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While there have been sharp critiques of university/community partnerships, most assume a dichotomous relationship in which universities privilege their own interests over those of community. There has been little theorizing or investigation of ethical responsibilities involved in such partnerships, and even less that acknowledges that communities are rarely unified and contain multiple different perspectives (Ladson-Billings, 1998). Using the principles of action research and reflective practice, we examine two cases of university/community partners as a means to investigate ethical responsibilities. Our cases demonstrate that there are multi-dimensional ethical responsibilities and that they have the potential to conflict with one another. That has dramatic implications for institutions hosting university/community partnerships. We argue that future research should examine the role of community boards as an oversight mechanism grounded in community that can address the often conflicting multi-dimensional ethical responsibilities within such partnerships from a community perspective.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
296 kB



  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 11

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022