A framework for understanding issues that contribute to vibrant and healthy communities of higher education is presented. The focus is on how individual and community health relate to institutional missions, purposes, and goals. This framework may be applied to 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities whether they are public, private, research, teaching, sectarian, religious, residential, or commuter institutions. The following questions are addressed: Why should colleges maintain healthy communities? How do we define health in colleges and universities? Why is this important for society? What are the key responsibilities in fostering healthy educational communities? Who is responsible for assuring that this happens? What added value do personal and community health yield for institutions of higher education? Readers are provided with a rationale for assessing the role and importance of individual and community health in their campus environments; engaging students, faculty, and staff in discussions about these issues; and determining whether more thorough, systematic, and intensive community health assessments or interventions are needed in their campus settings.
May 1, 1997