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Governing Academic Civic Engagement: Lessons and Challenges from Four Engaged Campuses

Jennifer Dugan


This article explores the art of governing academic civic engagement.  Due to the diversity in institutional missions, locations, faculty cultures, and capacities, civic engagement projects are shaped in different ways and in accordance with context-specific possibilities.  While recognizing that diversity, the article highlights central lessons, in leadership and organizational design, emerging from the practices of four highly engaged campuses.  It also explores the relationship between academic civic engagement, faculty workload configurations, and the criteria for faculty promotion (and, where granted, tenure).  The article concludes by pointing to the leadership imperative in finding and maximizing a genuine link from the mission to academic civic engagement opportunities and the need to build boundary-spanning capacities into campus coordinating bodies.  While there are clear operational elements to faculty governance, it is nonetheless an art to getting it right and being a reflective participant in the national debate on the role academic civic engagement in 21st century higher education.


shared governance; mission-driven innovation; academic civic engagement; boundary-spanning

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
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