Boundary Workers and Their Importance to Community-University Partnerships


  • Janice McMillan Centre for Higher Education Development


Higher Education, Community Partnerships, Faculty


As community-university partnerships become more common, it is becoming increasingly apparent that challenges emerge whenever groups as different as universities and communities attempt to work together. These challenges are not yet well understood and new analytical approaches are urgently needed that frame the problems and suggest avenues by which they can be overcome. This paper employs the lens of boundary work to consider the ways in which higher education faculty, when they engage in activities at the intersection of the university and the community, experience dilemmas that are essentially those of boundary workers. This analysis is intended to suggest ways of providing support for faculty when they experience conflicts, tension, and a perceived lack of credibility in community-university partnership work.