ERNEST A. LYNTON

Ernest A. Lynton (1926–1998) was a noted national academic leader whose leadership and writing helped to orchestrate the emergence of the ‘metropolitan university.’ His work and dedication to creating effective collaborations between campus, community, and commerce led to the formation of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) in 1989. Lynton also served as the first editor of Metropolitan Universities journal. Dr. Lynton championed a vision of scholarly engagement as inclusive, collaborative, and problem-oriented work in which academics share knowledge-generating tasks with the public and involve community partners as participants in public problem solving.

From 1973 to 1980, Lynton served as the academic vice president for the University of Massachusetts system. Lynton helped form the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE), an organization that focused on research and policy for higher education to address social justice issues. Lynton championed a vision of scholarly engagement as inclusive, collaborative, and problem-oriented work in which academics share knowledge-generating tasks with the public and involve community partners as participants in public problem solving. His 1987 work New Priorities for the University: Meeting Society’s Needs for Applied Knowledge and Competent Individuals, co-authored with Sandra Elman, laid out his ideas for how scholarly university work can be recognized on a greater scale. This theme was explored in depth throughout his later academic career. Today, his scholarship still helps to guide CUMU’s work.

In 1996, the Ernest A. Lynton Award was established by NERCHE to honor Lynton’s lifelong scholarship. In January 2017, management of the award moved to the Howard R. Swearer Center at Brown University. Today, the award recognizes early career faculty who connect their teaching, research, and service to community engagement.

IDENTITY AND CULTURE

In the introduction of the first issue, Lynton writes “the die is cast and the fledgling product of our labors is on its way…will [it] reach its intended audience? And will that audience be pleased by what it receives?”

READ VOL. 1 No. 1

A Legacy Lived

In 1990, soon after the founding of CUMU, the first issue of Metropolitan Universities journal was published. It was, as it is today, devoted to the ‘nature and challenges’ of metropolitan universities. Nearly 30 years later, Lynton’s legacy lives on. In December 2018, MUJ published Vol 29 No 4 (2018): Legacy Lived: A Generation of Ernest A. Lynton Award Recipients Advancing Community-Engaged Scholarship and Institutional Change. This issue highlights the impact of Lynton’s work and how his vision for strong faculty and university engagement expanded views of scholarship and epistemology that carries on through the work of faculty and campuses across the country. Articles include: