Becoming Stewards of Place: Strategies for Institution-Community Engagement

May 7, 2014    12:00-1:30 PM (Eastern)


       George L. Mehaffey   
Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change
American Association of State Colleges and Universities


About this Session:

In 2002, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) published a monograph, Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place, arguing that regional comprehensive universities have a special opportunity to serve their communities.  At a time when traditional institutions feel besieged by a rapidly changing landscape, defining themselves as “stewards of place” offers new possibilities.  Collaborating with communities, and thinking of the border between campus and community as a porous and permeable boundary, provides new insights and opportunities for teaching, research, and service.  The community becomes the classroom, the focus for collaborative research, and the opportunity for service. This webinar will focus on AASCU’s two 2014 monographs in the Stewards of Place series, both of which demonstrate that stewardship of place can make institutions stronger and more relevant in the 21st century.  One study examines AASCU applications for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2008 and 2010, offering analysis of the models and approaches used for this emerging area of collaboration.  The other monograph identifies four key areas of stewardship: civic engagement, P-12 schools, community and economic development, and internationalization. 


About the Presenter:


George Mehaffy serves as the Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).  His division is responsible for a number of special programs and projects for AASCU presidents and chief academic officers in the areas of leadership and organizational change in higher education, focusing on issues such as technology, teacher education, international education, and civic engagement.  He organizes and directs two national conferences annually for AASCU chief academic officers and manages a variety of leadership programs and special projects.  His most prominent recent initiative was the design and launch of the Red Balloon Project, an effort to assist member institutions adapt to the rapidly changing world of higher education.  Other recent projects have included international partnership programs in Asia and Africa, an articulation and transfer initiative with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); a multi-state project on evidence in teacher education; a collaborative effort with two other national organizations on graduation rates and Hispanic student success; and a series of technology conferences for university teams at the University of Central Florida in partnership with EDUCAUSE.  In 2003, he launched a new civic engagement initiative, the American Democracy Project (ADP), a partnership with The New York Times and 230 AASCU colleges and universities, representing more than 1.8 million students.  

Prior to coming to AASCU, Mehaffy served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs at Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU).  There he initiated a university-wide focus on the use of technology in teaching and greatly expanded the distance education program.  For that work, in 1997 Eastern was awarded the $250,000 Pew Leadership Award for the Renewal of Undergraduate Education.  Before coming to Eastern, Mehaffy served as the Director of the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University, where his most notable achievement was the design and construction of a nationally recognized award-winning professional development school built by a partnership of San Diego State University, the Chula Vista School District, and Cox Cable. 

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