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Lessons on the IEP Designation Application Process

On April 20th, APLU hosted a webinar for our current IEP startup cohort focused on What Not to Do; Lessons Learned; Feedback from Recent Reviewers.

The webinar began with Sarah Bartlome, previously an Associate, Office for International, Community and Economic Engagement & Center for Public University Transformation (CPUT) announcing that she will be joining APLU’s Office for Academic Affairs as a Senior Associate effective April 25, 2022. The IEP team is appreciative of all her tremendous work over the past year including the implementation of Momentive, IEP’s new award and designation application website.

Alvaro J. Muñiz, Director in the Office for International, Community, and Economic Engagement; then hosted a web panel with Dr. Robert McClain, Associate Vice President, Division of Research and Innovation, and Cameron Cushman, Assistant Vice President, Innovation Ecosystems from the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center providing a recent applicant’s perspective (Class of 2021). Rachel Jagoda Brunette provided a reviewer’s perspective.

From a reviewer’s perspective, Rachel Jagoda Brunette provided the following advice to applicants:

  • Do not become preoccupied with your institution’s internal processes
  • Engage other university offices beyond the one spearheading the application process
  • Take an ecosystem perspective of your institution’s overall impact
  • Define not just the stakeholders within your institution, but across the community including:
    • K-12
    • Local and state governments
    • Area non-profit organizations
    • Commercialization offices

UNTHSC had a unique perspective regarding their application experience since they are a health sciences institution with approximately 2,500 students. Robert and Cameron’s team focuses on catalyzing UNTHSC’s ecosystem and used Microsoft Teams to engage stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also utilized a recently departed UNTHSC employee to review the application from both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective to assess their application’s strengths and weaknesses.

UNTHSC is one of the most unique IEP institutions in the programs since it is the first health science center and serves the smallest student body. One of the ways UNTHSC assessed its ecosystem was by targeting all its stakeholders from the beginning and surveying their thoughts on UNTHSC. This included mapping the Ft. Worth area hospitals/clinics where UNTHSC graduates were completing their residencies. Additionally, UNTHSC worked with Ft. Worth’s economic development department, area companies, local municipalities, and co-working spaces. They prepared for stakeholder meetings in the areas of talent, innovation, and place by creating a primer leveraging their small campus size to cultivate deeper stakeholder relationships. Through the stakeholder engagement process, UNTHSC successfully demonstrated its impact across the Ft. Worth ecosystem.

A vital component of an institution’s IEP application is the demonstration of its unique aspects. Rachel Jagoda Brunette persuaded applicants to review their unique aspects whether it is their physical location, student body, or populations served in their community. However, the key to demonstrating one’s unique aspects in their application is by being as authentic as possible and going beyond the boilerplate elevator speech.

Interested in Applying for Designation or Comment?

The next IEP Designation and Comment Deadline is May 6th, the final deadline of 2022 for Designation and Comment is August 12th. Access Momentive to submit your application.

Inspired by what you’ve read here? Learn more about how to get engaged at www.APLU.org/SeekIEP and read more articles like this at www.aplu.org/iepblog.

  • IEP

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