ESC Partner Programs
2024 EA

Leading Engagement Amid Growing Distrust in American Higher Education

An Engagement Academy for University Leaders Seminar


Monday, October 7, 2024 | 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.


$240 - Participation fee includes breakfast, lunch, and post-seminar reception


Engagement leaders face a challenging paradox. On one hand, more and more institutions are prioritizing community-engagement as a core institutional practice. As of 2024, more than 450 institutions have earned the designation of Carnegie community-engaged institutions. On the other hand, public trust in higher education has hit a new low. A 2023 Gallup poll reveals that the majority of respondents now lack confidence in our colleges and universities. As engagement leaders, how do we make sense of shifting perceptions of higher education across the diverse communities that we serve? Does our engagement work provide an effective response to restoring confidence in American higher education? What revisions to our current strategies might we employ to bolster trustworthiness in our institutions?

Join us for an interactive session that will feature testimonies, readings, and small/large group discussions to address this critical topic facing higher education leaders across the country.

Seminar Facilitators/Instructors

Rena Cotsones, Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer, Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development, Northern Illinois University

Lorilee R. Sandmann, Professor Emerita, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, University of Georgia

David J. Weerts, Professor and Faculty Director, Office for Public Engagement, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Byron P. White, Associate Provost for Urban Research and Community Engagement; University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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