This paper explains three dimensions that universities must attend to in order to create beneficial and sustainable engagement with the community: internal (characteristics of the university), external (characteristics of the community), and personal (characteristics of the faculty). The authors argue that sustainable types of engagement are those that positively address each of these dimensions, and lead to valued capacity building for the community. They discuss the experience of Eastern Michigan University’s Institute for the Study of Children, Families and Communities to illustrate the challenges and strategies for building successful university-community relationships.

Clifford, D., & Petrescu, C. (2012) The keys to university-community engagement sustainability. Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 23(1), 77-91. Full Text.