About SFU's Office of Community Engagement

Our purpose

To strengthen SFU’s institutional capacity for building sustainable and equitable partnerships, ones that mobilize teaching, scholarship, and creative activity towards meaningful outcomes and impacts.

But really – this work is advanced by all of us, and SFU houses some incredible champions for community engagement. Check out our directory to see the kinds of courageous partnership work that SFU folks are doing with communities towards meaningful community impact.

What we do and how we work

SFU's Office of Community Engagement stewards the University's strategic, collaborative and distributed approach to supporting and strenthening community-engaged teaching, scholarship and creative activity. We work to enable direct impact on pressing societal issues through co-created knowledge, development of shared purpose and responsive practices.

If that sounds a bit vague, that's only because communty engagement demands leadership at the roots – it is a local and responsive methodology – our office works to build SFU's institutional capacity to support and strengthen that work. One of our primary responsibilities is to steward and shepherd the emergence of SFU's Strategic Community Engagement Plan, ensuring it enables and aligns community engagement work across the institution in ways that live up to our top level aspirations to have real-world impact through terms and partnerships developed with community.

When it comes to what that looks like, it means we do concrete work at many different scales, from drafting top-level strategic language, to coordinating and convening key dialogues and events, to producing stories and lifting up narratives, to operationalizing community programming and building social and digital infrastructure. (Not all at once, of course... well, okay, sometimes all at once.)

Our current priority initiatives include:

The office is highly collaborative, working collectively with all university units, campuses, faculties, departments, centres, community and civic partners and stakeholders across a diverse range of work, including:

  • strategy and relationship development;
  • advocating for key institutional capacity building in facilitation, relationship management, and community-engaged pedagogy;
  • building and supporting community-university partnerships and programs;
  • administering grant funding opportunities for students, faculty and staff;
  • advising on communication strategy and tactics for community engagement;
  • working to increase the efficacy of, and equity in, stories of partnership and impact;
  • developing frameworks for the evaluation and measurement of community engagement principles, programs and impact;
  • communicating and celebrating community-university successes.