In recognition of its strong commitment to economic engagement, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) designated the University of Minnesota Crookston as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University during their annual meeting held November 6, 2022. The national designation acknowledges public research universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.
“We are one of only about 100 universities in the U.S. who have received this designation, one of the few in rural areas, and most likely the smallest campus in the U.S.,” said Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause. “Special shout out to faculty and staff members Mitch Berg, Macey Buker, Rachel Lundbohm, Rob Proulx, and Teresa Spaeth who successfully led our campus to the designation status.”
“Economic development is a major pillar of universities’ work,” stated APLU President Mark Becker. “From talent development to path-breaking research to entrepreneurship and beyond, institutions have a central role to play in economic development. We’re pleased to recognize University of Minnesota Crookston for its commitment to engaging its community around these issues to advance regional economic development.”
UMN Crookston received the designation after an independent panel reviewed the school’s application, which included an internal review and analysis of its economic engagement activities that were conducted with outside stakeholder input.
As part of the self-study conducted with external stakeholders that was central to the designation application process, UMN Crookston identified three areas of institutional strength in economic engagement and described programs in these areas. Officials also identified areas for growth and improvement for the university’s economic engagement enterprise, and developed an improvement plan. This work demonstrated a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in this kind of engagement vital to universities and their regional partners.
UMN Crookston is now one of 80 higher education institutions designated as an IEP university. Institutions that have received the IEP designation have reported significant advancement of their efforts due to the stakeholder engagement and self-study efforts undertaken in conjunction with the program.
APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.5 billion in university-based research.