Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life. We challenge all of higher education to make civic and community engagement an institutional priority.
Because we are a coalition of colleges and universities, Campus Compact puts special emphasis on partnerships to support educational equity. We help colleges and universities advance community goals in areas such as K-12 learning, college readiness, college access, and the development of student civic knowledge and skills at every level. Campus Compact’s work strengthens colleges and universities as contributors to educational equity now while developing the next generation of citizens and leaders for our communities.
We invite Virginia Campus Compact member campus Presidents and Chancellors to sign the national Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement, excerpted here:
. . . Even as colleges and universities have deepened our commitment to the public and democratic ideals at the heart of Campus Compact, the challenges around us have grown. We have seen a decline in the culture and practice of democracy, as evidenced by the polarization of our political discourse and institutions. And we have witnessed a rapid increase in economic inequality, exacerbating America’s persistent racial divide and eroding the capacity of higher education to play its historic role of enabling social mobility.
We therefore face a choice: We can conclude that the challenges are too great and scale back our ambitions for the public and democratic value of higher education, or we can redouble our efforts with a renewed commitment to preparing students for democratic citizenship, building partnerships for change, and reinvigorating higher education for the public good. . . .
To advance the public purposes of higher education, we affirm the following statements, which characterize our current commitments and name the ideals toward which we will work with renewed dedication, focus, and vigor.
- We empower our students, faculty, staff, and community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for communities beyond the campus—nearby and around the world.
- We prepare our students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good.
- We embrace our responsibilities as place based institutions, contributing to the health and strength of our communities—economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, and politically.
- We harness the capacity of our institutions—through research, teaching, partnerships, and institutional practice—to challenge the prevailing social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future.
- We foster an environment that consistently affirms the centrality of the public purposes of higher education by setting high expectations for members of the campus community to contribute to their achievement.
These are commitments we make to each other with a recognition that our goals for a thriving and sustainable democracy cannot be achieved if we act alone—and that they cannot be denied if we act together. Our success over the last thirty years gives us confidence that we can build a world in which all students are prepared for lives of engaged citizenship, all campuses are engaged in strong partnerships advancing community goals, and all of higher education is recognized as an essential building block of a just, equitable, and sustainable future.