Keeping it Real: University collaboration with community based environmental advocates

James Whelan (2003): The higher education sector has been urged to demonstrate community relevance by engaging with community problem-solving and action for social justice and by acting as ‘significant allies’ of the community advocacy sector. Despite these urgings, most academics remain strangely silent on social and environmental issues. Although universities may not overtly discourage speaking out, the pressures to publish, teach and keep pace with administrivia inevitably mitigate against many academics’ active engagement in civil society. More significant obstacles include conservatism, careerism, ignorance and the threat of political consequence.

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