The Indiana University Council for Regional Engagement and Economic Development, or CREED, addresses regional economic concerns and identifies ways that IU can use its resources to advance economic development efforts in the state. Each IU campus has a CREED representative, appointed by that campus’s chancellor or provost.
Jason Troutwine has represented IU East since 2018. He is the vice chancellor for external affairs. He was kind enough to answer questions for Crimson Catalyst.
Crimson Catalyst: Why is community engagement important to IU East?
Jason Troutwine: Community engagement is a core value for the regional campuses. Our campus’s ability to provide leadership in our communities — a continual pipeline of educated, well-trained problem-solvers into our workforce and faculty members who can help provide strategic thinking and solutions to grow the area economy — is vital to our region’s success. In turn, our region provides a supportive environment and countless opportunities for our students to learn, grow and thrive.
CC: Why is regional economic development important to your campus?
JT: Regional economic development is critical to IU East. Economic development directly links to job creation and quality of life, which impact our region’s ability to retain graduates, recruit qualified professionals and create a culture of place. As a campus, we develop academic programs and initiatives that support economic development as well producing graduates that are prepared for positions in leadership, business or civic engagement. The School of Business and Economics offers four centers focused on developing the economy, collection of data, and enhances entrepreneurial or leadership skills for students and other community leaders. The centers and academic programs provide resources to improve the economy and workforce.
CC: What vision or priorities does your chancellor have regarding regional engagement and economic development?
JT: Chancellor Kathryn Cruz-Uribe is dedicated to our region and places a high priority on regional engagement and economic development. She serves on several area boards, including the Wayne County Area Chamber of Commerce board, the Reid Health board and several nonprofits aimed at improving the region’s quality of life. The chancellor is a champion of being a “steward of place,” recognizing that regional campuses have a responsibility to serve the area by providing leadership and access to education and training and being an active participant in the region’s planning. The campus supports economic development by providing employment. Additionally, faculty, staff and students give their time, talent and donations to local organizations and their communities, furthering the efforts led by Chancellor Cruz-Uribe.
CC: How has the region benefited from IU East’s involvement and leadership?
JT: IU East supports the region in many ways. For example, over 80 percent of our graduates stay in the region after they graduate. A recent study reported that more than 425 alumni of IU East’s School of Education are teachers in school systems within the region. We find similar statics in nursing: The IU East School of Nursing and Health Sciences is the primary pipeline for nurses to area health care providers such as Reid Health. Many of the region’s business leaders are also IU East alumni and hold positions such as bank CEOs, executive directors and vice presidents. In addition to providing training and a continued pipeline of well-educated graduates, the campus also contributes to the area’s quality of life through its arts programs, academic lectures, youth camps, athletic events and community collaborations.
CC: What potential opportunities exist for IU East and the region?
JT: There is always more to do. The campus is exploring more ways to integrate with area employers to strengthen internships, build better employment pipelines, increase innovation and entrepreneurial investment in our communities, retain and attract young professionals to the area, and continue to be advocates for the idea of “stewards of place.”