Educational Institutions and Shared Space



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Partnerships with Universities and Colleges
MOUs with Educational Institutions


Partnerships with Universities and Colleges

From an Ask-NCN Discussion


Katie Edwards, The Nonprofit Centers Network, 11/3/15
I was just talking to a developing center that has been approached by a nearby university to create a partnership. The department in question focuses on public policy, public affairs, and international issues and does a lot of research. What partnerships with higher education have you created through your center? I’m looking for examples to share. Has anyone housed a research arm of a university as a tenant?



Kim Jones, 11/4/15
The Nonprofit Village is in Montgomery County, Maryland. We only have a community college in the county and satellite locations for the University of Maryland system, which is located in College Park.
We established a partnership about 18 months ago with the Continuing Education Department of the Community College to assist in designing curriculum for our programs. In fact for our Proposal Writing Series, they loan one of their faculty to teach the course. The Community College has a Nonprofit Bootcamp program that is 8 months long and designed for beginner to mid-level nonprofit managers. Because we work with so many new and small nonprofits, we promote their program and even offer a small scholarship towards the tuition. We are looking forward to doing more because the institution is a goldmine of resources.



Dan Meyers, Al Sigl Center, 11/3/15
We have a great and growing relationship with RIT to develop a Center for Accessibility and Inclusion using technology to create solution for people with disabilities. We plan to establish a space on campus and at none of our buildings for this.
We have the University of Rochester as a small tenant; their IT Dept. is with us during a multi year construction project. It is convenience and good neighbor not strategic.



John Powers, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, 11/3/15
The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado has collaborated with Colorado State University, the University of Colorado, and the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, for graduate design studio courses in architecture, and undergraduate courses in LEED accreditation, interior design and social enterprise with Denver University using its Alliance Center as curriculum. The Alliance has offered to lease satellite office space to institutions of higher ed, given the location of the Alliance Center in downtown Denver, but none has as yet opened an office. The Alliance Center has been the subject of graduate research, in one example with Virginia Tech on plug load energy consumption. The Alliance has hired university professors to help with signage and educational messaging.



Katharine Moore, The Jefferson Center for Learning and the Arts
One of our buildings is the result of a collaboration with Ohio State University. The school received significant funding in the state’s capital budget to build a literary center next door to James Thurber’s boyhood home/museum. With a long-term lease that provided event and classroom space, the University was able to secure state funding for the project.

The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School for Public Affairs offers a fundraising course for graduate students in the nonprofit management track; the class is broken into groups and each team writes a development plan for a nonprofit organization (after lots of interviews and analysis). The Jefferson Center is a member of the OSU/Nonprofit Alliance and partners by urging and assisting our tenant organizations in the application process for this very competitive program.

We are also a neighbor of the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) and have collaborated for many years on community development issues and continue to strive with the Columbus Museum of Art and CCAD to enhance the Creative Campus our 3 properties make up.

I work to make student interns from 5 colleges (and one high school) available to tenant organizations. A representative from a small private college that is not in the immediate neighborhood recently explained that prospective students love hearing about exciting volunteer opportunities and the school just doesn’t have the capacity to organize a huge variety…they indicated a real interest in partnering and a willingness to help fund such an initiative.

I also have a long list of attempts I’ve made that have fallen through or come to nothing …we tried to work with a nearby community college on the development of a childcare center as a lab school for their child development program, we tried to entice a college president to lease one of our historic buildings for college entertaining, and I hated being unsuccessful in my bid to attract the community college’s Foundation office as a tenant.

The potential seems much larger than anything I have organized to date. Will read your responses with great interest!



Angela Baldridge, The Plantory, 11/8/15
We house workspace for several colleges with the University of Kentucky and for an office with Transylvania University as well. We house something called a Community Innovations Lab through UK’s Community and Leadership Development Program. They conduct research on neighborhood communities, primarily, but also work on evaluations and work in international communities.


MOU with Educational Institutions

Ask-NCN Discussion, 4/28/16



Max Scharfenberger, Jerry Forbes Center Foundation
I was wondering if someone has an MOU with a university or college and how it works.



Dustin Barrington, HNS Life Center
We have a tenant, Center for Adult Learning in Loveland (CALL), which is under the umbrella of Front Range Community College. They have agreed to the same MOU that has been signed by all of our tenants without any special provisions. As long term partners, we have a very clear working relationship with CALL. However, if this were not the case I would include language in an MOU to cover practical aspects of building access and use that are unique to an educational context (e.g. where students are allowed to go, what they are allowed to do, after hours use of shared resources, building opening and closing procedures, etc.) We are currently working through developing a referral system between all Life Center tenants that would require us to consider implications of FERPA (student information confidentiality regulation similar to HIPAA…). Educational institutions, being more complicated/bureaucratic organizations, may have specific requirements related to leasing agreements and terms, safety and security requirements, oversight and compliance with school policies and procedures, etc… that might be worth investigating for inclusion in the MOU. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure…

Last updated byNonprofit Centers Network