Presidents and Chancellors Asked to Affirm Action Statement on Public Purposes of Higher Education

In the mid-1980s, a group of higher education leaders came together based on a shared concern about the future of American democracy. Motivated by their conviction that amidst the pressures toward personal acquisition and personal advancement, their students were not learning to think, speak, and act in the service of the public good, they resolved that higher education must reclaim its historic mission of preparing the next generation of citizens to achieve public goals and solve public problems.

This group decided to take action. They became the founders of Campus Compact.

“Campus Compact was created by a group of visionary higher education leaders who believed colleges and universities must contribute to the health of our democracy, “ said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “The dramatic increase in both inequality and political polarization over the past three decades makes our work more important than ever. That’s why we need the current generation of presidents and chancellors to reaffirm their role as leaders in our democracy.”

Now in its thirtieth year, Campus Compact member presidents are calling on one another to affirm a 30th Anniversary Action Statement committing themselves to leveraging the civic engagement infrastructure that has been developed over the past three decades in service of public outcomes.

Guided by the principles in the Presidents’ Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education, the Action Statement calls upon campuses to get specific about the steps they will take to build on existing engagement efforts and to develop a Campus Civic Action Plan that crystalizes their commitments.

Presidents and chancellors are encouraged to read the 30th Anniversary Action Statement and join their peers in becoming a signatory.

“Since its founding, Cal State Monterey Bay has been committed to learning through and about community service. A primary goal of our service learning curriculum is to connect, in a meaningful way, the lessons that students learn in the classroom to their lives as involved citizens in a democracy,” said Eduardo Ochoa, president of California State University, Monterey Bay “By signing this Action Statement, we are proud to align ourselves with Campus Compact, a group of higher education institutions who share a commitment to educating our next generation of leaders.”

Ahead of its 30th Anniversary Conference in March of 2016, Campus Compact will hold a Summit of Campus Compact Member Presidents and Chancellors where the Action Statement will be affirmed. Learn more about the summit here.