Community Partnerships & Outreach Staff Network

Community Partnerships & Outreach Staff Network members share a vision of the Wisconsin Idea that recognizes community members as full partners, essential to the engaged, collaborative work that transforms our communities and institutions for the public good.

The Community Partnerships and Outreach (CPO) Staff Network was established in 2008 as a community of practice of University of Wisconsin–Madison staff members who span the boundaries between campus and community. Staff members are the “brand representatives” of the Wisconsin Idea.

CPO Staff Network professionals facilitate projects, programs, services and relationships with community partners that are sustained, mutually beneficial, equitable and respectful of the knowledge, values, priorities, resources and needs of all partners.

Get involved: Join the Google Group for the CPO Staff Network to stay updated with email updates and resources by clicking here.

The purpose of the CPO Staff Network is to create a horizontal structure across campus units for engagement professionals to:

  • Share information and resources
  • Disseminate best practices
  • Collaborate
  • Participate in targeted professional development opportunities
  • Implement quality initiatives
  • Improve outcomes for community partners
  • Increase access and reduce entry-point confusion for community partners.

The goals of the CPO Staff Network are to ensure vertical alignment in the implementation of the Wisconsin Idea to:

  • Increase UW-Madison’s capacity to respond to community priorities
  • Support structures and policies that sustain quality community engagement
  • Engage boundary spanners at all levels in leadership, planning and decision making

Second Thursday of every month

8:30 – 10:00am
Join the CPO listserv below to best stay up to date including receiving our calendar invites.

Next Meeting

Liberating Structures 
Thursday, Dec. 15
This will be a virtual event: Register here

Join us for December’s CPO meeting, where we’ll collectively reflect on this semester of CPO, consider ideas for future topics, and also create space for shared discussion of challenges/program updates/etc. We’ll be elevating and structuring around this resource from Liberating Structures, feel free to review in advance.

Thursday, September 9

Did you know that UW–Madison has a Silver STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) score from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education? Since October 2020, the Office of Sustainability has been working with the Sustainability Advisory Council and other campus stakeholders to infuse sustainability into our culture, our purpose (research and education), and our practice (infrastructure and operations). Learn about this effort, as well as other sustainability initiatives such as the UW–Madison Resilience Commitment and our upcoming STARS report, with staff from the Office of Sustainability. Bring your questions about what our campus is doing about sustainability and climate change.

Thursday, October 14

The Wisconsin Voting Rights Coalition brings together a number of non-profit organizations from across seeking to increase access to the ballot. Join Campus Vote Project Wisconsin State Coordinator and WI Voting Rights Coalition member Kristin Hansen breaks down redistricting and the work students have done to support this process. Additionally, student representatives from RISE will speak on issues that students on campus are advocating for.

Thursday, November 11

Join us for a conversation with UW Public History Project’s Kacie Lucchini Butcher about the role history plays in community engagement. We’ll learn more about the history of campus and how that history impacts the broader Madison community.

Marian Farrior, Restoration Work Party Manager, UW–Madison Arboretum /

Keri Robbins, Event Manager in the Division of Extension, UW–Madison /

Cory Sprinkel, Community-Engaged Scholarship Specialist, Morgridge Center for Public Service /

Merry Ferrier
, Assistant Director UW South Madison Partnership /

Anna Courtier-Bishop
, Director of Community-based Learning, WISCIENCE /

Katrina Phelps
, Community Liaison, WINRS /


Librarian: Haley


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Archived CPO Resources

For information about past meetings and CPO Staff Network activities, access the CPO Staff Network Resources Folder here.

Communities of Practice

Seven Principles for Cultivating Communities of Practice; Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, and William M. Snyder

Using Emergence to Take Social Innovations to Scale; Meg Wheatley & Deborah Frieze

Linking Colleges to Communities: Engaging the University for community Development; the Democracy Collaborative at the University of Maryland



Are We Making a Difference? Evaluating Community Based Programs: Presented by Christine Maidl Pribbenow, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, 8/2009.

University of Wisconsin Survey Center

Logic Model: Kellogg Guide

UW Extension Logic Model Resources

Developmental Evaluation: A Developmental Evaluation Primer

A Practitioner’s Guide to Developmental Evaluation

Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use by Michael Quinn Patton