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South Dakota Rural Enterprise Opportunity Roundup - Universities engaged with the community and involved in economic development

“Our University is working on a vision that includes being engaged with the community and involved in economic development. We are looking for names of universities that are excelling in one or both of these areas.”

  • University of Wyoming has a strong Economic Development component and is heavily involved in our community.
  • University of Pennsylvania. Instead of building taller walls they engaged with the community and took some financial risks to help revitalize the neighborhood.
  • There has been a national "Outreach Scholarship Conference" for the past several years. Google the papers and proceedings from past conferences. For example, here is the website for the one last fall hosted by Ohio State
  • The huge project initiated several years ago by the Kellogg Foundation on "the engaged university."
  • Last fall, a symposium sponsored by the Chicago Federal Reserve was titled "Can Higher Education Foster Economic Growth?" It was not practitioner-oriented but may still be of some value. The following site will take you to the Chicago Fed Letter....and the March 2007 issue is the Conference Summary:
  • Cleveland State's Urban College ( They have Planning and Public Administration programs at graduate level with emphasis in ED. They are also creating a master's in Economic Development.
  • On the practitioner side they (Urban College) have 12 or so applied centers (eg Center for Economic Development, Center for Public Management and Great Lakes Environmental Finance Center [EPA funded center]) that offer outreach and interactive services to local, state and national clients.
  • The University of Northern Iowa has developed over time an excellent community engagement focus for a smaller, comprehensive public university. Within our Business and Community Services division ( are a variety of organizations who provide services to economic development organizations, communities and businesses. It has evolved over time and is very much been built based on the needs of Iowa.
  • The University of Missouri, through Extension's exCEED (Community Economic and Entrepreneurial Development) program, works directly with rual communities to create a new vision for their economic development future -- one based on local assets (place-based) and alternative strategies for economic development (e.g., something beyond the traditional attraction efforts). We also have a number of other programs that work directly with communities. In addition, the University has economic development publicly stated as its fourth mission and is in the midst of a identifying its roles and pulling
  • You may look to the universities that are participating in the Kauffman Campuses Initiative: . Washington University in St. Louis’ effort over the past several years appears to be producing many positive outcomes in the community.
  • California State University @ Fresno; Northern Kentucky University; University of North Carolina @ Pembroke; University of Northern Iowa (See
  • Virginia Tech...we are an affiliated effort to stimulate regional transformation, using a distributed research and community engagement model.
  • Institute for Advanced Learning & Research
  •, website of the Regional Jobs Initiative
  •; download the Innovation Economy Agenda, a ten year analysis of the valley and also you will find the report "Making the Grass Greener: Recommendations to Attract, Retain, Develop & Support Knowledge Workers."


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Sioux Falls, SD

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