Our Work

Centrality of Engagement

The Centrality of Engagement is critical to the success of higher education in the future. Engagement is essential to most effectively achieving the overall purpose of the university, which is focused on the knowledge enterprise. Today’s engagement is scholarly, is an aspect of learning and discovery, and enhances society and higher education. Underlining today’s approach to community engagement is the understanding that not all knowledge and expertise resides in the academy, and that both expertise and great learning opportunities in teaching and scholarship also reside in non-academic settings.

By recommitting to their societal contract, public and land-grant universities can fulfill their promise as institutions that produce knowledge that benefits society and prepares students for productive citizenship in a democratic society. This new engagement also posits a new framework for scholarship that moves away from emphasizing products to emphasizing impact.

Abstract from: Fitzgerald, H., K. Bruns, S. Sonka, A. Furco, and L. Swanson. (2012). The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 16(3).

This publication was developed by leaders from APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE). Senior administrators from APLU member institutions who maintain an institutional-level responsibility for planning, executing, or communicating economic and/or community engagement efforts are encouraged to join the Commission.

What We’ve Accomplished

  • Authored an overview of the central role of engagement for higher education institutions
  • Published the article in the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement.
  • Promoted the article as a tool for engagement professionals and other higher education leaders to use communicating the value of engagement.

Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report