Academic Impact is a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in actively supporting ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, literacy, sustainability and conflict resolution. The Academic Impact also asks each participating college or university to actively demonstrate support of at least one of those principles each year.
The formal launch of Academic Impact took place at a two-day conference in New York City, November 18-19, 2010. Available online are the press release preceding the event, text of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's remarks, text of IAUP President-elect J. Michael Adams' remarks, Ban's and Adams' remarks in video form, and the press release following the event.
The critical role of higher education in economic and social development and as a foundation for world peace is widely acknowledged. Only lacking is the resolve and action of academic leaders around the world. By formally endorsing the ten principles in the Academic Impact, institutions make a commitment to use education as an engine for addressing global problems.
“It is often said that if the United Nations did not exist, we would have to invent it. I fully agree. And that is why we have to strengthen its capacities on each of the three pillars of the United Nations' work: peace, development and protection of human rights. Part of that effort means continuing to open our doors to new partners. The academic community is surely at the top of that list. My colleagues and I have been discussing an initiative called 'Academic Impact.' We hope to build stronger ties with institutions of higher learning; ... we hope to benefit from your ideas and scholarship.”
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
in his address at Fairleigh Dickinson University,
10 September 2008.