Community connections and partnerships promote an understanding of IU East in our communities, which directly impacts our reputation, enrollment, availability of service learning and internship opportunities, hiring of our graduates and philanthropic support. IU East was started by the community, which raised funds to acquire the land upon which the campus sits, and the campus has always had strong community connections. One of the goals under this strategic priority was to revise our mission statement to better reflect these community connections. The revision was accomplished through an inclusive campus process, and the revised mission statement was approved by the IU East Faculty Senate in February of 2017, and the IU Board of Trustees in June of 2017. The new mission statement includes the following revised language regarding community:
An Active Partner in the Economic, Educational and Cultural Development of the Community and the Region
The campus is dedicated to being a strong partner in enhancing the educational, cultural, and economic development of the region it serves through community and civic engagement.
The campus has also had a long tradition of a strong and vibrant service-learning program, and that has continued during the course of the strategic plan. One of our goals under this priority was to continue to expand our already extensive community connections and to develop a number of more intentional and meaningful partnerships outside of service learning. Some accomplishments in this realm include:
- Richmond Art Museum: successful joint fund-raising/friend-raising annual signature event “Palette to Palate,” started in 2018.
- Richmond Art Museum and City of Richmond: partnered on an “Our Town” NEA grant, which included significant planning for a Wayne County Cultural Trail (IUE wound up taking the role of lead partner during the duration of the grant).
- Richmond Symphony Orchestra: IU East student dance squad (Pack Attack) featured at the RSO signature event each year, bringing further exposure for the campus.
- Genesis of Richmond and Earlham College: Deputy Title IX officer collaborates annually with Genesis (which serves domestic violence/sexual assault victims) and Earlham on events aimed at sexual assault awareness, including “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and a “Clothesline” event.
- Preble County (Ohio) Development Partnership: IU East was invited to be a partner in this partnership, with a seat on the board, held by Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Jason Troutwine. This is part of a strategic effort to increase our presence in Preble County, to build enrollment as well as opportunities for internships and job placements.
- Reid Health (largest employer in our region): internship partnership for a variety of academic areas such as marketing (in addition to our very important nursing placements).
- Randolph County Foundation: partnership that brings 300 third graders to campus on an annual basis for the Randolph County Promise “Walk Into My Future” event. The students visit campus and participate in a variety of activities with faculty and staff; the idea is to encourage future college attendance.
- Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce and IU East Alumni Association: partnership for “Adulting 101,” a program sponsored by First Bank Richmond that provides sessions on topics such as spending, building credit, networking and balancing work and life. These sessions have been particularly popular with our local young professionals group, HYPE (Helping Young Professionals Engage).
- Third Grade Reading Academy: We host this program each summer on campus; the project involves numerous faculty and staff as well as students in a community program that helps children bring their reading skills up to grade level
- New Castle Community School Corporation: we facilitated transfer of the underutilized Danielson Center, our facility in New Castle, Indiana to the school corporation to be used for educational purposes
Our employees serve on a number of key boards and organizations in our communities, often taking leadership roles. These organizations include those concerned with economic development as well as cultural amenities. Examples during the time frame of the Strategic Plan include:
- Amigos, the Richmond Latino center
- Centerville Dollars for Scholars
- Centerville School Corporation
- City Center Development Corporation
- Communities in Schools
- Community Leadership Council
- Every Child Can Read
- First Bank Richmond
- Forward Wayne County
- Hayes Arboretum
- Neighborhood Health Center
- Preble County Chamber of Commerce
- Preble County Development Partnership
- Reid Health
- Richmond Neighborhood Restoration
- Richmond Symphony Orchestra
- Richmond Art Museum
- Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce
- Wayne County Foundation
- Wayne County Historical Museum
- Whitewater Community Television (WCTV)
IU East’s important role in the community leadership has been recognized with awards, including:
- Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce “Achievement of Excellence, Non-Profit Growth and Expansion” award (2013)
- Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce “Corporation of the Year” (2016) (Note that this category includes non-profits); recognized at the annual dinner, one of Wayne County’s largest events, with over 500 attendees
Other accomplishments under this priority include:
- Created a “Community Engagement Commons” area in the campus library (a focus for our outreach efforts)
- Office of Career Services collaborated with the Office of External Affairs and obtained a grant from the Wayne County Foundation for a new program called “Empower Wayne County,” which connected five area non-profit organizations with teams of IU East students to develop new programs or tackle projects to help their organizations move forward (2019).
- Developed a campus sustainability initiative, with the formation of a campus Sustainability Council, originally funded by a Chancellor’s Innovation Grant in 2016
- Instituted “Chancellor’s Community Engagement Course Development Grants” (started in 2018) to support faculty interested in incorporating community engagement activities into their courses.
Examples of awards given:
- Carrie Mier, Assistant Professor of Criminology: developed a Criminal Justice Special Topics course to engage students and community partners in finding solutions to the current opioid crisis and substance abuse more broadly
- LaDonna Dulemba, Assistant Professor of Nursing and Robin Brunk, lecturer in Nursing: redesign of the nursing program’s Promoting Healthy Populations practicum to focus on community health, including training for healthy coaching initiatives
- Margaret Thomas Evans, Chair of the English department: developed a “Community Grant Writing” course—where students form partnerships in their own communities by assisting local organizations with grant writing
- Deborah Miller, Assistant Professor of Psychology: “Supervised Research and Student Learning”—combines research and service learning in a highly mentored experience, where psychology students collaborate with mental health facilities to address real life, critical issues