Editor's note: This press release was submitted by the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
University of Michigan-Dearborn unveiled Friday the Ford Collaboratory, which was developed with a $250,000 gift from the Ford Motor Company Fund.
The Collaboratory provides an innovative site for students, faculty and community partners to meet and work together on long-term projects.
The site is located in the Mardigian Library, and has been designed as a mix of staff offices with interactive flexible furniture and informal spaces with state-of-the-art multi-media technology. It provides students better access to their instructors and each other while also bringing the technology and tools needed to accomplish complex assignments and research academic work right to their fingertips.
“The partnership between University of Michigan-Dearborn and Ford Motor Company began more than 50 years ago when the university was established with a gift of $6.5 million from Ford,” said UM-Dearborn chancellor Daniel Little.
"We are grateful to Ford Motor Company Fund for their continued support of a number of initiatives at UM-Dearborn. The Ford Collaboratory will deepen the quality of teaching and learning on campus to inspire innovative research, promote engaged learning and collaboration and enhance community impact," he said.
Since unofficially opening in the fall, the Collaboratory has been utilized by students and faculty members as they work together on moving community projects forward.
“This Collaboratory is another indication of our continuing support and enthusiasm for the development and expansion of service-learning curriculum and partnerships between UM-Dearborn and community nonprofits,” said Jim Vella, president of Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. “Especially during times like these, the greater Detroit community will benefit from the expertise and engagement of UM-Dearborn faculty and students.”
The site also serves as the launch workspace for the Office of Metropolitan Impact, whose goal is to further develop the volume, value and impact of mutually beneficial community partnerships for UM-Dearborn.
The Office of Metropolitan Impact provides seed grants to faculty participating in civic engagement and integrated learning projects and programs as a strategy to advance civic-engaged scholarship and community impact.
Additional programs that will utilize the Collaboratory will be developed in the coming months.