University Economic Development Association

IEP Universities

Engaging in Economics


 The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) established the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP)  program to help higher education institutions strengthen their strategy and practices in economic and community development while providing due recognition to institutions that are exemplary in their institution-wide commitment to regional economic engagement.

Institutions complete the program collaboratively with APLU staff and a national community of practice. They exchange ideas, best practices, and shared challenges with like-minded peers across North America with the goal of strengthening their ecosystem that maximizes their institution’s economic and societal impact. Once designated, institutions implement the growth and improvement plan they implemented and participate in a variety of outreach efforts to elevate the visibility of their work in economic engagement – regionally and nationally.

UEDA’s Role Benefits Our Members

There are currently more than 85 IEP-designated institutions, and thanks to the partnership between APLU and UEDA, all UEDA member campuses that are not members of APLU are now able to participate in the IEP Program. Through UEDA+, all public post-secondary institutions are eligible to pursue the IEP Universities Designation and engage with the IEP community.

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement established the Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) Program to recognize institutions that have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to economic and community development. The IEP Program helps institutions to codify, elevate and advance their economic engagement enterprise which encompasses the many and varied ways universities work with their internal and external stakeholders to carry out:

  • Talent and workforce development
  • Innovation, entrepreneurship and technology-based economic development
  • Place development through public and community engagement

More than 85 institutions have earned this distinguished international recognition. IEP Universities complete a rigorous self-study of their economic engagement enterprise that allows them to inventory their true societal and economic impact while identifying strengths and areas of improvement in economic engagement. They exchange ideas and best practices with peers around North America and strengthen their overall ecosystem to support economic prosperity.

Once designated, the institution enters a vibrant national community of practice. Designated institutions are often times called upon to participate in special opportunities and events, including speaking engagements, and other initiatives undertaken by APLU and partner organizations to advance and elevate the profile of university economic engagement across North America and around the world.


More information is located on the APLU IEP website. Questions regarding the IEP Program should be addressed to APLU’s Alvaro Muñiz and UEDA’s Marty Romitti.