Our Guiding Principles


Our Center offers services and supports to students, faculty, departments, community engagement professionals, and community partners to advance the interests and commitment of the university in promoting public service, community and civic engagement.

Our efforts include service learning, civic engagement, community-engaged scholarship, and other community-engaged efforts.

Through community and campus partnerships, the Center for Service Learning advances service-learning, community-engaged scholarship, and civic engagement that fosters a commitment to participation for a diverse, just, and global society.

We envision an interconnected community in which all students, faculty, staff, community partners, and those served mutually benefit and contribute to collectively addressing community-identified goals.

The Center for Service Learning, as stated in our mission, is committed to participation in creating a diverse, just, and global society. Allyship and cultural competence are important aspects of effective and inclusive engagement with and in our communities. It is important to collaboratively work towards assuring conditions that support equity, particularly for communities and groups who may have a history and increased likelihood of experiencing marginalization. Indeed, it is what we do that defines us.

For more information on allyship and cultural competence, visit our page on Allyship in Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship.

At the University of Kansas, we acknowledge that our institution occupies land that has long been cared for by Indigenous peoples and work to reflect on the history of genocide and the forced removal of people and communities.

At KU, we are also taking the time to understand and acknowledge the history that has brought our institution to occupy this space and to understand our institutions' place within that history. Native American and Indigenous peoples are still here as our students, staff, faculty, and partners, and continue to thrive despite ongoing colonialism and oppression.

So, with this acknowledgment, we affirm sovereignty of the 574 federally recognized tribal nations in the US, 4 of which have reservations in Kansas, the 63 state recognized tribes and the many more tribes who seek recognition. We also continue our commitment to support our Native American community and recognize the dynamic contributions Indigenous people make at KU and at our sister institution Haskell Indian Nations University, as well as in our local communities, the state of Kansas, and our country.

Anchor institutions are enterprises such as universities and hospitals that are rooted in their local communities by mission, invested capital, or relationships to customers, employees, and vendors. Anchor institutions possess considerable human and economic resources that can be leveraged for local development, particularly to improve the well-being of low-income children, families, and neighborhoods that are often proximate to their campuses.

KU recognizes the physical presence of the university as an integral contributor to the social, cultural, and economic well-being of  the community. As an institution, KU supports opportunities to collectively impact our local communities, region and state.   

Guiding Principles as an Anchor Institution:   

It is important to jointly address issues that impact the locales, region, and state in which the university resides and to contribute to shared outcomes as residents, employees, and an institution;   

The solutions identified through community-university partnerships in response to local problems may have broader applicability and impacts regionally, nationally, and internationally;   

 It is critical to support the conditions that assure the local communities, region, and state in which our university is anchored benefit from the knowledge and resource generation supported through research, teaching, service, and outreach efforts of the university.

KU embraces our responsibility to contribute to and strengthen the health and development of our communities through a commitment to engagement that impacts where we work and are connected as part of our local, state, regional, national and global communities.  

We recognize our responsibility to actively contribute to the communities our campuses are geographically located; 

We endeavor to contribute collectively to shared and demonstrable impact in the places our campuses are located through institution-wide commitment; and, 

We aim to build and strengthen our local, state and regional communities in ways that fosters global engagement and impact.  

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