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ERIC Number: ED554424
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 188
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3031-9841-0
The Town-Gown Relationship: Collaboration in University Communities
Cotsones, Rena K.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
As communities and universities confront increasingly complex social and fiscal pressures, there is a growing need to align and maximize local resources, knowledge and efforts. Historic and current tensions between town and gown can challenge the ability of universities and communities to collaborate for mutual benefit. This dissertation explores the elements of collaboration in university communities by using a mixed methods research design that employs qualitative interviewing methodology and archival data analysis. In order to evaluate a university community's ability to collaborate, a diagnostic model is created to measure five primary elements of collaboration--shared purpose, leadership, resources, communication, and structure--in a sample of six university communities. Despite the presence of some cooperative activity, the lack of recognition of shared purpose between universities and communities is one of the primary barriers to collaboration. Furthermore, a misalignment of leaders' stated commitment to collaboration and their observed actions limits the development of collaborative cultures in university communities. While there are numerous overlapping networks of stakeholders who are interested in university-community collaboration, the networks are disconnected. Identifiable resources dedicated to collaboration are primarily university-based community liaisons, whose effectiveness in the role vary based on perceived level of influence with the president. Recommendations to increase collaborative spirit and capacity include initiatives to increase visibility of existing collaborative work, interventions to help identify shared purpose, development of a strategic collaboration plan, and leveraging the collaborative capacity of university-based nonprofit resource centers. A normative model of university-community collaboration is developed to offer guidance to community and university leaders who aspire to work together more collaboratively. [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