Since 2020, NACU has worked with The Kettering Foundation to study the concept of civic professionalism on its campuses. The term “civic professional’ or “citizen professional” examines the application of one’s profession in society. Going beyond the singular concept of leveraging one’s profession to make a living, it stresses the role of citizens to use their skills and expertise to the benefit of their communities. In addition, it implores citizens to not only apply their knowledge to society but to work in concert with others to effect positive change. Below are several resources on civic professionalism.


The Citizen Professional Idea from the Citizen Professional Center at the University of Minnesota


Research and White Papers

Educating for Civic Professionalism (Phase 2), a NACU & Kettering Foundation research project, Fall 2021.

Educating for Civic Professionalism (Phase 1), a NACU & Kettering Foundation research project, Fall 2020.

Mathews, David. With the People: An Introduction to an Idea. Kettering Foundation, 2020.

Koritz, Amy; Schadewald, Paul; and St. Hubert, Haddassah. Civic Professionalism: A Pathway to Practice Wisdom for the Liberal Arts. Prepared for Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life on behalf of the Engaged Undergraduate Education Research Group with support from the Teagle Foundation’s “Faculty Work and Student Learning in the 21st Century” initiative, 2016.

Boyte, Harry, and Fretz, Eric. Civic Professionalism. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 2010, Vol. 14, No. 2.


Kreber, Carolin. Educating for Civic-mindedness: Nurturing authentic professional identities through transformative higher education. Routledge, 2016.

Boyte, Harry. The Citizen Solution: How You Can Make A Difference. Minnesota Historical Society, 2008.

Dzur, Albert W. Democratic Professionalism. Pennsylvania State University Press, 2008.

Sullivan, William M. Work and Integrity: The Crisis and Promise of Professionalism in America, 2nd Edition. Jossey-Bass, 2004.


Koritz, Amy, and Schadewald, Paul. Be the Change: Academics as Civic Professionals. Peer Review, a magazine of AAC&U, Summer 2015, Vol. 17, No. 3.

Boyte, Harry. Hope and Higher Education — The Role of Citizen Professionals. Huffington Post, Aug. 7, 2015.