This article examines the path toward engagement at the university level, college level, and departmental level at the University of North Texas (UNT). We explore the history of concepts such as public service, applied research, service learning, outreach, and community engagement at UNT by examining the university's strategic goals and the expansion of new programs. We highlight the tensions that emerge from inconsistencies in strategic goals at varying levels within the university. We feature the anthropology department's place within those developments and highlight our unique position within our college and university through examples of engaged scholarship from faculty and students in our department. The national trend toward an engaged university will undoubtedly benefit the field of applied anthropology. The field has been doing community engagement for decades, ahead of the national trend. However, a lack of clarity or uniformity in the concept of engagement is systematic in the academy—across universities and within universities. The field of applied anthropology has an opportunity to position itself in the discussion of how and why our way of doing community engagement is not only relevant, but necessary.
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