President Barron to lead national discussion on university research impact

June 13, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State President Eric J. Barron will host higher education leaders from across the country next week as part of the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities (APLU) 2019 joint summer meeting for the Commission on Economic & Community Engagement (CECE) and Council on Research (CoR).

As chair of the APLU’s Commission on Economic and Community Engagement, Barron, along with Penn State Vice President for Research Neil Sharkey, will help lead discussions on how universities can better serve their communities by maximizing the impact of university research on the economy and society through:

  • public impact-focused research
  • placing an emphasis on innovation and economic prosperity and
  • addressing community problems through undergraduate student entrepreneurship.

Barron was appointed to his APLU leadership position in November 2017, and has helped guide the organization into its second decade of defining and influencing university economic and community engagement, with an emphasis on student entrepreneurship and business development.

During his leadership tenure, Barron presented a new policy blueprint for how public universities and the federal government can strengthen their partnership to build a modern workforce and authored a Newsweek op-Ed about the importance of university support for student entrepreneurs.

In his leadership role, Barron has worked to promote and exchange information on the success of programs like Invent Penn State, a state-wide initiative he launched in 2015, that has created and funded 21 innovation hubs across Pennsylvania. These innovation hubs focus on what Penn State, as a major public research university, can provide to foster student entrepreneurship and business growth, as well as spur economic development through job creation and research innovation. These hubs have supplied the necessary tools for 1,792 entrepreneurs to grow their business plans, along with the development of 170 new products, the establishment of 45 Pennsylvania companies, the creation of 424 jobs and internships and the engagement of 5,049 faculty, students and staff.

The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The 2019 summer meetings will be held from June 16-19, 2019, in State College, Pa.

Last Updated July 09, 2019