The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) recently designated the University of North Carolina at Wilmington as a “University of Innovation and Economic Prosperity,” according to a UNCW announcement Monday.
A press release said the national designation “recognizes 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 said in the statement, “UNCW faculty and staff are committed to improving our campus-community connections as we work with regional business leaders. and nonprofit to assess market forces and address civic concerns in order 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. Led by Jeanine M. Mingé, Associate Vice-Principal Community Engagement and Impact; Mark Lanier, Assistant to the Chancellor and Deputy Secretary of the UNCW Board; and Stuart Borrett, associate provost for research and innovation, the committee brought together UNCW faculty, administrators, staff and community partners to work on talent, innovation and place, says the press release.
“Economic development is a major pillar of the work of universities,” APLU President Mark Becker said in the statement. “From talent development to innovative research to entrepreneurship and beyond, institutions have a central role to play in economic development. We are pleased to recognize UNCW for its commitment to mobilizing its community around these issues to advance regional economic development.
According to the release, the university’s strengths were noted in three areas: 1) community engagement and equity; 2) Blue economy, coastal resilience, innovation and entrepreneurship; and 3) the talent pool developed in partnership with surrounding communities.
UNCW is one of 80 institutions of higher education nationwide designated by APLU as a University of Innovation and Economic Prosperity.
The statement read, “In line with the mission of the APLU IEP, Mingé cited a new UNCW initiative that promotes academic and community collaboration for the greater good called ‘Change the TIDES’. TIDES stands for Talent, Innovation, Development, Commitment and Social Impact.”