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U of M VP Andrew Furco receives national civic engagement award for contributions to the public good

June 26, 2012

University of Minnesota Associate Vice President for Public Engagement Andrew Furco has received the 2012 Thomas Ehrlich Civic Engagement Faculty Award, one of the highest awards given to faculty for research and teaching focused on serving the public good.

Presented by Campus Compact, a national higher education association dedicated to campus-based civic engagement, the award is given annually to a university or college tenured professor in recognition of leadership in engaged scholarship, contributions to the public good and advancing students’ civic and academic learning. The award recognizes Furco’s contributions and long-term commitment to advancing the scholarship and practice of service-learning and community engagement in K-12 and higher education.

“Vice President Furco has put into place a bold agenda to integrate the university’s community engagement across a broad range of initiatives to create a new engagement culture to benefit students, teachers and aid the health and well-being of communities around the state and beyond,” said Robert J. Jones, senior vice president for academic administration, University of Minnesota system. “What makes Andy exceptional is his ability to translate his individual curriculum into a platform for institutional change that I believe will transform universities and colleges across the globe.”

Furco, who’s also an associate professor of organizational leadership, policy and development in the university’s College of Education and Human Development, was chosen for his work in promoting community engagement practices throughout the university, as well as for his national and international work on the subject.

A former K-12 music teacher and school administrator, Furco earned his master’s degree in special education from University of California, Los Angeles and his doctorate in educational administration from University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, Furco helped establish the country’s first university-based research center for the study of service-learning, a center he managed for 14 years. He’s credited with developing a number of research instruments including the Service-Learning Institutionalization Rubric, often referred to as the Furco Rubric and launched the first international research conference on service learning.

Furco teaches and publishes on topics that explore the civic purposes of higher education and the role of youth community engagement from on an international level. He has led more than 30 studies on the integration of community-based experiences into academic curricula with publications including “Service-Learning: The Essence of the Pedagogy and Service-Learning Through a Multidisciplinary Lens.” Furco also co-chairs the advisory committee of the university’s UMN Land Grant 150, a system-wide series of events recognizing the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act, which laid the groundwork for the university’s ongoing mission of learning, discovery and public service for the common good.

For more information about the Campus Compact and the award, visit Read about the university’s plan to advance and institutionalize public engagement at For details on UMN Land Grant 150 visit

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