USF students package food in boxes for delivery to people living with HIV/AIDS and senior citizens in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. (File photo)
The University of San
Francisco ranks among the top universities in the nation for civic engagement,
according to a recently published study, “Saviors of Our Cities: Survey of Best
College and University Civic Partnerships.”
rankings, compiled by Evan Dobelle, president of Westfield State College in Massachusetts,
are a follow up to Dobelle’s first “Saviors of Our Cities” study published in
re-examined the 2006 rankings as a result of the changing U.S. economy and with
an eye toward tracking the evolution and growing sophistication of efforts by
institutions of higher learning to save their cities from increasing blight.
The survey is the result of more than 20 years of professional experience and
ongoing research, and included a questionnaire and discussion.
The 2009 rankings consisted
of a top 25 “best neighbor” list, with other schools, including USF, making the
top 100 honor roll. USF was one of only seven Jesuit universities recognized. More
than 3,000 schools were surveyed.
The rankings are meant to
highlight the positive impact that colleges and universities have on their
urban communities, including both commercial and residential activities such as
revitalization, cultural renewal, economics, and community service and
development, Dobelle said.
sophisticated partnerships are emerging that are addressing complex issues such
as homelessness and health care and are serving as catalysts for community
change,” Dobelle said.
USF was evaluated based on a survey sent to nearly
all the colleges and universities in the country. The survey highlighted USF’s
longstanding legacy of community engagement through service and service-learning,
student and faculty research that benefits the community, and partnerships with
community organizations, including those that aim to boost local students’
access to attend college.