Democracy requires responsible citizens who can make sound decisions about their future, and can act on these decisions. Through joint learning exchanges, Kettering studies how citizens might accept their responsibility, make sound decisions about what is in the public’s interest, and join forces to act on those decisions.
Democracy requires a community, or a society of citizens, that can work together. We research the way citizens face persistent problems in their communities. These problems, such as poverty, violence, and gaps in educational achievement, require citizens, communities, and institutions to work together to address them.
Democracy requires institutions with public legitimacy that contribute to strengthening society. While institutions can affect the public’s ability to govern itself, they can also unintentionally weaken self-rule by substituting expert knowledge for public knowledge. Aligning institutional routines with citizens’ work is the central challenge.
A university’s ascent or fall within the rankings are newsworthy developments. A rise in rankings leads universities to promote the ranking and their placement.
Footage from A Public Voice 2016 is now available to stream online.
Interim Report on Health Care and Making Ends Meet Forums Released at A Public Voice 2016 in Washington, DC
Citizens at Work: An interim report from A Public Voice 2016.
David Mathews is president and CEO of the Ketteirng Foundation and is a former president of University of Alabama. He has participated in Kettering’s ongoing series of exchanges with college presidents on the civic purposes of higher education. Below is Mathews' 2016 introduction to the 1977 report The Changing Agenda for American Higher Education.