Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2000


Published in Great Plains Research 10 (Fall 2000): 359-85. Copyright © 2000 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


This paper has three objectives designed to support the work of practice systems, scholars, and policy makers. First, it provides a conceptual model that supports a multidisciplinary, multicultural, collaborative university-community research, service, and teaching group that is consistent with the philosophy, mission, and objectives of land grant institutions and community systems. Second, it describes how the Latino Research Initiative implemented this collaborative model to support the goals of the university and the community to enhance the lives of Latinos in Lincoln, Nebraska. Finally, this paper discusses how this collaborative model can be used or adapted by university and community professionals with their changing communities. Several factors highlight the importance of university-community collaborative models. The increased Latino population in a sparsely populated region such as the Great Plains requires that research, programming, and teaching be conducted to respond to the changing needs of its communities. Educational (particularly land-grant universities) and community institutions are committed to actively conducting research and programming that serve to enhance the lives of members of their communities. Finally, attitudinal, economical, and organizational barriers and dwindling resources make partnerships necessary so that the needs of diverse populations can be most adequately met.