News Release from AASCU


Contact: Jennifer Walpole (202) 478-4665


AASCU Publication Identifies Four Key Areas in “Becoming a Steward of Place”

Washington, D.C.—Today, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) released Becoming a Steward of Place: A Guide for Institutional Leaders. The monograph, a follow-up to AASCU’s 2002 effort, Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place, explores four key areas of stewardship at state colleges and universities: civic engagement, P-12 schools, community and economic development, and internationalization.

Now, more than ever, the concept of stewardship of place is critical to the success not only of AASCU institutions, but also to the success of communities, regions and the nation. AASCU President Muriel Howard notes, “Our ability to contribute to a more vibrant democracy; our capacity to work closely with the P-12 schools; our obligation to foster community and economic development; and our ability to help internationalize our communities can make a profound difference in the future well being of the communities we serve.”

As this monograph stresses, institutional work with community is not unidirectional. It explores the collaborative nature of stewardship, and points out that institutional success is inextricably linked to the success of communities—and that communities are the living classrooms and laboratories where students and faculty learn.

“In 2002, AASCU asserted that its member institutions have a unique relationship to their community and region, captured in the phrase ‘Stewards of Place.’ This new monograph extends and enriches that initial concept of stewardship, providing a rich repository of ideas and programs,” says AASCU’s Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change, George Mehaffy.  “For campuses committed to strengthening ties to their region, this monograph should be required reading.”      

In addition to the monograph itself, which is available for purchase on the AASCU bookstore, a companion analysis, Becoming a Steward of Place: Lessons from AASCU Carnegie Community Engagement Applications, is available as a free download on  Written by John Saltmarsh and his colleagues, this volume examines the applications of AASCU institutions seeking the voluntary Carnegie Classification on Community Engagement.

To purchase Becoming a Steward of Place: A Guide for Institutional Leaders, visit


AASCU is a Washington-based higher education association of more than 400 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development.