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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Public administration faculty have an obligation to engage their communities to improve conditions and the efficiency and effectiveness of government and nonprofit organizations. Engagement is also important in transmitting to students the “craft” knowledge of the profession of public administration through applied projects, internships, case studies, and community-based projects. Furthermore, faculty develop professionally through engagement by gaining a deeper understanding of relevant theory and practice that can be shared in the classroom. Reluctance by faculty to invest time and energy in their communities because of traditional university biases toward more theoretical work can partially be addressed by wider dialogue on the benefits of engagement. This paper contributes to this needed dialogue by reflecting on how engagement has informed the teaching and understanding of public administration theory and practice as well as been a benefit to the agencies and communities served.

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