For Better and For Worse: Understanding Optimal Campus–Community Relationships through the Lens of Marriage

  • Stephen M. Gavazzi The Ohio State University at Mansfield
Keywords: Higher Education, Campus-Community Relations


Borrowing from marital research literature, a four-square matrix constructed from the twin dimensions of effort and comfort levels is used to describe a typology of campus and community associations. Results from a study using the Optimal College Town Assessment to measure community member perceptions on town–gown relationships are presented next, followed by a discussion of a mobilization cycle that situates such assessment efforts inside of an engagement strategy for establishing harmonious campus and community partnerships.