A university is a vital part of a community.

Communities lucky enough to have a university gain a sense of pride as well as new community members from around the world who add diversity and knowledge. A university-community partnership is not uncommon as more students choose to enter the world of higher education.

Increasing numbers of local governments and their managers are finding the benefits of partnering with universities in their communities.

Internship programs

Universities and communities often partner together to offer internship opportunities for students interested in learning more about careers in local government. ICMA partners with Wittenberg University in Springfield, OH, on a Local Government Management Internship. Participants intern during the summer, earning college credit and gaining hands-on experience in professionally-managed local governments.


In Olathe, KS, City Manager Michael Wilkes worked under the direction of the city council to develop a partnership with Kansas State University and the Kansas Bio-Science Authority on the creation of a world-class university devoted to fostering innovations in animal health, food safety, and agro-terrorism prevention on city-owned land.

Alliance for Innovation

The Alliance for Innovation is a network of local governments that partners with ICMA (International City/County Management Association) and Arizona State University to transform local government by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovative practices.

It brings together some of the best local-government practitioners in the country, along with private-sector partners and academics, providing a forum where these thought leaders can discuss major trends, innovations, and leading practices.

The Alliance and its partners make available to local governments the tools they need to support the introduction of innovative programs and practices in their communities.