Ira Harkavy is Associate Vice President and founding Director of the Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania. 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-assisted community schools in Penn's local community of West Philadelphia.
An historian with extensive experience building university-community-school partnerships, Harkavy teaches in history, urban studies, and Africana studies, and in the Graduate School of Education. Harkavy is a member of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE Vice Chair); Harvard College National Advisory Board for Public Service; International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility, and Democracy (US Chair); the Anchor Institutions Task Force (Chair); and Widener University Board of Trustees.
Executive Editor of Universities and Community Schools, Dr. 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 recent books include Dewey’s Dream: Universities and Democracies in an Age of Education Reform (2007, co-authored with Lee Benson and John Puckett), Higher Education and Democratic Culture: Citizenship, Human Rights and Civic Responsibility (2007, co-edited with Josef Huber), The Obesity Culture: Strategies for Change, Public Health and University-Community Partnerships (2009, co-authored with Francis Johnston), Reimagining Democratic Societies: A New Era of Personal and Social Responsibility (2013, co-edited with Sjur Bergan and Hilligje van’t Land), and Knowledge for Social Change (2017, co-authored with Lee Benson, Ira Harkavy, John Puckett, Matthew Hartley, Rita A. Hodges, Francis E. Johnston, and Joann Weeks).