Publications & Thought Leadership

June 2022

The Community Engaged University Administrator

Posted in Leadership Strategies

The Community Engaged University Administrator is a Primer on Community Engagement for Post-Secondary Administration Professionals. It summarizes research and best practices for university administrators seeking to help their institutions achieve their community engagement and social impact goals.

The Community Engaged University Administrator argues that higher education institutions are increasingly harnessing their assets, platforms, and relationships to contribute to thriving communities. This is driving administrator interest in roles they and their departments can play to enhance their institutions’ social impact. This is a new role for many administrators, and they seek mandates, skills, practical examples, and community connections to better prepare and equip them for this opportunity.

This Community Engaged University Administrator lays out a pathway administrators can pursue to tackle societal challenges, strengthen communities, and help their institution achieve its aims.

Community Engaged University Administrator Highlights

  • The top benefit of community engaged administration is helping the institution to achieve its community and social impact priorities
  • Many administrators have community engagement and social impact roles and responsibilities in their job descriptions
  • Among community engagement practices, consultation is most common, followed by collaborating with community partners on shared goals
  • The main barriers to greater administrative community engagement are the lack of a formal mandate, and limited resources and time to play a role
  • To overcome barriers, administrators could communicate the benefits of engaged administration, build community engagement in department plans and include community impact in job descriptions
  • There are many community engagement practices administrators can pursue, even without a formal mandate; one way to do so is to incorporate social impact into ongoing and new projects
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