Capitalizing on Community: Turning Community Relations into the Biggest Asset of a New Campus

  • Vicky Carwein
  • Mike Wark University of Washington Tacoma
Keywords: Higher Education, Campus-Community Relationship


Paying strategic attention to community relations creates political capital and philanthropic appeal, helping the urban university meet its objectives. The University of Washington, Tacoma, a ten-year-old campus, has turned community relations into its biggest asset and a key part of its academic success. Connecting the campus CEO to the community is vital, though community relations is the responsibility of the entire campus. In this essay, the authors describe community relations strategies for fundraising, facility development, and legislative advocacy.