BGSU one of just 60 institutions in North America to receive designation as an ‘Innovation and Economic Prosperity University’


Bowling Green State University has been designated an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) and its Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity. BGSU is one of just 60 institutions in North America to receive this internationally recognized distinction, demonstrating the University’s commitment to economic and community engagement.

Universities are awarded based on the quality of their connections with public and private sector partners in their region. To be considered for the designation, the APLU requires applying universities to complete a rigorous self-study and regional-engagement report. Within the self-study, BGSU highlighted such achievements as its Center for Regional Development generating $5 million for community enhancement, the NWO COSMOS project raising $22 million for STEM teacher training within the region, and participation in “Not in Our Town” a partnership with the city of Bowling Green to act against hate and discrimination within the community, which received a national ImpACT Award from the International Town and Gown Association in 2016.

“We are honored to receive this distinction from APLU,” said BGSU President Rodney Rogers. “As a public university, BGSU understands its responsibility to create public good through teaching, research and community engagement. It’s our mission and our passion.”

According to Rogers, it’s notable that BGSU is the only public University to receive the recognition that doesn’t have an engineering or medical school – two significant economic drivers.

“This really speaks to how we engage with our community,” he said. “Our work extends beyond science and technology which, while important, do not fully address the human needs of society. We are working to support and develop communities as a whole – economically, organizationally, culturally and socially. Together, we’re strengthening the communities where we live and work, our region and our state.”

Development projects at the University include:

  • “Vital Communities Initiative,” which pairs BGSU students and faculty members with Ohio communities – Sandusky and Bowling Green are current partners – to identify and address projects that engage students in high impact learning, impact citizens of our region, and catalyze community and university resources for sustainable, livable and vibrant communities.
  • Development of an "Early Warning Model" to identify communities at risk of economic distress.; 
  • A campaign to establish the first Center for Oceans and Human Health in the Great Lakes region, which will address harmful algal blooms and their impact on human health.

Being named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University gives BGSU an enhanced platform to showcase research strengths and objectives, as well as increased exposure for national and international partnerships. The designation would not be possible without BGSU’s commitment to local and regional development through active and engaged community involvement, Rogers said.

The designation will be formally announced during the APLU annual meeting Nov. 11, 2018, in New Orleans.

Updated: 08/02/2018 11:00AM