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This paper begins by reviewing literature that underscores the critical role university presidents play in establishing functional campus/community relationships. Using the metaphor of marriage, a conceptual and methodological framework is offered for understanding and assessing the quality of the town/gown interaction. The presentation of a town/gown relationship model based on the twin dimensions of effort and comfort levels sets the stage for the presentation of results from interviews conducted with university presidents and city managers that focused specific attention on their perceptions of town/gown relationship types. More specifically, these leaders were asked to discuss the type of relationship they inherited at the start of their tenure, as well as how the town/gown interactions in which they were immersed had evolved over time. Finally, themes are presented as a set of “Town/Gown Ten Commandments” that highlight the critical role both campus and community leaders play in the development and maintenance of harmonious town/gown relationships.


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19 Jul 2022
252 kB



  • Journal title
    • Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship

  • Volume
    • 11

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022