March 27-29, 2023
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN

Join us for The Research Universities Civic Engagement Network (TRUCEN) for the 2023 Annual Meeting—two days of action-focused discussions, networking, and coalition-building focused on the unique challenges and contexts faced by R1 universities. This year's meeting will focus on:

  • Addressing the critical university history and decolonization, and the role that civic engagement can play;
  • Centering, recognizing, and rewarding community leadership, particularly in community-engaged research and scholarship;
  • Integrating diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging and civic and community engagement;
  • Aligning fundraising strategies and communications; and
  • Surviving and thriving through leadership transitions.

Who should attend?

The 2023 TRUCEN Annual Meeting is open to all R1 institutions with active Campus Compact membership. We encourage 2 representatives to join us from each institution.

Want to bring more than 2 from your institution? Get in touch with Bobbie Laur at

Thanks to the generous support of the University of Minnesota, registration for this event is free.
Attendees will be responsible for travel and lodging.

Agenda Highlights

Opening Dinner at the Weisman 

Dinner attendees will have the opportunity to explore the Weisman Art Museum's current exhibit that probes the American experience through the work of Indigenous artists and those who came to the country through immigration and enslavement. The event will include a conversation with Museum Director Alejandra Peña-Gutiérrez about the University's process of repatriating Mimbres objects to descendant tribes. 

A Site Visit to UROC 

Designated a University of Minnesota research center, and place-based in a North Minneapolis neighborhood, the Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) links the University scholars with community experts and local residents on critical issues of shared concern. The visit will include a presentation by UROC Executive Director Makeda Zulu on UROC's history and its commitment to fostering research-based, reciprocal partnerships.

Learn more about UROC →

Preliminary Agenda

Monday, 3/27

1:00 - 3:30 PM                                                                          

(Optional) Community Partnership Site Visits
Register here

4:00 PM

Walk from Graduate Hotel to Weisman Art Museum

4:30 PM

Opening speaker and networking/welcome reception at Weisman Art Museum

  • 4:30 - 5:15 PM: Museum Experience
  • 5:00 - 6:00 PM: Cocktail Hour & Networking
  • 6:00 - 7:00 PM: Dinner - Welcome to TRUCEN - Bobbie Laur
  • 7:00 - 8:00 PM: Desserts & Program: Decolonization and Engagement
    • Welcome to Minnesota, Regent Tad Johnson. (5 minutes)
    • Panel introduction, Heidi Barajas, Interim Associate Vice President for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota system (5 min)
    • Panel conversation: Weisman Art Museum Director, Alejandra Pena Gutierrez, Senior advisor to the President for Native Americans, Karen Diver, Sara Axtell, co-creator and facilitator of the Decolonization Roundtable

Tuesday, 3/28

7:30 - 8:15 AM


8:00 - 9:15 AM

Roundtables on centering, recognizing, and compensating community leadership particularly in community engaged research and scholarship.

9:15-9:30 AM


9:30 - 10:30 AM                                       

Panel on the integration of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging with Civic & Community engagement functions

Dr. Castel Sweet, Director of the Center for  Community Engagement at Ole Miss and the 2023-2023 Strategy & Visioning Campus Compact Fellow

10:30 - 10:45 AM


10:45 AM - 12:00 PM                                                        

Fundraising Strategies for Endowed Centers, Professorships, and Programs (Streamed live to Compact members)

Four executive directors and senior leaders will share their paths for garnering major gifts and endowments to support their centers.  This will include time for attendees to ask questions and dig deeper with presenters.

12:00 - 12:30 PM


1:00 - 1:45 PM

Tour of UROC

1:45 - 3:00 PM

Panel and Voices from the UROC Community: Hyperlocal community engagement centers and the intersection of community-engaged research projects

3:00 - 4:30 PM

Lightning presentations and follow-up roundtable discussions on surviving and thriving through leadership transitions

Attendees can submit topics for lightning presentations during registration

4:30 - 5:30 PM

Wrap-up remarks and networking


Dinner on your own

Wednesday, 3/29

8:00 - 9:00 AM                  


9:00 - 10:00 AM

Peer to Peer Coaching

10:00 - 10:15 AM


10:15 - 11:00 AM

Group conversations:

  • Strengthening Student Learning and Engagement for a Challenged Democracy Sustaining Conversation meet-up
  • Supporting equity-focused community-based research Sustaining Conversation meet-up
  • Cultivating community voice in our engagement programs Sustaining Conversation meet-up
  • Feedback on TRUCEN activities and programming

11:00 - 11:45 AM

Closing remarks and reflections

11:45 AM




Graduate Minneapolis

Room block rate: $139/night
Available for Monday, 3/27 and Tuesday, 3/28

The last day to book this special rate is March 13, 2023

Thank you to these TRUCEN members for providing key network leadership

University of Minnesota Core Team: 

  • Heidi Barajas, Interim Associate Vice President for Public Engagement
  • Amber Cameron, Director of Public Engagement Initiatives
  • Diane Gihl, Executive Assistant 
  • Laurel Hirt, Director of the Center for Community-Engaged Learning

TRUCEN 2023 Convening Planning Committee: 

  • Lina Dostilio, Associate Chancellor of Engagement and Community Affairs, University of Pittsburgh
  • Johannes Kleiner, Director of Student-Led Engagement, Center for Civic and Community Engagement, Emory University
  • Joseph Krupczynski, Director, Civic Engagement & Service-Learning and Professor of Architecture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

TRUCEN Leadership Committee: 

  • Neeraja Aravamudan, Director, Edward Ginsberg Center, University of Michigan
  • Renee Brown, Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning, Michigan State University
  • Laurel Hirt, Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning, University of Minnesota
  • James Roland, Senior Director, Center for Civic and Community Engagement, Emory University
  • Shalom Staub, Director, Center for Community Engagement, University of California Los Angeles

Questions? Get in touch with Bobbie Laur at