Duquesne Society News - One-on-One with Duquesne Leaders
Bill Generett was appointed vice president for community engagement in September 2017. In this newly created role, he provides leadership in support of Duquesne's mission of service and its commitment to the city of Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania and the surrounding region.
You have come to Duquesne to hold a newly created position - why do think this role is important to add to the University's senior leadership?
Under President Ken Gormley's leadership, Duquesne has completed a new strategic plan that outlines five bold and ambitious imperatives. One of those imperatives is for Duquesne "to become the region's flagship institution for community engagement through mutually beneficial partnerships that advance the city, the region and the world." To truly achieve this goal the University must coordinate and bolster its many community engagement initiatives. President Gormley decided that the scale of the challenge required the creation of a new Vice President position to oversee and coordinate the implementation. I am honored and excited to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, students and alumni to make this happen.
What opportunities for growth are most imminent between Duquesne and its neighboring communities?
Today, Duquesne attracts faculty, staff, and leadership who understand and value the University's significance as one of the region's largest anchor institution and who approach their work as an expression of the Spiritan commitments to the common good. Moreover, Duquesne faculty, staff, students and alumni have expertise in so many diverse areas that can be utilized to make our communities better including in the areas of health and wellness, economic development, sustainability and education. If our experience, expertise and commitment to doing the work necessary are effectively organized and coordinated, we can partner with our stakeholders to make our neighboring communities stronger.
What do you hope that students will gain from their community involvement during their time at Duquesne?
Duquesne's strategic advantage in regards to community engagement is its distinctive Spiritan approach. The University's approach to community engagement is guided by its distinctly unique Spiritan mission, which strives to uphold the following commitments:
- Building authentic relationships with others;
- Being open, teachable, and reflective;
- Walking with those on the margins;
- Valuing a diversity of expertise;
- Taking responsible social action to build a more just world; and
- Collaborating with communities, local and global, where there is a University or Spiritan commitment.
My hope is that by participating in community engagement our students will not only learn the Spiritan approach to community engagement but also adopt these values as a part of their everyday lives.
How do you hope to connect with alumni and donors in your role?
Whether in government, health care, nonprofit, business, law etc. Duquesne alumni and our donors are well represented in all of the sectors that encompass community engagement. As we work to implement the community engagement pillar of the strategic plan, there will be many always alumni and donors will be able to help us achieve our ambitious goals. This includes but is not limited to advising us on community engagement strategy, opening doors for our faculty, staff and students to engage in meaningful community engagement activities, and continuing their philanthropic support of our prgorams.