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K-State Today

January 9, 2017

K-State seeks Innovation and Economic Prosperity University designation from the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities

Submitted by President Richard Myers and Vice President for Research Peter Dorhout

Dear K-State faculty and staff,

Kansas State University is inextricably linked to the economic success of our state. As the first public land-grant institution to operate under the Morrill Act, we have a long history of building strategies to foster innovation, education, talent development, and technology transfer that are the building blocks of prosperity. We have improved lives since our doors opened in 1863, and now have the opportunity to join an elite group of universities in planning, assessing, and communicating our institution's work.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity created the Innovation and Economic Prosperity University Designation and Awards program to recognize universities that are leaders in spurring and promoting regional economic development. In August 2016, we submitted K-State's letter of intent to participate in the 2017 program.

Designation as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University will allow K-State to join a group of only 60 institutions across the country. This group of universities works to develop economic engagement leadership, shares best practices, and explores new partnerships with APLU member universities. As an IEP university, K-State will also work with external organizations to enhance visibility of our institutions' economic development work. Competing for the designation affords us the opportunity to communicate how K-State works with partners and stakeholders to create competitive advantages that advance society. Through our education, research, and services missions, we help partners realize individual, firm, community, and regional-to-global economic and social potential. It will also help us take an important step toward achieving our goal to be a Top 50 Public Research Institution.

Taking that step requires effort. The IEP program calls for a rigorous self-study to identify three areas of accomplishment or strength in economic engagement and three areas of improvement as we create a growth plan. We will identify these areas through surveys, focus groups, interviews, and listening tours with internal and external stakeholders. We'll also catalog programs, centers, institutes, and academic programs that impact economic development.

The Office of the Vice President for Research and the K-State Institute for Commercialization have convened an IEP Steering Committee comprising key university leaders to lead our self-study and to obtain this vital designation. The committee will meet monthly to guide the process, which includes surveys of internal and external stakeholders in early January and focus groups in late January and March. We hope you will support these efforts by completing the surveys and participating in focus groups as requested.

The deadline for submission is May 5. Read more information about the process and find out how to get involved.

Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of K-State and our region's economic prosperity.

Richard B. Myers, President
Peter K. Dorhout, Vice President for Research