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Higher Education Exchange 2008

The Higher Education Exchange is an annual journal from the Kettering Foundation that serves as a forum for new ideas and dialogue between scholars and the larger public. Essays explore ways that students, administrators, and faculty can initiate and sustain an ongoing conversation about the public life they share.

The 2008 edition focuses on “community-university partnerships.”  Below is an excerpt from the introduction…

Which way do you say it? University-community partnerships? Or community-university partnerships? Does it really matter, or is it just semantics? I never used to think it mattered until a colleague of mine began to bring together groups of everyday citizens with some university faculty. Her work began as a research experiment to learn from the relationships that a few communities and universities were forging. The research project was known simply as the university-community workshop. But then she turned the name on its head, and put community first. What a difference it made. Thinking about these partnerships as one in which the community leads the way left me feeling a little off balance. I was so used to the other dynamic. So is it just semantics? I don’t think so.

This journal, throughout its decade-plus history, has strived to be a place where faculty, administrators, students, and citizens might exchange ideas, news, and practices in an effort to help democracy work as it should. We think of ourselves as part of a movement to strengthen higher education’s democratic mission and foster a more democratic culture.While we’ve had success engaging faculty, and to some extent students and administrators, we’ve been less successful with everyday citizens.

For some time now, Kettering’s research has attempted to raise the visibility of the public’s attitude that higher education and
other “public” institutions only represent and grant legitimacy to the established elite. Institutions traditionally foster an ethos of professionalism that elevates the role of experts over that of everyday citizens. The academy needs to ask itself, is simply wishing to serve citizens enough? Why do so few communities engage with universities around anything but technical or expert knowledge? Higher education, working on behalf of the public, can be somewhat arrogant and as a result,citizens resist engaging. Instead, they want to work with institutions.

While Kettering has long been interested in the community university connection—this journal is a testament to that idea as well as others—we haven’t done a good job engaging the citizen. And it’s time to do that.

– Deborah Witte, Editor of the Higher Education Exchange

…along with the contents of the journal…

Contents of the 2008 Edition

Deborah Witte

The Journey of a “Recovering Professional”
David W. Brown

The Scholarship of Community Partner Voice
Sean Creighton

Changing Public Culture: An Interview
Marguerite S. Shaffer and Lourdes Leon

Partnerships for Supporting Local Health Efforts: The Link Between Rural Journalism and Public Health in One Rural Community
Laura H. Downey, Carol L. Ireson, F. Douglas Scutchfield, and Al Cross

Democratic Partnerships: An Interview
Ira Harkavy

Democracy’s Good Name: The Rise and Risks of the World’s Most Popular Form of Government by Michael Mandelbaum
Edith Manosevitch, Reviewer

David Mathews

This edition of the journal is currently available as both a free download and in print (also free with shipping) from the Kettering Foundation website.

Resource Link: http://kettering.org/periodicals/hex-2008/

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