There is a perception that universities are isolated places, ‘ivory towers’ sequestered from the local community. Despite doing tremendous work for the public good, there can be very little engagement with the actual public.
However, we attend a university that has made community engagement a priority, at least in its strategic documents. It is a long and difficult process to reorient the academy in this direction—one that demands institutional incentives, cultural shifts, and robust incentive structures—but at least we have begun this conversation.
All this month there are a series of discussions in Irving K. Barber’s Lillooet room on just this topic. Of particular interest to me is the September 22nd event, where the discussion will focus on how we can create public policy on campus as a form of community engagement.
All events are free. Check it out!