We believe universities need to develop sustainable relationships with communities that address the important needs of the communities. Said differently, universities are often viewed as economic assets, hiring people and contributing to local economies. But we believe that the more important role of universities is as engaged research and educational partners addressing the challenges facing communities and helping to improve community life. We argue and illustrate through examples from our partner institutions that community-university relationships need to be systematic, driven institutionally, meaningful, and intentional, and that they need to represent a long-term, sustainable commitment to partnership. We also argue that to produce research that benefits society, universities must adopt institution-wide philosophy that embraces the contemporary approach to public engagement that we describe. Engaged research is important, for it can be the face of the research university in the community, and can help those outside them understand better the importance of supporting and sustaining their universities.
Why Universities Should Want to Do Work that Engages Communities and Practitioners and that is Relevant to Policy
Prepared by Geoffrey Maruyama and Andrew Furco
With our institutional partners, we have written case studies to exemplify how to develop community-university partnerships.