Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke recently facilitated a group of mayors, commissioners, and city and county council members to discuss the possibility of forming a Regional Planning Organization. The purpose of this group will be to "take this region to the next level", according to Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority.
"Indiana University Kokomo is committed to its regional campus mission to support the economic development of the region we serve," Sciame-Giesecke said. "Facilitating this initiative is a way for us to contribute to the creation of a regional organization. This meeting was a very good first step in this initiative. I look forward to our continued partnership."
Representatives from six counties – Howard, Cass, Clinton, Miami, Tipton, and Fulton – convened to share pros and cons of a regional effort, and plan to meet again on the IU Kokomo campus next month to consider setting a plan in motion.
David Terrell, executive director for the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs, said IU Kokomo as a convener of these meetings is incredibly important.
"More and more, we're relying on regional universities to step up. This helps move the community forward," Terrell said. "I'm thrilled this is happening, and that IU Kokomo is taking the lead."
County leaders expressed appreciation for campus administrators taking the initiative to encourage regional collaboration.
"I want to thank IU Kokomo for spear heading this effort," said Paul Wyman, Howard County Commissioner. "What happens in our region is very important for this community and for job creation. This is a big step forward in solving some of those issues."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.