The University of Wyoming has launched a new task force in order to collaborate with its constituents and to increase its community involvement.

UW President Laurie Nichols established the 16-member UW Engagement Task Force to increase and strengthen collaboration among students, faculty staff and the university’s external partners, according to the University of Wyoming.

The task force will devise a plan to open an Office of Engagement and Outreach by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year and will work toward being recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a “community engaged university,” both of which were called for in the university’s new strategic plan.

The task force will assess the work the university currently does in the community and then assess the needs and wants of UW and its constituents and benchmark itself against its peer institutions to determine a path for UW community engagement.

UW Professor Jean Garrison will serve as chair of the task force. Garrison says increased involvement will help the university continue dialogue with its constituents and express the university's commitment to a long-term reciprocal relationship.

“As the sole four-year public institution, we have an opportunity for an all-university, all-Wyoming approach placing UW students, staff and faculty at the center of a broad definition of community that includes the local, state, tribal, regional, national and global contexts,” Garrison says in a statement.

The task force will complete a final report with recommendations for next steps for the president and provost by early summer 2018. Its first meeting will be launched by Nichols at the end of August.