Does Community Engagement Have a Place in a Placeless University?

Document Type


Publication Title

The New England Journal of Higher Education


New England Board of Higher Education

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Dan Butin argues that we have reached an “engagement ceiling” in higher education. For all the community service hours, glossy pictures of neighborhood revitalization and anecdotal success stories, college and university engagement with their communities is too often shallow and ephemeral. There is little that is sustained or meaningful to our students, faculty or community partners. There is, put simply, a vast gap between the rhetoric of what we say and the reality of what we do regarding community engagement.