A Case Study of Institutional Visioning, Public Good, and the Renewal of Democracy: The Theory and Practice of Public Good Work at the University of Denver

Eric Fretz, Nick Cutforth, Nicole Nicotera, Sheila Summers Thompson


In 2001, the University of Denver included language in its vision statement that committed the institution to becoming “a great private university dedicated to the public good.” This essay (1) explains how the development of an institutional visioning statement led to the implementation of a series of campus dialogues
and action steps designed to forward public good work at the university; (2) presents campus conversations and current literature to offer a theory of public good work within private research universities; and (3) documents challenges and lessons learned through institutional efforts to embrace a culture of engagement.

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