Go directly to main content

IU Kokomo makes top three finalists in national award for economic leadership

September 12, 2012
KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo is one of three finalists for an award for economic leadership and collaboration, given by a national organization that works to expand economic opportunities by using university and community resources.

HarrispicChancellor Michael Harris

Chancellor Michael Harris and Vice Chancellor Penny Lee will present the Indiana University Kokomo Regional Transformation Initiative at the University Economic Development Association (UEDA) annual summit, October 21-24 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Those attending will vote among finalists in five categories, with awards to be presented during the summit.

Harris is "deeply humbled" for the recognition by the UEDA.

"Working together with governments and businesses reaffirms the value of the triple helix, and this recognition demonstrates that IU Kokomo significantly helped in the improved prosperity of the region, and its economy," Harris said, adding that the award is recognition of efforts by IU Kokomo's faculty and staff, and leaders in the 14 counties the campus serves.

"It is extremely rewarding to know that after two years of very hard work, we have made such a significant impact, to be recognized as one of just three finalists in the category of Leadership and Collaboration by UEDA," he said. "This is particularly meaningful because this category recognizes innovative efforts by colleges and universities to support the development of collaborative economic development strategies and the leaders required to implement them. The other finalists are exceptional universities, and equally deserving of this great award."

Lee, vice chancellor for public affairs and advancement, is proud of the recognition for IU Kokomo's efforts to lead the region's economy from traditional manufacturing to an economy of knowledge, based on innovation and entrepreneurism.

"We have a clear and emerging role in serving as a leader and partner in regional transformation," she said. "Chancellor Harris has made regional transformation one of his three campus priorities, and we are proud of the progress made in the last two years."

The campus has hosted multiple events to encourage leaders to consider regional planning in economic development, and to discuss the triple helix of government, business, and education working together. Harris commissioned a regional benchmarking study, which was the focus of one meeting, and presented an analysis of the campus' economic impact at a Regional Town Hall meeting.

Because of these efforts, IU Kokomo is recognized throughout the region as a catalyst for regional transformation. Campus officials have been approached to provide support for mayors and commissioners of a six-county area as they form a regional planning organization. It also has been selected as a partner with IU and Purdue in creating "The Indiana Innovation Platform: a Proof of Concept Accelerator," due to the enthusiasm, energy and dynamic actions in the area of regional transformation.

The campus plans to continue its efforts, expanding its community partnerships and hosting regional leader events to continue innovative and entrepreneurial efforts to launch a bright and prosperous future for north central Indiana.

Other finalists for the Leadership and Collaboration awards are from University of Georgia and Kansas State University. The association also gives awards for Community Connected Campus, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Research and Analysis, and Talent Development.

Harris and Lee also will be keynote speakers for the summit, about "Creating a Culture for Regional Transformation," further recognition for the campus' leadership.

The UEDA is the cornerstone membership organization representing higher education, private sector, and community economic development stakeholders. The association works to expand economic opportunities in communities by leveraging community resources, resources, campus planning, talent development, and technology commercialization.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 08/26/2014