History of Campus Compact and California Campus Compact
California Campus Compact is part of the national Campus Compact network. While the state and national Compacts are formally affiliated and share a fundamental commitment to integrating civic and community engagement into campus and academic life, each organization operates independently, developing programs and priorities in response to its distinctive context.
In the mid-1980s, a group of higher education leaders came together based on a shared concern about the future of American democracy. Motivated by their conviction that amid the pressures toward personal acquisition and personal advancement, their students were not learning to think, speak, and act in the service of the public good, they resolved that higher education must reclaim its historic mission of preparing the next generation of citizens to achieve public goals and solve public problems.
This group – a handful at first, and more than 100 within a year – decided to take action. They became the founders of Campus Compact. Their chosen language – a compact – signified a commitment to each other to work together to advance the public purposes of higher education on their campuses and in their communities. It also signified a commitment to honor the longstanding compact between higher education and the public good. Today, there are more than 700 member campuses nationally. They are supported by the place-based work of 16 state and regional Compact offices nationwide, including California Campus Compact.
Thirty-three years ago, in 1988, California Campus Compact became one of the first two state Campus Compact offices formed (along with Pennsylvania) to provide member campuses with local, state and regional support. Charles Young, who was then chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Donald Kennedy, who was then president of Stanford University, led the group that founded California Campus Compact based on California-specific higher education goals. California Campus Compact began with 17 member campuses at its inception, and has over 40 member campuses as of this writing.
From its founding in 1988 through 1995, California Campus Compact was hosted at UCLA by then-Chancellor Charles Young. In 1996, with the retirement of Chancellor Young, the Executive Board of California Campus Compact approved a change in host institutions from UCLA to San Francisco State University. San Francisco State University, under the leadership of President Robert A. Corrigan, continued as the host institution for California Campus Compact until his retirement. In 2013, CACC was hosted by Sofia University, and then in January 2014, moved to California State University, East Bay, under President Leroy Morishita.
Between 1988 and 2000, there were six executive directors of California Campus Compact. In September 2000, Dr. Elaine Ikeda was hired as the seventh executive director of California Campus Compact. She continues to hold the position and is the longest-serving executive director of California Campus Compact.
From 1996 through March 2004, San Francisco State University President Robert A. Corrigan served as the chair of the Executive Board of California Campus Compact. From April 2004 through June 2010, California State University, Channel Islands President Richard R. Rush served as chair of the Executive Board of California Campus Compact. From July 2010-2015, University of San Francisco President Stephen A. Privett. S.J., served as chair. From July 2015-June 2020, California State University, East Bay President Leroy Morishita served as chair. In July 2020, San Jose State University President Mary Papazian began serving as the chair of the Board.
Membership in California Campus Compact grew from 17 institutions in 1988 to about 47 institutions today. Membership dues are based on the full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate enrollment of the member institution.
Since the beginning, California Campus Compact has developed hundreds of programs and initiatives, research studies and publications, and has provided grant funding, training and technical assistance, and professional development to thousands of individuals on its member campuses. Recent programs include our CACC-Community Engagement Student Fellows program in which students receive $500 scholarships for 50 hours of direct service or infrastructure support; The Engaged Scholars Initiative in which early-career faculty and staff in the Western Region come together for a 12 month cohort/mentoring program; monthly national webinar series educating community engagement staff and faculty on various community engagement issues and strategies.
In addition, California Campus Compact has published several research studies and resource publications, including The Engaged Faculty Institute Curriculum, a resource designed in collaboration with Campus Compact of the Mountain West and Community- Campus Partnerships for Health, focused on intensive faculty development specific to service-learning course design or re-design, including units focused on cultural competence, partnership development, sustainability and institutionalization of engagement, in addition to units on course design and assessment; and 25 Years of Educating Students to Change our World, a report which includes the inspirational remarks made by Goodwin Liu, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court at our 25th Anniversary Celebration in November 2013 as well as essays by our member presidents highlighting vivid examples of how, because of their membership in California Campus Compact, are educating students to change our world.
California Campus Compact offers a variety of student, faculty, and campus awards, including the Richard E. Cone Award. CACC awardees are honored at the Continuums of Service Conference, held every other year with hundreds of attendees from across the country.
Over the past 33 years, CACC has distributed millions of dollars in grants to member campuses, supporting new programming, training and professional development for hundreds of thousands of students, faculty members, administrators and community members who work toward expanding the common good throughout California.