Bemidji State Joins Call To Encourage Student Community Engagement

President Hanson, far left, with the presidents at Augsuburg College and St. Cloud State University at the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Summit in Boston. Photo courtesy of @mncompact on Twitter.
President Hanson, far left, with the presidents at Augsuburg College and St. Cloud State University at the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Summit in Boston. Photo courtesy of @mncompact on Twitter.

Dr. Richard A. Hanson, president of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College, joined more than 80 higher education leaders in Boston on March 20 to celebrate the launch of the Campus Compact’s Campus Civic Action Plan.

Hanson joins more than 350 Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors who have signed the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary Action Statement, a document which the compact says “contains strong language about the public obligations of higher education that commits campuses to taking specific steps to deepen their engagement for the benefit of students, communities, and the broader public.”

As Campus Compact signatories, Bemidji State and Northwest Tech are committed to creating publicly shared Campus Civic Action Plans. Campus Compact will support BSU, NTC and other campuses as they develop these plans.

“For many years, I have been committed to service learning,” Hanson said. “We want to help students understand the power of service and commitment to community.”

About Campus Compact

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 amidst 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.

That group has grown into today’s Campus Compact, a national coalition of nearly 1,100 colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. The coalition is guided by a national office and 34 state and regional Campus Compacts. Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are members of the 36-institution Campus Compact Minnesota. The only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact enables campuses to develop students’ citizenship skills and forge effective community partnerships. The compact’s resources support faculty and staff initiatives to provide community-based teaching and scholarship in the service of positive change.

“Colleges and universities exist to promote public goods,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “By signing the Action Statement and committing to develop Campus Civic Action Plans, these 350 presidents and chancellors are challenging their institutions to go even further in preparing students for lives of engaged citizenship, contributing to the health of communities both local and global, and sustaining our democracy in the face of the twin challenges of inequality and polarization.”


Andy Bartlett, associate director of communications & marketing; (218) 755-2041,; @abart01


Bemidji State University, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, occupies a wooded campus along the shore of Lake Bemidji. Enrolling nearly 5,000 students, Bemidji State offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and 11 graduate degrees encompassing arts, sciences and select professional programs. BSU is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and has a faculty and staff of more than 550. University signature themes include environmental stewardship, civic engagement and global and multi-cultural understanding.