How do you get a Campus Thinking about Civic Engagement?

Even if the campus does not yet have a clear consensus on its mission, or the mission review process is not complete, there is much that can be done to promote campus discussion about the role of civic engagement and to promote engagement activities.

A multi-dimensional approach is best because different members of the campus community will have different motivations or concerns about engagement or will respond to different kinds of incentives and rewards.


In promoting campus attention to civic engagement, it helps to understand what motivates people, faculty in particular, to involve themselves in scholarly work related to civic engagement.

  • Personal values – This is the right thing to do….it connects my personal and professional values.
  • Disciplinary Culture/Standards – Engagement makes sense for my discipline (social work, etc.)
  • Incentives – I’m interested, but I need assistance, support, time
  • Evidence – I want to be convinced that this will have positive impacts on student learning, on research productivity, or on community conditions
  • Rewards – This work is valid within formal and informal reward systems
  • Reputation/Prestige – This work can bring respect to the individual, department or campus through new grants, a positive public image, donor support, peer recognition, etc.

See: Specific Change Strategies