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What We’re Reading: Two New AASCU Stewards of Place Publications

AASCU institutions are anchor institutions in the communities they reside in and serve; they act as “stewards of place” a term coined by AASCU in 2002 to describe the role of our public comprehensive colleges and universities. A decade after the release of the Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place monograph, come a pair of new AASCU publications. These Becoming a Steward of Place monographs are what we’re reading — and we hope you’ll read them too!

For details, see below. Download an excerpt of Becoming a Steward of Place: Four Areas of Institutional Focus here.

Becoming a Steward of Place: Four Areas of Institutional Focus

stewards (2)This publication seeks to provide further assistance to institutional leadership to expand and deepen their relations with the local or regional community in these perilous times. Although much has been learned since the original AASCU report on this topic over 10 years ago, external conditions have not become any easier. The 2002 publication, Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place, argued that the regional, comprehensive universities that form the AASCU membership have a unique role and relationship with their community and region. It suggested that AASCU institutions—because of their connections and relationships with their local community and region, the makeup of their student body, and their sense of identity and purpose—have a unique role as “Stewards of Place.”

Becoming a Steward of Place: Four Areas of Institutional Focus is available at a cost of $13.95 (AASCU members) and $18.95 (nonmembers) for print copies. AASCU offers a 15 percent discount on orders of 20 or more copies.  Place orders by visiting the AASCU Bookstore at:

Becoming a Steward of Place: Lessons from AASCU Carnegie Community Engagement Applications

lessonslearned (2)Beyond the work of associations and foundations, however, there was extraordinary work underway by scholars in the field. No single group of scholars, perhaps, embodies the work of conceptualization and articulation of the concept of engagement more than the authors of this report. For years, John Saltmarsh, Dwight Giles, KerryAnn O’Meara and Loralee Sandmann, along with their colleagues, have worked to build a more robust concept of community engagement. Indeed, by 2010, John Saltmarsh—as the head of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE)—had agreed to manage the Carnegie Classification on Community Engagement selections process for the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

The report that they have created, which now serves as a companion to Becoming a Steward of Place: Four Areas of Institutional Focus, adds substantively to our overall work. The report contributes enormous texture and nuance to our understanding of how to go about the work of engaging with our communities. Indeed, the lessons offered in this report were so important that we included them as an appendix in Becoming a Steward of Place, to make certain that we had the widest possible distribution of these ideas and insights.

This report is offered at no charge and can be downloaded by visiting:

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. lgould #

    Unless you take the message via individual monographs, webinars, etc. to the places “where faculty live”–in their disciplinary homes, the institution’s responsibility for being a “steward of place” remains an unknown, vague or misunderstood strategic principle without high priority among the “masses.” The new materials are outstanding, but the “knowing–doing” gap remains.


    October 12, 2014
    • Great points, Larry. We look forward to a set of conversations and strategic outreach to various stakeholders from presidents and provosts to faculty and civic learning and engagement staff.


      October 22, 2014

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