“The Civic Responsibilities of Colleges”: Adam Weinberg on Denison University

Adam Weinberg has long been a leader in the higher education movement for democratic innovation, including Kettering’s College Presidents and the Civic Purposes of Higher Education initiative. As president of Denison University since 2013, Weinberg has stimulated campuswide conversation about how every aspect of the university and its surrounding community can become sites for learning and doing the public work of democracy. In a new piece written for Huffington Post, Weinberg calls for “looking beyond our administrative and fundraising roles to provide new leadership for civic engagement,” echoing a key theme in Kettering’s research with college presidents. The article provides a rich illustration of the results when presidents and their institutions place their civic responsibilities at the center of their vision for higher education.

Kettering has featured previous writings on Weinberg’s efforts as dean of the College at Colgate to incorporate civic engagement across the residential and cocurricular life of the institution. Weinberg also helped craft a call, written with Paul Pribbenow and Harry Boyte, for higher education leaders to catalyze conversations on democracy and civic engagement.