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K-State Today

March 16, 2011

Leaders of 12 Kansas higher education institutions work to strengthen civic engagement, service-learning on their campuses

By Julie Fosberg

The leaders of 12 Kansas colleges and universities are gathering today in Topeka to increase the visibility and quality of service learning and civic engagement on the state's higher education campuses.

The leaders represent the schools that belong to Kansas Campus Compact, an organization of higher education institutions in the state that builds and strengthens the collective capacity of those who teach, study at, work with and lead Kansas colleges and universities. The compact's goal is to integrate a commitment to civic engagement and responsibility into the higher educational learning environment.

The Topeka meeting is led by Kirk Schulz, president of Kansas State University, and Jackie Vietti, president of Butler County Community College and chair of the Kansas Campus Compact executive board. The meeting will seek to strengthen the collective and individual commitment to the value of the Kansas Campus Compact and to take further steps to define how the compact can help advance civic engagement and service-learning on the member campuses in meaningful ways despite resource constraints and external pressures. It's the first time leaders of all member universities have convened since the compact's founding in 2003.

Along with Butler County Community College and K-State, compact members include Baker University, Fort Hays State University, Hutchinson Community College, Johnson County Community College, McPherson College, Pittsburg State University, Seward County Community College, Southwestern College, University of Kansas and University of St. Mary.

In addition to the institution leaders, the meeting includes four Kansas Campus Compact executive board members: Doug Penner of the Kansas Independence Colleges Association, Janie Perkins from the Kansas Board of Regents, Curt Brungardt of Fort Hays State University, and Mary Hale Tolar, director of the School of Leadership Studies at K-State.

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