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.