avatar for Ira Harkavy

Ira Harkavy

University of Pennsylvania
Assoc. VP and Dir, Netter Ctr.
Philadelphia, PA
Ira Harkavy is Associate Vice President and Founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania. An historian with extensive experience building university-community-school partnerships, he teaches in the departments of history, urban studies, and Africana studies, and in the Graduate School of Education. As Director of the Netter Center since 1992, Harkavy has helped to develop academically based community service courses, as well as participatory action research projects, that involve creating university-community partnerships and university-assisted community schools in Penn's local community of West Philadelphia. Harkavy is Chair of the International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy and Chair of the Anchor Institutions Task Force. Harkavy has written and lectured widely on the history and current practice of urban university-community-school partnerships and strategies for integrating the university missions of research, teaching, learning, and service. His most recent books include Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century (2017, co-authored with Lee Benson, John Puckett, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Francis E. Johnston, and Joann Weeks), Higher Education for Diversity, Social Inclusion and Community – A Democratic Imperative (2018, co-edited with Sjur Bergan), and The Local Mission of Higher Education: Principles and Practice (2019, co-edited with Sjur Bergan and Ronaldo Munck). Among other honors, Harkavy is the recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s Alumni Award of Merit, Campus Compact’s Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning, New American Colleges and Universities’ Ernest L. Boyer Award, a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant, and two honorary degrees. In addition, with Harkavy’s and the Netter Center’s significant involvement, Penn has twice received the Presidential Award in Higher Education Community Service. Harkavy received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania.