Changing World of Work dialogue will explore role of higher education

February 11, 2015

office imageGiven momentous changes in the economy and in the workplace, what should we expect of American higher education in the 21st century? Do our colleges and universities bear some responsibility for the challenges facing young graduates today? And do we still look to those institutions to be the engines of social progress and economic development they have been in the past?

In January, education leaders and scholars launched a nationwide effort to spark local conversations around these questions. Led by the National Issues Forums Institute, the American Commonwealth Partnership at Augsburg College, and the Kettering Foundation this effort responds to concerns voiced by thousands of citizens in more than 160 forums where participants considered the future of higher education.

On March 26, North Carolina Campus Compact will host the first statewide, facilitated dialogue on “The Changing World of Work: What Should We Ask of Higher Education?” Led by Dr. Harry Boyte, Senior Scholar in Public Work Philosophy at Augsburg College, the session will engage higher education representatives from NC Campus Compact member schools and prepare them to host their own campus-community dialogues later this year.

Dr. Boyte is founder of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the Humphrey School of PUblic Affairs, now part of the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College. Boyte is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Visiting Professor at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa.

He has authored numerous books on democracy and community organizing. His most recent is an edited volume, Democracy’s Education: Public Work, Citizenship, and the Future of Colleges and Universities, a collection of essays by leading university presidents, policy makers, faculty, students, community organizers and public intellectuals on how educators can be agents– rather than victims– of change.

The North Carolina Campus Compact event is free and open to member campuses only. Each campus may send two representatives. Participating schools must commit to hosting their own dialogue on this topic sometime in 2015. To RSVP to this special invitation, please email Rene Summers (summerre[@]elon.edu).

Cosponsors of the Changing World of Work project include the American Democracy Project, Campus Compact, Imagining America, The Democracy Commitment, Minnesota AARP, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Library Association’s Center for Civic Life, and the Joffre T. Whisenton Public Scholars Program.