Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Community Laboratories

I am certain that the future of higher education, both public and private, lies in community engagement between the local college/university and its host city / town / community.  For too long, we have measured our success and importance by what we have said about each other on a regional and/or national scale, what our "customers" have said about us, and what external ranking systems have said about us.  For the vast majority of institutions, I believe that our survival will depend on a total reengagement with our host communities and our ability to allow our local communities to feel our presence.  Local communities provide deep and rich living and learning laboratories in governance, social sciences, hard sciences, education, and a host of other applications.  True outside-of-the-classroom learning.  And from a market perspective, we must press our local communities into answering the question: "Without the influx of students, expertise, resources, service, and engagement, how can survive without this college..."

And not the other way around.