The Civic Arts Review
To act responsibly, we must know who we are. If higher education today is uncertain about its social responsibilities, as seems manifestly the case, then this suggests that the American academy is unsure about its institutional identity. For organizations as for individuals, responsibility follows from relationships. But relationships grow out of our purposes even as how we relate to others helps to shape our aims. Vital and successful institutions stand out by their ability to maintain their direction and sense of meaning even amid significant shifts in the social landscape. Indeed, they can aid in providing direction for other institutions, keeping them true to their purposes. Now, however, as major economic and social change shakes American society, higher education is facing serious tests of its resourcefulness: Can the academy reinvigorate its central mission amid difficult and confusing conditions?
Sullivan, William M., "The University as Citizen: Institutional Identity and Social Responsibility" (1999). Higher Education. 37.