August 1, 2015
- Colleagues, friends, and partners,
- Washington University’s Gephardt Institute for Public Service and the Community Service Office have come together in 2015 to form the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. This is more than bringing together two offices; it is a reflection of values.
- Across higher education, colleges and universities refer to a three-fold mission of teaching, research, and service. The service mission has historically emphasized a charitable orientation, a focus on service. The shift occurring at Washington University is toward a civic mission that embraces a problem-solving, partnership-based approach.
- A civic mission seeks to work in partnership with community to understand and benefit social conditions by leveraging expertise and capacity. The renewed Gephardt Institute underscores this larger difference in approach—across a continuum from charity to change, from “for” to “with.” The difference in approach asks us all in higher education and at Washington University to consider how we might be involved.
- The institute has been charged to sponsor a range of initiatives that catalyze connections between the community and the entire campus. Please let us know your ideas and get involved. Through our civic involvement, stronger communities can evolve.
Amanda Moore McBride, PhD
Executive Director, Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement
Bettie Bofinger Brown Associate Professor, Brown School