UW Tacoma: The Place-Based Powerhouse

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Urban Studies lecture to look at university’s role in the community.

The upcoming Debra Friedman Lecture will spark conversation about what it means to be an urban-serving university, Jan. 15 at UW Tacoma.A lot of terms are used to describe UW Tacoma’s role in the South Sound: urban-serving; anchor institution; transformational catalyst. But what do these terms really mean?

In an ongoing effort to answer that question, UW Tacoma’s Urban Studies program will present the second annual Debra Friedman Lecture, Co-Producing the City: UW Tacoma as an Anchor Institution, Jan. 15, 2015 at 6 p.m. in UW Tacoma’s William W. Philip Hall.

The talk, by Wim Wiewel, the president of Portland State University (PDX), will address UW Tacoma’s role in its city and community, asking what it means for a university to be deeply engaged with the community. What does it take to move from individual projects and episodic partnerships to long-lasting connections that co-produce the metropolitan area — physically, economically, socially, culturally?

The conversation will be informed by Wiewel’s work and experiences, particularly as president of PDX. Under Wiewel’s leadership, PDX has developed five guiding themes:

Portland State University Wim Wiewel

  • Provide civic leadership through partnerships
  • Improve student success
  • Achieve global excellence
  • Enhance educational opportunity
  • Expand resources and improve effectiveness

PDX'srelationships with business, government, civic and community organizations and institutions are becoming increasingly institutionalized and permanent. As president of PDX, Wiewel has elevated and deepened these collaborations, a process which may hold insights for UW Tacoma.

Wiewel assumed the presidency of PDX in August 2008. Prior to coming to the Northwest, he served in leadership positions at the University of Baltimore and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University and has authored or edited nine books and more than 65 articles and chapters that have appeared in publications and journals.

About the Debra Friedman Lecture

This annual lecture honors the memory of Debra Friedman, chancellor of UW Tacoma from 2011-2014, who was a passionate advocate for UW Tacoma’s urban-focused, community-centered mission.

Learn more about the Debra Friedman lecture at http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/urban/lecture.

Written by: 
UW Tacoma Staff / January 9, 2015
Media contact: 

John Burkhardt, Communications, 253-692-4536 or johnbjr@uw.edu