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McLean Institute and IT Collaborate to Improve the Service Directory

Posted on: November 8th, 2016 by Deetra Wiley

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to log service hours

OXFORD, MS. – Each year the McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement compiles service data from across campus to submit an application for the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes exemplary service efforts and the community-campus partnerships inspiring those efforts. The University of Mississippi (UM) has received Honor Roll recognition for the past five years.

UM students, faculty, and staff are extensively involved in the community, serving over 621,000 hours in the 2014-2015 academic year. During the fall 2016 semester, the McLean Institute and the Office of Information Technology began a collaboration to upgrade the Service Directory at and to promote it as a platform for the campus-wide reporting of service hours.

“The Service Directory is a place where the University of Mississippi (UM) campus community can showcase the important ways in which it serves the community, nation, and world,” explained Dr. Albert Nylander, director of the McLean Institute. “It is also a clearinghouse where people can come to find opportunities to become involved.”

The McLean Institute advances transformative service throughout the University and fights poverty through education in Mississippi. To advance campus-based efforts around service and engagement, the institute works with faculty, staff, and students to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with community-based organizations across the state.

By documenting these efforts, the institute works to raise the profile of engaged scholarship and service efforts through competitive designations such as the Honor Roll and the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

“Our hope is that with broader use of the service directory, we can ensure that we are accurately accounting for all of the incredible work that our students, faculty, and staff are doing in communities across Mississippi and the world,” said  Laura Martin, assistant director of the McLean Institute. “Competitive designations like the Honor Roll and the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification are important because they award best practices for colleges and universities that are working to impact quality of life and channel their scholarship and resources to enhance the public good.”

About the Service Directory

In 2009, the UM community took the opportunity to reflect on the ways in which its members transform the lives of others through service. To showcase this important aspect of our mission, IT created the Service Directory. This directory will be important for Chancellor Vitter’s vision for the transformative potential of higher education partnerships and engagement.

“The University of Mississippi is dedicated to having positive local and global impact,” Vitter said. “Scholarly engagement through community service is at the heart of our mission, as is enhancing the transformative power of higher education.”

Thanks to the efforts of IT, service projects and hours entered into the Log Service Hours area will be immediately visible and can be viewed at If a service project is not visible, please email to request that it be added to the directory.

How to Log Service Hours

Members of the campus community are invited to log their service hours through myOleMiss using the Log Service Hours function located under the Employee or Student tab within the Get Involved section. Or, use the Search within myOleMiss to locate Log Service Hours.  The Log Service Hours function allows faculty, staff, and students to enter service hours associated with various projects.

Keeping the Momentum of Service

In an effort to centralize reporting around volunteer service hours and service-learning courses, all members of the campus community are encouraged to use the Log Service Hours function within myOleMiss to report service hours each semester. The Honors College has been using the Service Directory for quite some time, and it is very easy to access their service hours, including a description of service activities as well as a brief reflection on what students learned.

“Logging service hours through will allow the McLean Institute to have the most accurate count of our service efforts, and help us to understand our impact,” Martin said. “Over time, these data can guide our understanding of how to best partner with community-based organizations across the state.”


The following list includes completed enhancements added to the Service Project Administration area and in-progress efforts:


  • Replaced the “Date of work performed” to allow for a range of dates
  • Added fields that request UM course information, if service is related to a course
  • Created a page that shows a list of existing projects and hours that links to details at
  • Developed a website widget to display recently logged service hours


  • Develop a mobile Web app for users to immediately log service hours
  • Create documentation on how to use the service widget for display on departmental websites







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