University & Community Partnerships

The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education

Hiram E. Fitzgerald, Karen Bruns, Steven T. Sonka, Andrew Furco and Louis Swanson
Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

Time to Act: Investing in the Health of Our Children and Communities

Elaine Arkin, Paula Braverman, Susan Egerter and David Williams
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to Build a Healthier America released a new report that emphasizes the impact that socioeconomic factors, such as poverty, unemployment, housing, and crime, have on overall health outcomes and life expectancy. To address these social determinants, the Commission provides three key recommendations: increase investment in early childhood development, more effectively integrate health into community development, and reorient health professionals and healthcare institutions to invest in community strategies that help people lead healthy lives.  

Cleveland's Greater University Circle Initiative

Justin Glanville
The Cleveland Foundation

A new Cleveland Foundation report highlights the achievements and lessons learned from the Greater University Circle Initiative—a robust partnership among the city’s anchor institutions to foster economic and community revitalization. To date, the Initiative has created three employee-owned companies through the Evergreen Cooperatives Initiative, developed a workforce training center, launched an employer-assisted housing program, catalyzed changes to the city’s public transportation system, spurred over $140 million in new, public-private development, and helped direct an increasing percentage of the institutions’ more than $3 billion in purchasing toward local businesses. 

Growing a Cleveland Renaissance

Stephen A. Thompson
Rural Cooperatives

In the November/December edition of Rural Cooperatives magazine, the United States Department of Agriculture featured Green City Growers Cooperative, the third worker-owned enterprise established by the Evergreen Cooperatives. The article highlights how Green City Growers created twenty-five jobs while transforming eleven acres of abandoned lots into a productive urban greenhouse. The article also provides insight for how cooperatives can partner with city governments, anchor institutions, and foundations to stabilize local economies. 

The Anchor Dashboard at the Department of Housing and Urban Development

In November, the Democracy Collaborative's Ted Howard and Sarah McKinley, along with Charles Rutheiser of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, presented The Anchor Dashboard as part of a national webcast at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Oberlin College Adopts Impact Investing Platform

Likely largest higher education commitment to social investing in nation to date
A few weeks ago, Oberlin College, with an endowment of nearly $700 million, adopted what is likely the largest impact-investing platform to date by a college or university in the United States. Although Oberlin is just one institution, the decision provides a hopeful sign of an accelerating institutional shift toward greater socially responsible investment practices. A tremendous opportunity exists. Higher education as a sector controls more than $400 billion in endowment assets.

Will Our Universities Rekindle Their Public Purpose?

Anchor institution movement restores sense of public mission

Crossposted from Rooflines: The Shelterforce Blog

America’s colleges and universities are at a crossroads. For all too many students, a college education has become a major economic gamble. Over the past three decades, inflation-adjusted tuition has more than doubled at both public and private universities. Meanwhile, professors are harder to find: tenured and tenure-track professors have gone from roughly 45 percent of all teaching staff to less than a quarter since 1975. In short, students and their parents pay much more for much less faculty time. 

Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network

Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Co-operative Difference Research Network conducts research on the social, economic and environmental impact of co-operatives on Canadians and their communities. The Research Network's various projects and publications are available for public access on their website, where users can browse the available resources to learn more about the value of co-operatives and to better understand the linkages between them.