The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) recently designated the University of North Carolina Wilmington an “Innovation & Economic Prosperity University,” according to a UNCW announcement Monday.
A news release stated 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."
UNCW Chancellor Aswani Volety stated in the release, "UNCW faculty and staff are committed to enhancing our campus-to-community connections as we work with regional business and nonprofit leaders to evaluate market forces and address civic concerns to create and grow programs that are good for our students, the region and the State of North Carolina.”
UNCW received the IEP designation after a two-year application process led by a campus-wide IEP Chancellor’s Advisory Committee, according to the release. Under the advisement of Jeanine M. Mingé, associate provost for community engagement and impact; Mark Lanier, assistant to the chancellor and assistant secretary to the UNCW Board of Trustees; and Stuart Borrett, associate provost for research and innovation, the committee convened UNCW faculty, administrators, staff and community partners to work in the areas of talent, innovation and place, the release stated.
“Economic development is a major pillar of universities’ work,” said APLU President Mark Becker in the release. “From talent development to pathbreaking research to entrepreneurship and beyond, institutions have a central role to play in economic development. We’re pleased to recognize UNCW for its commitment to engaging its community around these issues to advance regional economic development.”
University strengths, according to the release, were noted in three areas: 1) community engagement and equity; 2) Blue Economy, coastal resilience, innovation and entrepreneurship; and 3) the talent pipeline developed in partnership with surrounding communities.
UNCW is one of 80 higher education institutions nationwide designated by APLU as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity university.
The release stated, "In keeping with the APLU IEP mission, Mingé cited a new UNCW initiative that promotes university and community collaboration for the greater good called 'Change the TIDES.' TIDES stands for Talent, Innovation, Development, Engagement and Social impact."
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