WRITER: Amanda Bradford
In recognition of its commitment to economic engagement, New Mexico State University has been designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and its Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity.
The designation acknowledges 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.
“This is exciting news,” NMSU President Garrey Carruthers said. “This designation recognizes NMSU’s contributions to economic development across the state and our work in creating the next generation of entrepreneurs for New Mexico.”
Eighteen universities received the designation in 2015, after conducting a thorough self-review with outside stakeholder input and subsequently submitting an application that went through a rigorous independent review process.
NMSU’s review and application addressed three key areas, according to Kevin Boberg, vice president for economic development: the university’s innovative approach to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization, its commitment to community engagement, and focus on career development.
“This designation is a recognition of our exemplary people and programs that address each of those areas,” Boberg said. “It acknowledges the breadth of NMSU’s economic engagement throughout the region.”
APLU President Peter McPherson said NMSU and the other universities that received the designation serve as wonderful models of how public research universities extend beyond their campuses to engage their communities in economic development that creates jobs and improves lives.
“Public universities serve as economic engines for their local communities and states,” McPherson said, “by conducting cutting-edge research to reach new breakthroughs and developing the talent to help existing businesses grow stronger and enable new ones to develop and thrive.”
Part of NMSU’s role as an IEP University will include providing mentorship to other university economic engagement leaders and participating in a community of learners that will share experiences during the designation’s 10-year period. The universities will provide an interim report on their growth and progress in economic engagement after five years, and must reapply to renew the designation in 2025.
The 17 other institutions that comprise the third annual class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities are Auburn University, Binghamton University, Clemson University, East Carolina University, Mississippi State University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Ohio University, Southern Illinois University, University of Arizona, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, University of Maryland, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of New Mexico, University of South Florida, Utah State University and Western University.
The APLU is the nation’s oldest higher education association, representing 238 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and related organizations. For more information and a complete list of APLU Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities, visit www.aplu.org.
In January, NMSU also received a 2015 Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. NMSU is one of 361 colleges and universities nationwide ¬– and the only one in New Mexico – to carry the Community Engagement Classification, which recognizes institutional commitment to programs and partnerships with community impact.