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The Milwaukee Idea: Institutionalizing Engagement
Beyond the Ivory Tower: Wingspread Journal Education (2007)
  • Stephen L. Percy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
For UWM, engagement is conceptualized as expanded “service” to the community. In the Milwaukee Idea, engagement is a major part of mission, right up there with research and teaching. Drawing upon Ernest Boyer’s conception of “The Scholarship of Engagement,” the Milwaukee Idea envisions engagement as a fundamental element of the academy, infused into and strengthening research and teaching. When fully actualized, engagement cannot be separated from the creation and dissemination of knowledge; instead, it is an integrated part of them.

Through the Milwaukee Idea, UWM faculty and staff are researching economic revitalization in a de-industrializing region, expanding public health and health promotion in disadvantaged communities, improving the educational achievement of students in local K-12 schools, restoring the freshwater in the Great Lakes, and creating technological innovations to support a new information economy in Southeastern Wisconsin. This research activity is possible due to the urban location of UWM and an appreciation in the community that the University is an important asset, not just in educating students for their role as citizens, employees, entrepreneurs and leaders, but also in creating and utilizing knowledge to benefit the community, region and state.
Publication Date
Citation Information
Percy, S. (2007). “The Milwaukee Idea: Institutionalizing Engagement,” Beyond the Ivory Tower, Wingspread Journal, Education, 32-33.