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Unleashing the power of IU to positively impact Hoosier communities


As our state’s flagship public research university, Indiana University plays a critical role in directly contributing to the economic vitality of Indiana and enhancing quality of life for all Hoosiers.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with IU Vice President for University Relations Michael Huber and Angela Smith-Jones, associate vice president for state relations. Along with their trusted government relations and economic engagement colleagues, they’re helping lead the effort to unleash the power of IU’s world-class teaching and research enterprise to positively impact communities across the state.

Their efforts reflect IU’s mission, as outlined in the ambitious goals of the IU 2030 strategic plan, to accelerate the development of critical and emerging sectors of the state’s economy, including the health and life sciences, microelectronics and nanotechnology, and national security and defense. At the core of their work is a clear focus: to leverage IU’s vast educational resources, talent, expertise, discoveries, and innovations to make our local communities, state, and country a better place. 

During our conversation, we explored how their teams help pave the way for progress within our IU 2030 strategic plan—including identifying funding and expanding opportunities for IU faculty across our campuses. 

Angela Smith-Jones summed it up well, “We’re here. We have talent. We have resources. We have research. We have the capability. And we want to partner with the community. We are committed to being innovative in this space.”

That commitment is manifesting itself in several major IU investments and initiatives, including historic, multimillion-dollar strategic investments in advancing Indiana’s leadership in microelectronics and biosciences, the creation of two new life sciences research institutes at IU Indianapolis, and the launch of IU Innovates to catalyze high-potential student and faculty entrepreneurship, to name just a few.

While most university relations work happens behind the scenes, the team’s mission isn’t confidential. Our mission is to reach well beyond the walls of the university to contribute to the future health, economic development, and prosperity of our great state and all who are privileged to call it home.

Pamela Whitten

Indiana University

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