Scholars weigh in on how universities can best serve their communities

June 5, 2014

Academic Matters has published a series of articles that consider the relationship between universities and their surrounding communities. In “Reclaiming the civic university,” George Fallis says that “by many measures, universities have never been more central in public thinking or higher as a government priority." He says that universities in Canada today are in some senses "civic universities," but in others—such as in the notion that a university should provide education for citizenship and civic engagement, or that it should function as “an alternative centre of authority…to government and business”—the resemblance is superficial. In a second article, Kelley Castle considers the meaning of “porosity” for universities, suggesting that universities let the city in, and let the city experience the university. “The city, and everything it has to offer,” she writes, “can fill in some of the voids we cite when we speak of our university crises” and help bolster the values of PSE institutions. In a third piece, Kathleen Bloom uses the University of Waterloo as an example to discuss how universities can mobilize knowledge to serve their communities. Academic Matters (Fallis) | Academic Matters (Castle) | Academic Matters (Bloom)