*3 people at NTAC is not enough to get the job done.

      People will continue to experience burnout and the turnover rate will continue.


*Staff vs. workflow

      Prioritize or hire more staff

      All requests are appropriate for NTAC’s scope of work which makes prioritizing extremely difficult.

      Relationships could be affected if work was cut out

      Could enforce rules better

      Channel work back to the University


      Fewer RAs

      Designate someone on campus for each neighborhood group

      Missing staff for NTAC – Technical coordinator to link with Prairienet


      Both more staff at NTAC and more campus RAs needed.

      Need to secure predictable funding

      Community partners could help each other (ESLCAN, Church coalitions, etc.)

      Identify courses to take care of some of NTAC’s tasks, must fit with academic schedule

      Independent studies to take care of technical assistance needs

      We must develop process for channeling requests from NTAC – Campus

      Develop ongoing process for NTAC projects similar to web-based volunteer list

      SROP involvement

      3 new Buell Hall positions – bring them in as faculty fellows

      Use Prairienet as a model for requests

      Priairenet has added to NTAC’s workflow


      NTAC newsletter is now being produced, in part, on Campus.



      Saves Cathy 15 hours per newsletter and Latonya 10-15 hours.

      Involve students from Communications for editing

      Seek sponsorship for newsletter (ESLCAN, Alumni, Leanne)


      Getting more resident involvement in Lansdowne

      Student suggestions regarding working Lansdowne since they’re class is involved there


      Find more work in Lansdowne neighborhood for outreach weekends

      More faculty communication to students about why they are not working in specific neighborhoods

      If residents don’t come – re-evaluate

      Look at more paint-up, fix-up projects

      Look at scheduling an entire year in one neighborhood

      Make sure jobs are completed

      Continue to better outreach weekend logistics

      Find more high impact jobs


Service Learning

      Need faculty discussions with new ESLARPers filling them in on processes and procedures basics

SP01 classes

      UP 378            


      Reviewed ESLARP history with students – helpful


      ARCH 372


      Delayed gratification

      Positive reaction to work from residents




      Involve designers in more participatory acitivities

      Bridge with more design input from UP

      UP378, ARCH 372 and LA 338

      Make sure design students play larger role in outreach

      Inform students and residents of possible results – Ex. Emerson Park

      UP 260


      Fits ESLARP better than UP 101

      Stacy Harwood will teach next year


      Outstanding experience

      Students look forward to next year

All courses taught in ESLARP

      Make sure participatory approach is followed

      Must not be studying residents

      ESLARP alum – mentor new ESLARP faculty



      All admin work being done at Noble instead of three departments

      Continuity important

      NTAC likes having 1 point of contact, with the ability to have them visit ESL when needed

      Ask for College support for Directors’ release from teaching

      Like Having Resolving Director – Keeps all departments active

      Next  excom director from another department besides UP/ARCH/LA

                -if this happens, replacement needs to be better prepared for position

      Resolve revolving directorship UP/ARCH/LA

                -Needs to be full time

                -Doesn’t need to be faculty

                -Can Extension be used?

                -Development Target?

                -Kesler will have problem funding replacement through Landscape when it’s his turn

                -Dean’s Role?

                -Look for funding possibilities

New Involvement – Focus on Teaching Activities              

      Vet. Med



      Aces – Horticulture, Human and Community Development, and Extension


      Library and Informational Science

      Leisure Studies


      Volunteer Illini Projects

New Involvement – Incentives

      Good Reputation

      Strong Community Ties

      Early Start

Overlying problem – faculty focused on research, ESLARP 2nd priority

Existing Mission Statement – Need Replacement

Improve quality of life in ESL through research, teaching, outreach, by uiuc students and faculty.

1.        Support Community Development

2.        Enhance Capacity

3.        Train

4.        Basic, Applied Research

Replacement Possibilities:

Not location specific

Community Description – distressed, marginalized, disadvantaged community

Assisting in community based organizations addressing the problems of distressed urban communities.

1.        Teach

2.        Tie into Campus

3.        Mission – teaching, research, service

Next Years Priorities:

1.        Development for NTAC, etc

2.        Office relocation

3.        Communications – more with less man hours

4.        GIS – Update and better accuracy

5.        Target new faculty to develop ESLARP based classes

6.        Smooth transition between directors – ESLARP chair

7.        Service Learning Awareness

8.        NTAC – more staff

·         1 Director

·         2 Architects

·         2 Planners

·         1 Tech. Person

·         1 Grant writer

Key problem today – don’t establish capacity with community partners

9.        ESLARP Development – training for NTAC and Faculty

10.     Training costs for community partners

11.     Add 1 more Outreach Weekend in Fall

12.     Advertise Outreach Weekends in ESL

13.     Allocate $2,000 to replenish tool inventory for Outreach Weekends

·         Send need advertisement

14.     Independent Outreach Trips

15.     Outreach Research Assistant ½ time or hire additional RA

16.     Look at staying in ESL on Outreach Weekends

17.     Computing within ESLARP

·         2 or 3 new machines

18.     Higher Visibility on Outreach Weekends 

·         Job signs

·         Van signs

·         Tee-shirts

19.     Create new brochure

20.     Summer Party – NTAC 5 year

21.     Search for replacement NTAC Director

·         Search Committee to include 4 or 5 plus ESLCAN

·         Meet in ESL

·         Focused Interview Process

·         Start recruiting

Recorded by Janni and Jassen