Past Program

Feb 14 - Feb 18, 2001

Social and Civic Responsibilities of the University


The 16th Universities Project (UP) symposium, which took place in February, 2001, was the first in the series of UP symposia under the new umbrella theme for this year, “Social and Civic Responsibilities of the University.” Following on the very successful and timely theme of “Globalization of the University,” which was the focus in 2000, the new theme was chosen because of its perceived relevance to universities as they seek to adapt to the changing realities and challenges in higher education. Attended by forty-three senior-level higher education representatives from eighteen European countries and the United States, the purpose of the symposium was to exchange experiences and ideas regarding the social and civic mission of the university, with a view toward strengthening the interaction and collaboration between academic and public life. In the course of this year, the Universities Project will convene additional symposia devoted to this theme.


Participants at the symposium worked together to draw up a document called “Conclusions on Social and Civic Responsibilities of the University.” A summarized version of that document follows:


The participants of the February 2001 Universities Project Symposium of Salzburg Seminar agree on and seek to promote the following principles:


1. Public service is a central responsibility of modern universities, fully compatible with—indeed reinforcing of—teaching and research.


2. University policies that enhance the participation of faculty, staff and students in all spheres of social and civic activities should be strengthened.


3. The support and cooperation of social and civic organizations should be sought by universities to ensure that university policies address community needs.


4. National policies should ensure adequate funding of higher education in order to provide support for the practice of the social and civic responsibilities of universities, and to secure the commitment of faculty, staff and students to actively engage in the development of their communities.