As discussions on- and off-campus have continued, I've noticed interest in (and descriptions of) various models of "community-university engagement." In general, these models are intended to summarize a general approach to partnerships; Ken Reardon's article that appeared recently in Communities and Banking (a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston) is a great review of these models.
Missing from many discussions, however, is a long-standing example of incredibly successful community-university partnership and collaboration, Juniper Gardens Children's Project at the University of Kansas. Started in the early 1960s, Juniper Gardens has followed many of the core principles we value here -- meaningful participation of community members and university faculty, staff and students; focus on research and training that directly contributes to community development; and a generative, ever-deepening relationship between community members, leaders and agencies with University faculty and programs.
The Juniper Gardens story is a rich one, told ably by the current leaders and their colleagues; one great source is an
article from the American Psychologist in 1992. While future entries here will return to the notion of social validity as a defining element of community-university partners, learning more about Juniper Gardens is a great way to begin.