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Mission and Operating Principles

Mission Statement

The UIC Office of Community Engagement and Neighborhood Health Partnerships (OCEAN-HP) fosters partnerships to bring together the expertise, resources and wisdom from the community with that of the university to strengthen the quality of life for all beneficiaries. The OCEAN-HP mission is to promote health equity, actively participate in the revitalization of historically underserved communities, and build leadership capacity through service, education, and research.


Operating Principles

  1. The mission of the UIC Office of Community Engagement And Neighborhood Health Partnerships (OCEAN-HP) is derived from the mission of urban engagement, the Great Cities Commitment at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the largest public urban university in Chicago.
  2. OCEAN-HP is a major vehicle through which the University fulfills the mission of the Great Cities Commitment with particular emphasis on the engagement of students, faculty and staff in the nearby communities. Through a wide range of activities in multiple disciplines (or areas of interest), OCEAN-HP enlivens the mission of the University by facilitating mutually beneficial partnerships in research, education and service.
  3. UIC is not simply ” located in an urban community.” UIC is an engaged neighbor and partner with all responsibilities and sentiments associated with that designation. OCEAN-HP plays a key role in fulfilling responsibilities, evaluating performance and continuously aligning university actions to reflect its commitment to being a contributing neighbor in its community.
  4. OCEAN-HP acknowledges the value of life experience and local expertise and in its activities and programs and seeks partnerships with communities as citizens or community scholars.
  5. OCEAN-HP brings together faculty and community scholars in mutually beneficial relationships that serve as the engagement interface for supporting, initiating, coordinating and celebrating community and University partnerships.
  6. OCEAN-HP encourages and sustains a supportive environment for productive dialogue and through active intervention addresses communication barriers inherent in diverse community, racioethnic and institutional cultures.
  7. OCEAN-HP sustains a responsive scope of involvement in geographically defined, and yet fluid boundaries.
  8. The agenda of OCEAN-HP the University’s historical tripartite approach of service, education and research into a new paradigm that does not separate these three activities into discrete functions, but blends them into a dynamic, responsive approach of engaged, interdisciplinary and high impact learning partnerships between the university and the community.
  9. Through its campus wide approach OCEAN-HP encourages both interdisciplinary and collaborative work by bringing faculty together across all colleges. OCEAN-HP serves as an advisor and facilitator to faculty engaged in partnership development, providing practical insight into methods of community entry, relationship development, partnership maintenance and mutually beneficial collaboration.
  10. OCEAN-HP exists to create, nurture and sustain long-term community/university relationships. For the University, OCEAN-HP maintains a consistent presence in the community. For the community, OCEAN-HP facilitates direct community access to information and resources.