The WSU Office of the President posted the following blog today highlighting the university’s roots in research, establishing Washington’s land-grant institution as a leader in fostering innovation and economic prosperity.
December 9, 2013
Washington State University was created to be an engaged university. A critical part of our land-grant heritage is active partnership with communities, businesses, industry and stakeholders with an eye toward increasing quality of life and economic prosperity. Engagement continues to be an area of strength and point of pride today, nearly 125 years after our beginnings.
We earned the Carnegie Foundation’s “Engaged University” designation in 2008; last month, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities honored WSU’s efforts in economic development and engagement. We have been named one of just 16 universities from across the country in the APLU’s inaugural class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities. That honor was based on three exemplary programs at WSU fostering the development of place, talent and innovation for economic prosperity: the WSU Vancouver Business Growth Mentor & Analysis Program – place; the Energy Systems Innovation Center – talent; and the WSU startup company Food Chain Safety – innovation. These programs were central to WSU’s designation as they display a diverse picture of our contributions to the regional economy.
We dramatically revamped our engagement efforts in 2011 with establishment of the Office of Economic Development and External Affairs, led by Associate Vice President Anson Fatland. Located in Seattle, it oversees the offices of commercialization and corporate and foundation relations and the small business development centers.
Together these units work to connect WSU with businesses and communities across the state to increase the visibility and impact of innovations in science and technology. They promote partnerships with the people and programs at WSU that make us a truly engaged university. The examples chosen for the award application are only three of the hundreds of ways WSU contributes to economic development, and I am excited about the fresh and innovative approach we are pursuing.
Meaningful engagement with stakeholders is at the heart of who we are as an institution. With a working presence in each of the state’s 39 counties, the main Pullman campus and three urban campuses and a growing portfolio of programs in Everett, Bremerton, and four research and extension centers, we truly are Washington State’s University.