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Research Articles

Vol. 13 No. 4

Creating and Sustaining Authentic Partnerships with Community in a Systemic Model

  • Jessica V. Barnes
  • Emily L. Altimare
  • Patricia A. Farrell
  • Robert E. Brown
  • C. Richard Burnett III
  • LaDonna Gamble
  • James Davis
January 13, 2010


This article presents the unique approach to university-community partnerships developed and practiced at Michigan State University (MSU). We have established a model of campus-community partnerships that builds a wide-reaching system of networks connecting the university to communities. Our approach is developmental, dynamic, and systemic, characterized by an acute interest in the voices of community partners. This article also presents supporting documentation from interviews with community partners from two diverse urban school districts to illustrate some of the specific challenges faced in the development and maintenance of a partnership applying this approach.