Civic Action Plan

Grand Valley State University’s commitment to the values of community engagement is embodied in the institution’s mission statement and strategic plan. The Civic Action Plan has provided an opportunity to highlight, elevate, and further develop the good work that many in our institution are already doing in the field of civic engagement, as well as further grow and develop commitments. We have been intentional about telling our story in a way that affirms the previous work of many stakeholders from across the university. This work has laid the foundation for a successful Civic Action Plan and implementation of that plan. We seek to affirm that history and bring a broad representation of campus and community partners into the planning process and implementation, in order to continue to develop a civic ethos at GVSU.

Click here to read the Civic Action Plan. 

About the Plan

What's happening?

In 2016, President Thomas J. Haas signed Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement of Presidents and Chancellors, committing GVSU to creating and implementing a Civic Action Plan. Over the past few months, more than 75 faculty, staff, students, and community members have come together in teams to develop the plan, articulating a framework, outcomes, and action steps to help us achieve the public purposes of our university.


In addition to meeting GVSU’s commitment to Campus Compact and broadening our public commitment, the Civic Action Plan elevates and aligns the good work of many university and community stakeholders. It also positions us to respond more intentionally to the national dialogue regarding higher education’s role in a democracy, as articulated in AAC&U's A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future.

What's changing?

You can expect to see new and expanded learning opportunities and events to create, enhance, and access our civic and community engagement. Additionally, new collaborations and initiatives may form both within and beyond GVSU. Because this is a public plan with public accountability, results and learning will be shared annually.

What's not changing?

No major structural changes will result from the Civic Action Plan, except that the Office for Community Engagement will report to the Office of the Provost. This is a step toward developing a campus-wide coordinating infrastructure. The plan requires no significant new resources. It is not a separate strategic plan; rather, it is a tool that guides action items necessary to align with and achieve outcomes and objectives in GVSU’s current strategic plan.

Where is more information available?

The story of GVSU’s planning process is featured in this Campus Compact blog, posted in March 2017. You may also view GVSU's finalized plan here or on the Community Service Learning Center's website.

How can I be involved?

All students, faculty, staff, and community partners are invited to participate in the work of the Civic Action Plan. Look for opportunities to learn with colleagues, bridge classroom and co-curricular experiences with community-based learning, align community initiatives, and expand your perspective about what it means to be civically engaged.

The Five Commitments

Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement of Presidents and Chancellors includes five bold commitments, listed below, which align with a number of outcomes and objectives in GVSU’s strategic plan.

Overarching Commitment

We foster an environment that consistently affirms the centrality of the public purposes of higher education by setting high expectations for members of the campus community to contribute to their achievement.

Sustainable Partnerships

We empower our students, faculty, staff, and community partners to co-create mutually respectful partnerships in pursuit of a just, equitable, and sustainable future for communities beyond the campus—nearby and around the world.

Student Civic Engagement

We prepare our students for lives of engaged citizenship, with the motivation and capacity to deliberate, act, and lead in pursuit of the public good.

Place-Based Institution

We embrace our responsibilities as place-based institutions, contributing to the health and strength of our communities—economically, socially, environmentally, educationally, and politically.

Social and Economic Equity

We harness the capacity of our institutions—through research, teaching, partnerships, and institutional practice to challenge the prevailing social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future.

Page last modified April 24, 2017