Land-Grant Efforts are Local and Global

La Monica Everett-Haynes
Aug. 27, 2012

University Communications is running a week-long series about the UA's land-grant mission. You can read more at UANews.org.

What does it mean to have a community-based impact that stems from the land-grant mission? Many examples exist at the UA: 

The Arizona Cooperative Extension offers a broad range of programs in every single Arizona county and on tribal lands on topics that include gardening, ranching, healthy living, youth development, conservation and food safety while also supporting tribal members and military families, often with grant funding. In 2011 alone more than 11,000 volunteers contributed nearly 179,000 hours to county programs. Collaborators include government, schools, farms, organizations and health institutions.

Around improving access to higher education, certain UA colleges withhold a portion of the differential tuition students pay, contributing those dollars to financial aid for students and Arizona Assurance continues to provide a tuition-free education to qualifying Arizona residents. Also, the UA Outreach College works with other colleges on campus to facilitate the improved access to education through for-credit and non-credit courses.

Regarding information exchange, the University Libraries serves as a repository for information about the UA and the southwestern region. The division collects, archives and provides public access in physical and digital form documents and artifacts related to the history of the University, the U.S.-Mexico border, the arts and the humanities, agricultural, mining, engineering and a range of other topics. And the division works with researchers from around the world, aiding them in knowledge creation.

Also, researchers and scientists collaborate with off campus partners toward solving complex challenges around diseases and other medical conditions, improving food security and offering individuals in rural and remote communities access to higher education via telecommunications technologies. The UA is also helping address major social issues. For example, the Southwest Institute for Research on Women launched its Mothers of Minors program with federal funding to help women addicted to substance abuse to remain sober, find jobs and care for their children. SIROW has contributed more than $50 million dollars to the state of Arizona through grants and contracts and has served more than 7,000 people in local communities.

Several college provide clinical programs, placing graduate and undergraduate students such as those in law, medicine, linguistics and also science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM fields, in community-based internships and externships. Such positions are often held in communities that are underserved. For example, the James E. Rogers College of Law offers a mortgage clinic to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and than 50 percent of research at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health focuses on health disparities and about 75 percent of all faculty members are engaged in some sort of community service.

UA faculty collaborate with organizations, agencies, institutions, community-based groups and others across the state, nation and, at times, in other countries, like Mexico and China. Likewise, the UA consistently produces new products and businesses. For example, students in the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, housed in the Eller College of Management, have launched more 500 companies over time.

And UA faculty and staff members, as well as administrators, serve on a range of nonprofit and governmental boards, advisory groups and professional associations, making important and long-standing contributions to their fields and also policy and practice at local, state, national and international levels.

Photo credit: FJ Gaylor

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