The University of Virginia's Thriving Cities Lab, an initiative under the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, has released a "Field Guide for Urban University-Community Partnerships." It highlights the need for more collaborations between universities and their cities to include community members in the leadership and development of joint projects and initiatives.
Over the past three decades, American universities and colleges have witnessed a surge in activities oriented around their civic and social purposes. From the signing of the first Campus Compact Action Statement in 1985, which today includes over 1,000 university members, to the establishment of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities in 1989, which now serves over 90 universities and colleges, to the establishment of the Community Outreach Partnership Center by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the 1990s, to the creation of the Carnegie Classification Elective on Community Engagement in the mid-2000s, what began as a revival of civic purpose and public service among institutions of higher education has evolved into a burgeoning movement of university-community partnerships nationwide. This Field Guide is intended to advance the growing field and practice of university-community partnerships in two immediate and timely ways:
Beyond mere academic interest, the Field Guide is intended to be a ready resource for those interested in strengthening their home institution’s commitment to and practice of university-community partnerships, as well as for those working to deepen and expand the impact of the field as a whole.
An article in The Chronicles of Higher Education discusses the report's key points: