The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) named The University of Texas at El Paso a 2020 Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) designee in recognition of the University’s commitment to regional economic development.
APLU’s IEP Universities designation program recognizes institutions committed to university economic development and helps higher education institutions advance their support of economic and community development.
“UTEP has long identified as a community-engaged institution,” said John Wiebe, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “This designation recognizes our commitment not only to the educational, cultural and social prosperity of the region, but it speaks to the hard work of our faculty, staff and students to build UTEP’s role as an economic anchor for the community.”
IEP designees conduct a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement activities that includes input from external stakeholders. As part of the self-study, each institution identifies areas for growth and improvement within its economic engagement enterprise and develops an improvement plan.
This work demonstrates a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in this kind of engagement vital to universities and their regional partners.
UTEP’s Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce conducted a rigorous two-year study of how the University affected the local economy over the past 30 years in the areas of social mobility, job and opportunity creation and access to higher education.
Campus leaders will continue to invest in these key areas as well as expand the University’s efforts as a community resource of knowledge and information and contribute to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the region.
“Many communities are reeling from the economic devastation wrought by the global pandemic,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “As leaders in economic development, this year’s designees and award winners are well-positioned to play an important role in our economic recovery and help drive longer term economic growth and prosperity.”
This year, UTEP joins the University of Tennessee and the University of Utah as the latest cohort of IEP University designees. Nearly 70 institutions have been named IEP Universities designees since the program launched in 2012.