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APLU Announces Inaugural Designation of 16 Institutions as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities

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APLU Announces Inaugural Designation of 16 Institutions as Innovation & Economic Prosperity Universities



CONTACT: Jana Smith, Director, Strategic Communications for R&D, (405) 325-1322,

NORMAN – In recognition of a strong commitment to economic engagement, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has designated the University of Oklahoma as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University. The new designation acknowledges OU's work with public and private sector partners in Oklahoma and the region to support economic development through a variety of activities, including innovation and entrepreneurship, technology transfer, talent and workforce development, and community development.

“OU is proud to receive this important national recognition of the high level of innovation on our campus," said OU President David L. Boren.

APLU’s Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity developed a set of “Institutional Assessment Tools to Enhance Regional Innovation and Prosperity” that helped university economic engagement leaders conduct an institutional self-study and evaluate university efforts in regional economic development. This work demonstrated a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in this area of work.

“We’re helping to provide tools to universities to help them become even more economically engaged with their communities, which is a core value of public institutions,” APLU President Peter McPherson said. “Universities are economic engines that not only directly employ people, but also generate research-based innovation and technical expertise that allow businesses to start up, grow, and thrive. This designation recognizes universities that are really stepping up to strengthen their local economy.”

The university's application was scored by a panel of reviewers representing other universities and APLU national partners, including the Association of University Research Parks, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Business – Higher Education Forum, National Association of System Heads, National Governors Association, and University Economic Development Association. Scoring was based on a range of criteria emphasizing development of OU's economic engagement enterprise, planning efforts around economic engagement, strategic communications around these efforts, and participation in encouraging economic engagement among peer institutions.

For more information about the OU Economic Development, visit or if you are interested in collaborating with OU, contact the OU Corporate Engagement Office at or 405-325-4625.

About APLU

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.

Other Designees 

The 16 institutions that compromise the inaugural class of Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities are: Boise State University; California State University, Fresno; Northern Illinois University; The Ohio State University; The State University of New York; University of Central Florida; University of Cincinnati; University of Georgia; University of Idaho; University of Memphis; University of Michigan; University of Minnesota; University of Missouri; University of Oklahoma; University of Toledo; and Washington State University.

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