ERIC Number: EJ797170
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May-16
Reference Count: 0
Even in Hard Times, Colleges Should Help Their Communities
Trani, Eugene P.
Chronicle of Higher Education, v54 n36 pA36 May 2008
Economic news today is filled with discussion about whether the United States has entered a recession. For the author and other presidents of public colleges and universities, whether the downturn can be labeled a recession is far less important than dealing with the effects of economic conditions on institutions. During hard times, both public and private institutions may be tempted to become more insular and reduce investment in activities that are sometimes considered tangential to the core missions of teaching, research, and service. A prime example is engagement with local and regional communities. That temptation, however, should be resisted. The connections between universities and the communities are essential to the institution's core functions and are increasingly vital to the continuing success as well as the long-term prosperity of the nation's cities, regions, and states. In this article, the author contends that colleges and universities need to engage with their communities to meet their instructional goals, equip their students with discernment and judgment, and enable them to be productive citizens. Moreover, collaborative partnerships are a vital part of a university's research portfolio. They provide opportunities for financial support where others may not exist, they build reinforcing networks that can broaden the expertise brought to a research problem, and they often focus on applied questions whose answers are crucial to governments as well as businesses. In the contemporary university, collaborative relationships with external partners are not a luxury for good times only, but essential to the success of their core missions.
Descriptors: Public Colleges, Institutional Survival, Retrenchment, Educational Finance, School Community Relationship, Partnerships in Education, Economic Impact
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: email@example.com; Web site: http://chronicle.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: Community; Administrators; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: N/A