ERIC Number: EJ914139
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 14
Power, Privilege, and the Public: The Dynamics of Community-University Collaboration
White, Byron P.
New Directions for Higher Education, n152 p67-74 Win 2010
Scholars, practitioners, and proponents of community-university engagement insist that reciprocity, mutual benefit, and peer relationships are essential to creating truly democratic partnerships between campus and community leaders. These same principles are seen as important to creating environments where university students learn democratic knowledge, skills, and values through civic engagement. Achieving democratic partnerships must also take into account discrepancies in power and privilege between the conditions of the university as an institution and the conditions of the community as a whole. Unfortunately, this macro-level relationship is seldom discussed in the literature on community-university engagement. It is as though campus participants believe--or hope--that positive personal relationships between university and citizen actors can somehow surmount the overriding social disparities between campus and community. If universities are to play a greater role at educating effective citizens and serving as catalysts for social, economic, and political transformation through authentic civic engagement, then they will have to learn to understand, anticipate, and navigate the community's two-tiered perspective. Doing so will require more than friendly overtures; it will take intentional administrative actions that are built on principles of deliberative democracy, where the university places as great an emphasis on fostering self-determination and self-rule among citizens as it does on demonstrating the impact of university programs. The author proposes three fundamental practices for accomplishing this: (1) be transparent; (2) choose the right university representatives; and (3) share authority. These fundamental practices are discussed.
Descriptors: Community Leaders, Democracy, Educational Change, School Community Relationship, Power Structure, Advantaged, Citizen Participation, Social Differences, College Role, Social Change, Economic Change, Self Determination
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A