Ira Harkavy, PhD is Associate Vice President and Founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, and Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Harkavy teaches in the departments of history, urban studies, and Africana studies, and in the Graduate School of Education, and has extensive experience building university-community-school partnerships. 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. He is author or editor of 11 books, including Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century (2017), and the forthcoming volume, Higher Education’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Building a More Sustainable and Democratic Future. 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. Harkavy received his BA, MA, and PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania.