Reshaping institutional boundaries to accommodate an engagement agenda

Lorilee R. Sandmann, David J. Weerts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Key voices influencing higher education are increasingly aware of engagement in effecting change. Public research universities have missions compatible with engagement, but efforts to institutionalize it may conflict with their underlying values. Using boundary expansion as the analytical framework, this study compared the institutionalization of engagement at two types of public research universities. Land-grant universities implement engagement primarily through outreach and extension in specialized units. At urban or metropolitan universities, engagement is more often a university-wide agenda, impacting teaching, research, and partnerships. The difference between the two approaches can be explained by examining institutional capacity for boundary reshaping and expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-196
Number of pages16
JournalInnovative Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Boundary reshaping
  • Engagement
  • Organizational development
  • Outreach


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