Recommitting to Stewardship of Place
Stewardship in a new postsecondary context.
In 2002, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) defined what it means to be a regional comprehensive university (RCU) in its landmark report Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place: A Guide for Leading Public Engagement at State Colleges and Universities, which articulated an institutional purpose that is at once place-based and oriented toward serving multiple communities whose lives are enhanced by postsecondary education.
Twenty years later, the challenges facing RCUs have not drastically changed—resource disparities, enrollment fluctuations, balancing competing priorities while engaging place, and public skepticism over the value of higher education remain important issues. Nevertheless, some challenges have intensified and the broader economic, social, demographic, and political forces shaping institutions and their communities have evolved.
As a result, stewardship of place today must look different than it did in 2002. Recommitting to Stewardship of Place: Creating and Sustaining Thriving Communities for the Decades Ahead provides an updated framing for stewardship of place that acknowledges the new postsecondary landscape while demonstrating why recommitting to being a steward of place is more important now than ever.
Recommitting to Stewardship of Place: Creating and Sustaining Thriving Communities for the Decades Ahead
A review and celebration stewardship of place, situating the current report within 20 years of public engagement and thought and describing some of the most important trend lines in postsecondary education. Download executive summary.Download document.
A Call to Action: Translating the Spirit of Stewardship of Place Into Practice
This brief serves as a practice-oriented companion to Recommitting to Stewardship of Place, providing tangible examples of campus actions that bring this mission to life.Download guide.
Funding Stewardship of Place: Public Policies to Advance the Regional Stewardship Mission
This policy brief describes four public policy priorities that align with AASCU’s 2023 Public Policy Agenda and will help RCUs reinvigorate and sustain stewardship of place for the benefits of students, families, communities, and our nation.Download brief.
“It is time that we deepen that anchor of being the educational, economic, and social hubs of the communities we serve.”
Stewards of Place Presidential Task Force
Western Carolina University (NC)
California State University, Los Angeles
California State University System
Montclair State University (NJ)
University of Northern Iowa
Gordon State College (GA)
Oakland University (MI)
San José State University (CA)
Southeast Missouri State University
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