Building Franklin's Truly Democratic, Engaged University: Twenty Years of Practice at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Matthew Hartley University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: Higher Education, Engagement, Governance


Benjamin Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania as a secular institution with the pragmatic aim of instilling in its students the inclination and ability to serve humankind in both the civic and mercantile realms. On this, the three hundredth anniversary of his birth ( 1706-2006 ), Franklin's ideal of a democratic, engaged university has finally begun to bear fruit. This article reflects on twenty years of experience and describes the University of Pennsylvania's progress toward and challenges to achieving Franklin's dream.