The Power of Civic Engagement—Across Campus, Within Communities, Beyond Borders

Wednesday, January 24
8:30 AM–4:15 PM

Throughout the year and across the nation, we have experienced unprecedented levels of active citizenship as people exercise their democratic rights and exert their collective power as community members, citizens, and consumers. 

These expressions of trust or mistrust of public institutions, displays of pleasure or displeasure with the political direction of our nation, and efforts to ensure equal rights for groups who have been marginalized demonstrate the need to examine how higher education can prepare students to be engaged in civic action now and throughout their lives.

AAC&U is pleased to present this Symposium with our key national partners in Civic Engagement.


Mutually Beneficial Democratic Engagement Between Universities and Their Communities

Nancy CantorNancy Cantor—Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark—is recognized nationally and internationally as an advocate for re-emphasizing the public mission of colleges and universities, both public and private, viewing them not as traditional "ivory towers," but as anchor institutions that collaborate with partners from all sectors of the economy to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation, and social mobility. 


Multiple Perspectives on Meaningful Civic Engagement 

Timothy EatmanTimothy Eatman, Dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community and Associate Professor of Urban Education, Rutgers University–Newark


Eduardo OchoaEduardo Ochoa, President, California State University–Monterey Bay


Debra SchultzDebra Schultz, Assistant Professor of History, Kingsborough Community College, City University of New York


Andrew SeligsohnAndrew Seligsohn, President, Campus Compact


Richard GuarasciModerator: Richard Guarasci, President, Wagner College, and Chair of the Board of Directors, Campus Compact



Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement

Randy StoeckerRandy Stoecker, Professor of Community & Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison



The Symposium will feature:

Concurrent Sessions
Our partnering organizations and others will present on institution-based civic engagement initiatives and programs.

Roundtable Discussions and Case Studies
Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on presentations and topics discussed in the plenary, panel, and concurrent sessions.  We thank members of the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Network for serving as roundtable leaders and for their contributions to the Symposium.

The CLDE Network includes thirteen leading civic learning organizations that are committed to making civic inquiry and engagement expected rather than elective for all college students.

Closing Remarks
By Richard Guarasci, President, Wagner College


Co-Sponsoring Organizations

Campus Compact

Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life.

Imagining America

Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life is a national consortium of university and cultural partners who advance public scholarship, community building and campus change through the arts, humanities, and design. Imagining America seeks to catalyze change on campuses and build partnerships among public scholars, artists, students, designers and cultural organizations who are addressing the most pressing issues of our time. We do this work through our annual conference, regional organizing institutes, collaborative research and action initiatives, student fellowship programs and online journal, PUBLIC.

Project Pericles

Project Pericles is a vibrant consortium of colleges and universities that promotes civic engagement within higher education. Building on the innovative vision of Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles works in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community, encouraging faculty to incorporate civic engagement and social responsibility into the curriculum, and to empower students as effective advocates and leaders.