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(November 18, 2013)
APLU Announces Four Winners of Inaugural Economic Prosperity University Awards; Honors Universities in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Ohio for Economic Engagement Efforts

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research, policy, and advocacy organization representing 219 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and related organizations. Founded in 1887, APLU is the nation's oldest higher education association with member institutions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories. Annually, member campuses enroll more than 3.8 million undergraduates and 1.2 million graduate students, award over 1 million degrees, employ nearly 1 million faculty and staff, and conduct more than $37 billion in university-based research.

Recognizing public universities that have demonstrated exemplary work in economic engagement, APLU on November 12 announced the four winners of its inaugural Economic Prosperity University Awards (IEPA). The winners—Northern Illinois University, The State University of New York, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Michigan—were drawn from a pool of 16 institutions that APLU recently designated as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities. The awards, which were given during APLU’s 126th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, are in the categories of innovation, place, and overall.

“These four institutions demonstrate the critical role that public universities play in taking cutting edge research and translating it into new opportunities for economic growth with businesses in their state,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “All of the schools that participated in this award process illustrated a core responsibility of public universities – giving back to their communities and state in ways that strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for residents of that state. APLU will continue to serve as a resource for public universities to expand their economic engagement activities to help advance their local economy.”

Each of the winning universities previously submitted an application to APLU to be designated as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University. The case studies that each institution developed as part of that application process, which will soon be publicly posted online at, were especially central to universities’ demonstration of their best practices and were critical in determining award finalists.

Economic engagement efforts include universities working with public and private sector partners in their states and regions to support economic development through a variety of activities -- innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

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