APLU and its Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE) established the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Universities Program to help higher education institutions codify, elevate, and advance their campus enterprise supporting economic and community development. The designation recognizes institutions that have demonstrated a meaningful, ongoing and substantial commitment to economic and community development, growth, and economic opportunity.
The IEP Universities program helps institutions to codify, elevate and advance their "economic engagement" enterprise which encompasses the many and varied ways universities work with their public-private partners to carry out:
More than 60 institutions have earned this distinguished recognition. IEP University designees complete a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement enterprise that allows them to inventory their true societal and economic impact while identifying strengths and areas of improvement in economic engagement. They exchange ideas, best practices and shared challenges with like-minded peers across North America with a goal of strengthening their ecosystem promoting regional economic prosperity and community development.
The IEP Universities program was developed by APLU's Commission on Economic and Community Engagement (CECE), convening chief economic and community engagement officers as well as presidents and chancellors, provosts, senior research officers, government and public affairs leaders, and other administrators with responsibility for planning, executing, or communicating their institution's work in economic and community engagement. Learn more and join CECE today. Questions regarding the IEP universities program? Contact Shalin Jyotishi.
The first step to formally begin your pursuit of the IEP University designation is to review the designation guidelines which include full details on deadlines, process, timeline and more. Review the IEP designation guidelines found here.
Institutions pursuing the designation as well as designated institutions are highly encouraged to attend the annual IEP Universities workshop which takes place at each CECE Summer Meeting, APLU's signature conference for economic development and community engagement leaders. Engagement opportunities are also planned during each APLU Annual Meeting, the world's largest convening of public university presidents, provosts, vice-presidents, and their staff.
Pursuing the designation as an APLU member institution: The institution’s president or chancellor must send a formal letter of intent to pursue the designation directed to APLU's President (template available on request). Letters of intent are accepted in the fall of every year. The institution's designated IEP campus contacts participate in the program through annual classes or "startup cohorts." Through startup cohorts, institutions pursuing the designation have the opportunity to learn and engage with one another through a national network of economic engagement professionals and thought leaders.
Non-APLU member institutions must submit their presidential letter of intent to the University Economic Development Association (UEDA), APLU's participation partner for non-members. Learn more about APLU's IEP partnership with UEDA. View the APLU and UEDA's IEP partnership overview video.