By Jerry Beasley, president of Concord College
and chair of the Bonner Foundation’s Presidents’
The following checklist identifies concrete tasks
and strategies college and university presidents can
pursue in order to integrate civic learning and engagement
into their ongoing campus work. The suggestions range
from monetary commitments to revising evaluation practices
of faculty and staff.
Direct the internal allocation of funds to students
and faculty engaged in service activities that require
reflection and deepening levels of responsibility
Set a fund-raising agenda for the institution that
includes gathering support for service projects. Depending
on your institution, this process might require you
to educate legislators, the public, and alumni and
other potential donors about the purposes of higher
education and its relationship with sustainable community
Encourage the behavior your institution claims to
value. Honor students, student organizations, faculty,
and staff for their service. Urge the selection of
honorary degree recipients who personify the community
service lessons worthy of emulation.
Collaborate with other presidents to align your
institutions in cooperative endeavors to extend the
reach of your service efforts.
Ensure that service is woven into statements of
institutional mission as well as general education
goals. Design assessment plans that require evidence
of these commitments.
Encourage faculty and students to use their research
skills as one way of serving their communities.
Include community service in the evaluation of
faculty and staff. Including evidence of humanitarian
impulses in the evaluation of employees suggests that
the institution itself must submit to similar assessments.
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