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ERIC Number: ED565924
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 240
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3037-2176-2
Relationships Yield Mutually Beneficial Results: The Critical Role of Campus Leaders in Creating and Sustaining Effective Community Partnerships
Gesner, Mark L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Cardinal Stritch University
When Ernest Boyer wrote his seminal thesis about how scholarship needed to be reconsidered (1990), he initiated a flood of inquiry regarding the role of higher education in society. Since Boyer's opening salvo, the value of having a community engaged campus began to earn more credibility (Driscoll, 2009; Furco, 2010). In particular, the vital role of generative, reciprocal community-campus partnerships found increased resonance (Fitzgerald, Allen & Roberts, 2010). For campus leaders, the challenge was to discover ways to effectively work with the community rather than pretentiously dispense wisdom or services for the community. The purpose of this study was to investigate how leaders in higher education create and sustain effective community-campus partnerships and the extent to which those partnerships yield social and economic capital and/or other results. The related research questions were: What strategies, actions and processes do leaders in higher education implement to create and sustain effective community-campus partnerships? What outcomes do leaders seek to achieve as a result of engaging in community-campus partnerships? What evidence, if any, do leaders in higher education have to demonstrate how their community-campus partnerships have yielded outcomes regarding social and economic capital and/or other results? Similar to other studies in the field of engaged scholarship, the research employed a phenomenological methodology to describe how campus leaders approached their community partnerships (Franklin, 2009; Sandy & Holland, 2006). The research design included 10 interviews, a confirmatory focus group and document review from seven geographically diverse U.S. sites. The sites encompassed smaller private colleges and universities recognized for leading exemplary partnerships that had been sustained for at least 10 years. Findings indicated that campus leaders create and sustain effective community-campus partnerships by building authentic and genuine relationships that yield mutually beneficial results, including social and economic capital. Notably, the research highlighted that without meaningful relationships between the campus and community there can be no worthwhile results. Conversely, without mutually beneficial measurable outcomes, the value of relationships and community partnerships will be marginalized and unsustainable. Distinctive from prior studies, the findings highlighted the importance of executive campus leadership and engaged scholars' personal commitment in influencing partnership efficacy. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A