Stewards of Place: The Role of Dialogue and Deliberation in Strengthening Our Universities and Colleges

  • Post category:4.3
  • Reading time:2 mins read
By Windy Y. Lawrence, Zach Justus, Leah A. Murray, Barbara A. Brown


Group of Multiethnic Students Listening to the SpeakerIn 2014, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) produced a sequel monograph, Stewards of Place II, which followed up on and extended the learnings about community engagement from the preceding report—Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place—published over a decade earlier. This article examines some of AASCU’s learnings over the past 10 years about the important role of colleges and universities as stewards of place.  Specifically, the authors contend that dialogue and deliberation are key approaches for strengthening the position of colleges and universities as stewards of place.  The article defines dialogue and deliberation, discusses five main reasons the authors believe dialogue and deliberation can strengthen colleges and universities’ function as stewards of place, highlights four case studies that illustrate how dialogue and deliberation are currently being utilized on campuses, and considers further implications of this work.