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Jane Jankowski
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, September 18, 2003

Task force creating economic development strategy for IU

An internal university task force is exploring ways that Indiana University can more strategically contribute to economic development in the state and beyond. IU President Adam W. Herbert established the task force several weeks ago to initiate strategies that will strengthen the university's role in fostering economic growth and development.

The chair of the task force, William B. Stephan, IU vice president for public affairs and government relations, told the IU Board of Trustees on Wednesday (Sept. 17) that while the group is just beginning its work, it will quickly identify near-term and long-term goals that will enable the university to pursue untapped opportunities and perform at optimal levels.

"There is a great inventory of university economic development work already under way, and we will develop recommendations to efficiently organize and structure our activities to maximize our efforts," Stephan said.

Task force members will consult widely within the university and with outside groups, such as business associations, elected officials and other research institutions as they begin to put together recommendations regarding policies and objectives, financial considerations, appropriate coordination and implementation structures, and new or expanded entrepreneurial initiatives.

The report will also include such items as an overview of current university economic development activities and a description of units within the university through which economic development activities are conducted.

"One of the features that distinguishes Indiana University is our strong tradition in the arts and humanities. That is a unique element of associated activity that we can use to attract talent and resources to strengthen our state's economy," Stephan said.

The task force will soon begin to conduct meetings and forums with various constituencies to gather facts and ideas. Other members of the task force are D. Craig Brater, dean of the IU School of Medicine; J. Terry Clapacs, vice president and chief administrative officer; Mark S. Long, president of the Advanced Research and Technology Institute; Michael A. McRobbie, vice president for research, vice president for information technology and chief information officer; Kumble R. Subbaswamy, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington; and Judith Palmer, vice president and chief financial officer.