Initiative deepens PNW’s commitment to NW Indiana
Today Purdue University Northwest (PNW) was selected as an inaugural member of the Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative, a collaboration of 30 colleges and universities across the U.S. sharing strategies for enhancing the economic and social well-being of communities they serve.
PNW’s participation arrived at the perfect time said Mary Jane Eisenhauer, interim director of Strategic Partnerships.
“PNW enjoys a rich history of partnerships throughout the region, the state, and with national and international partners,” said Eisenhauer. “Both the Hammond and Westville campuses are widely recognized for being a good neighbor, contributing to the industry, health, vibrancy and quality of life in our surrounding communities.”
The collaboration strengthens PNW’s capacity to cultivate deliberate partnerships to purposefully contribute to the complex economic, social, educational and environmental landscape across northwest Indiana.
Institutions like PNW will be considered anchor institutions—local economic engines and mission-driven organizations inextricably linked to the long-term well-being of their local communities. Actively supporting the region’s economy is a vital part of PNW’s vision and values. The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative provides PNW a national platform to accelerate this important work.
The Higher Education Anchor Mission Initiative is a joint project of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), a national organization dedicated to connecting urban universities and their partners, and The Democracy Collaborative (TDC), a national research institute developing strategies for a more democratic economy, and is supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. According to Ted Howard, TDC President, “colleges and universities in the U.S. collectively employ over 4 million people, spend over $43 billion each year, and hold over half a trillion dollars in their endowments, which means their potential impact as community wealth building anchor institutions is enormous.”
Recognizing this potential, CUMU has worked with TDC to select leading higher education institutions from its membership to join the Initiative as inaugural members. For CUMU Executive Director Bobbie Laur, “The Initiative is invaluable to CUMU members. Whether public or private, CUMU member institutions are anchored by place and recognize an obligation to their communities to address challenges and work with partners to find creative, equitable solutions. This Initiative will guide universities across the country to expand current collaborative work and to form more strategic partnerships that benefit the economic and social well-being of their communities.”