In August 2009, GRC convened the Community and Economic Development Task Force to establish models of research and sponsored programs that promote institutional-community partnerships and innovation transfer leading to healthy communities and regional economic development.
The task force developed an innovative approach to convey the role of regional comprehensive universities in the community-workforce-economic development continuum. The task force operates on the basis that research and sponsored programs are at the center of the network connecting program officers, principal investigators and project directors, partner organizations, and the senior administrators whose support is so critical for successful collaborative proposals. Through their offices of research and sponsored programs, AASCU and GRC member institutions are receiving in-depth, practical knowledge by policy-sharing, analysis of model programs and their potential replicability, and a monthly web conference series. This web-based training is delivered in 90-minute sessions led by national experts in the issues surrounding community and economic development, paired with moderators who know the particular factors faced by comprehensive universities engaged in efforts to improve their local communities and the national economy.
A companion series providing high-level synthesis of the most pressing issues covered in the regular web conference series will be launched in January 2013. Presidents and provosts will receive briefings on the legislation, federal policy changes, agency requirements, and funding streams that can promote—or impede—successful community and economic development initiatives at the institutional level.