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ERIC Number: ED510123
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 76
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 12
Higher Education Exchange
Brown, David W., Ed.; Witte, Deborah, Ed.
Kettering Foundation
This volume begins with an essay by Noelle McAfee, a contributor who is familiar to readers of Higher Education Exchange (HEX). She reiterates Mathews' argument regarding the disconnect between higher education's sense of engagement and the public's sense of engagement, and suggests a way around the epistemological conundrum of "knowledge produced "for" a public rather than "by" a public." Her solution may rouse many arguments, but it is intriguing, nonetheless. An interview with Matt Leighninger, executive director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, follows. He talks with HEX coeditor David Brown about the need for professionals of all stripes to value community. He suggests, "We need certain aspects of professionalization... but we need to retain some anti-professional qualities as well." The Consortium has just launched the Democracy Helpline, an online resource that showcases democratic governance stories with a community focus. There is a deep reciprocity between the community and professionals, he asserts, and both have expertise that is needed. In the next article, Matt McKinney shares the work of the University of Montana's Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) The institute, he writes, "helps citizens and officials build livable communities, vibrant economies, and healthy landscapes through inclusive, informed, and deliberative public processes." The institute offers a graduate-level natural resource and conflict resolution certificate program; conducts applied research on natural resource and environmental policy; and of most interest to the readers of this journal, facilitates convenings of citizens and officials struggling with tough natural resource and environmental issues. His chart of "A Tale of Two Cultures" suggests both academic and policy epistemologies at play, with neither being citizen-centered. Bridging this divide remains the work of the PPRI. The piece that follows is an interview by David Brown with Deborah Wadsworth, a trustee of Bennington College. Wadsworth shares her "500-yard" view of trusteeship and its meaning for liberal arts institutions. According to Wadsworth, too many liberal arts colleges "have fallen prey to society's focus on individual achievement and personal gain at the expense of the common good." As a Bennington trustee, she has taken an active part in the college's effort to reorient its liberal education "so the public good, rather than self-interest, becomes a primary objective." The final essay, by Denise Dowling at the University of Montana, looks at the ever-evolving role of higher education through the prism of journalism. She suggests journalism is a discipline that "requires the public" and asks how the university can relate to the different knowledge a community brings to the examination of an issue. The story of her students and the Footbridge Forums is one of initial failure, yet ultimate success, as together both teachers and students struggle to connect their learning to the assets of the community. David Mathews, in his Afterword, offers his take on what this volume of essays and articles means for higher education. Always provocative, and never pedestrian, he shares his prescription for a renewed relationship between higher education and the public.
Kettering Foundation. 200 Commons Road, Dayton, OH 45459. Tel: 937-434-7300; Fax: 937-439-9804; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - General
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Kettering Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Montana; Vermont