For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

CEHD and U of M Word Marks


206 Burton Hall
178 Pillsbury Drive SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-3377

Undergraduate Studies:

Graduate Studies:


David Weerts

Associate Professor

178 Pillsbury Dr SE
239 Burton Hall


Download Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, higher education administration
M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, higher education administration
B.S., University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, major: communication and journalism, minor: business administration


Areas of Interest

Higher Education Finance
Institutional Advancement
Community Engagement
Organizational Theory


Over the past fifteen years, my scholarly work has focused on helping college and university leaders build productive relationships with external partners like policy makers, community partners, alumni, and donors. I research ways that these institutions of higher education and the constituencies they serve can have mutually beneficial relationships. My ultimate goal is to help higher education leaders and their external partners work together more effectively to better serve society, while also building long-term financial stability for colleges and universities.

My research agenda on these topics lies at the intersections of state-university relations, community engagement, alumni giving, volunteerism, and advocacy. My recent studies include longitudinal analyses of state support for higher education, latent variable analyses predicting alumni support behaviors, and case studies of university-community engagement practices. These investigations rely on variety of disciplinary frames from economics, political science, sociology of organizations, and social psychology.

My work on these topics has been greatly informed by my practitioner experiences as a major gifts officer at the University of Wisconsin Foundation, University of Minnesota Foundation, and as director of the jCENTER for Innovative Higher Education.

Honors and Awards

  • H. S. Warwick Award for Outstanding Published Scholarship in Alumni Relations for Educational Advancement (with co-authors Alberto Cabrera and Thomas Sanford). Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) (2010)
  • Associate, National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
  • Rising Scholars Award, National Forum on Higher Education for the Public Good, University of Michigan (2002)
  • Bobby Wright Dissertation of the Year Award, Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) (2000)

Selected Publications

  1. Weerts, D., J., & Freed, G. F, (2016). Public engagement and organizational identity in U.S. higher education. Recherches Sociologiques et Anthropologiques, 1, 85-101.

  2. Weerts, D. J., (2016). Engagement champions: How trustees connect campus and community, boost institutional engagement, and serve the public good. Trusteeship, July/August, 18-23.

  3. Weerts, D. J., (2016). Contract, covenant, and the politics of the Wisconsin Idea. Academe, September/October, 11-15

  4. Weerts, D. J., (2015). The public-good variable: Can public engagement boost state support for higher education? Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 47(3), 20-25.

  5. Weerts, D. J., (2014). State funding and the engaged university: Understanding community engagement and state appropriations for higher education. Review of Higher Education, 38(1), 133-169.

  6. Weerts, D. J., Cabrera, A. F., & Pérez, P. (2014). Uncovering classes of civically engaged college students: A latent class analysis. Review of Higher Education, 37(2), 141-168

  7. Weerts, D. J., Freed, G. F., & Morphew, C. C. (2014). Organizational identity in higher education: Conceptual and empirical perspectives. In M. N. Bastedo (Ed.), Higher education: Handbook of theory and research (Vol. 29, pp. 229-278). New York: Springer.

  8. Weerts, D. J., (2013). Higher education systems in an era of public engagement: An organizational learning perspective. In J.E. Lane & D. B. Johnstone B., (Eds.), Higher education systems 3.0: Harnessing systemness, delivering performance (SUNY Critical Issues Series, 2, pp. 283-309). Albany, NY:  State University System of New York (SUNY).

  9. Weerts, D. J., & Ronca, J. M.  (2012). Understanding differences in state support for higher education across states, sectors, and institutions: A longitudinal study. Journal of Higher Education, 83(2), 155-185.

  10. Weerts, D. J. & Sandmann, L. R. (2010). Community engagement and boundary spanning roles at public research universities. Journal of Higher Education, 81(6), 632-657.

  11. Weerts, D. J., Cabrera, A. F., & Sanford, T., (2010). Beyond giving: Political advocacy and volunteer roles of college alumni. Research in Higher Education, 51(4), 346-365.

  12. Weerts, D. J., & Sandmann, L. R. (2008). Building a two-way street: Challenges and opportunities for community engagement at research universities. Review of Higher Education, 32(1), 73-106.

  13. Weerts, D. J., & Ronca, J. M. (2008). Characteristics of alumni donors who volunteer at their alma mater. Research in Higher Education, 49(3), 274-292.

  14. Weerts, D. J. & Ronca, J. M. (2006). Examining differences in state support for higher education: A comparative study of state appropriations for research universities. Journal of Higher Education, 77(6), 935-965.

  15. Revised January 6, 2017