About BTU

BTU elevates the work Towson University is doing with partners in Greater Baltimore and beyond to create positive impacts in our communities.

Partnerships are central to Towson University's role as a community-engaged institution. BTU—Partnerships at Work for Greater Baltimore is one of eight presidential priorities and helps to institutionalize TU's partnership work. As a campus-wide initiative, individuals and groups from across campus work to provide critical support, coordination, and decision-making to further positive impacts across Maryland.

SUPPORTING THE WORK

BTU Council

The BTU Council is made up of representatives from every academic college and administrative division and serves as the advisory group to the president regarding BTU. The council works to raise awareness; identify opportunities for growth and expansion; address strategic initiatives; and evaluate outcomes and impacts.

BTU Leadership Team

The BTU Leadership Team ensures the goals and milestones for BTU are met; evaluates prospective campus-wide partnerships and facilitates next steps; identifies agenda items for monthly BTU Council meetings; and develops reports as needed for the President’s Council, Board of Visitors, Deans Council, among others. The BTU Leadership Team is supported by a partnerships manager and includes an individual from each of the following divisions: Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Innovation & Applied Research.

The leadership team includes:

BTU Faculty Director

The BTU Faculty Director is the interface to the BTU presidential priority for academic affairs and assists faculty in the management of community engagement projects through development, implementation, assessment, and dissemination. The BTU Faculty Director helps create and facilitate a culture of best practices for community engagement for the Towson University community.

Office of Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility

The Office of Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility empowers students, faculty, and staff to be socially aware and active leaders with the passion and knowledge to enhance their communities. We also serve as a resource for community partners seeking TU volunteers.

Office of Partnerships & Outreach

The Office of Partnerships & Outreach brings together university and community interests and resources to advance mutually-beneficial collaborations on campus and in our communities. This team provides overarching support and management of BTU, including:

  • Identifying external resource opportunities
  • Tracking and managing MOUs and agreements
  • Liaising with TU-affiliated organizations headquartered on campus
  • Maintaining the BTU Partners Database to streamline data collection, reporting, and information sharing
  • Connecting external organizations with appropriate faculty and administrative contacts
  • Communications, including the BTU Report, newsletters, social media, and blog management
  • Event management, including BTU Partnerships Showcase, BTU Partnership Awards, and other university-wide initiatives as directed by the president

DEFINING THE WORK

BTU Impact Areas

Five impact areas serve as the basis for how the efforts, resources, and recognition of university-community partnerships are organized.

BTU Goals

Towson University strives to support TU faculty, students, and staff and their partners from the start of an idea to gathering resources for partnerships to flourish. This includes:

  • Listening to partners and serving as a front door for external organizations
  • Identifying, capturing, and determining the scope of partnerships and collaborations
  • Coordinating campus resources
  • Evaluating impacts and outcomes
  • Aligning TU's work for greater impact
    Recognizing and rewarding this work
BTU Engagements

Every engagement is unique. However, engagement types are defined to ensure that appropriate levels of support are provided to reach intended goals.

  • Transactional—Engagements that are limited to financial support including development and fundraising efforts as sponsors and in-kind gifts
  • Emerging Idea—An idea, conversation, or developing concept for a new relationship or partnership. The faculty or staff member may already have a connection with this community partner and hopes to develop a defined relationship
  • One-Time Collaboration—A single or short-term activity with a beginning and an end date taking place in partnership between TU and an outside entity. These collaborations have no formal agreement to continue the collaboration in future years or semesters
  • Ongoing Collaboration—Collaborations between TU and an outside entity with a formal or informal agreement in place, working toward mutually beneficial outcomes, with no estimated end date.
BTU Activities

Partnerships take many forms and their associated activities vary. All take place in collaboration with a network partner and include:

  • Applied research and contractual services
  • Community-based research
  • Community service
  • Economic development
  • Educational collaborations
  • Outreach events
  • Health promotion
  • Internships, practicum, and clinicals
  • Service learning
  • Social and community development
  • Extension programs and training

Community Engagement at TU

Classification for Community Engagement

Towson University is one of only three institutions in Maryland to hold the Classification for Community Engagement awarded by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Towson University is consistently named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service.