JANUARY 20, 2010


OSU and Community Join Forces for State Regents for Higher Education “Making Place Matter” Initiative

Oklahoma State University’s Center for Innovation and Economic Development (CIED) will lead a team made up of university and community leaders taking part in a regional stewardship initiative sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

“Making Place Matter” is a national initiative to encourage colleges and universities to become more engaged in the communities where they are located.

“OSU and Stillwater depend on each other. In a real sense, we share space and jointly we create our sense of place,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “So it is important that the university is constantly evaluating how it can be of service to the community and really be engaged in its growth.”

Leading the OSU “Making Place Matter” action team will be Joe Alexander, CIED President and OSU’s Director of External Affairs.

“At one level, Making Place Matter is about the university and Stillwater coming together to create a better community,” Alexander said. “It also involves changing the university’s level of engagement in the community.”

The primary goal of the initiative is to provide tools and practical insights to community and campus leaders as they work toward deepening their relationship to create more vital and viable place to live and work.

The 14-member Making Place Matter team has identified three large scale projects for 2010.These projects relate to improving communication and strategic planning among the university and regional leadership, enhancing the business environment to attract new jobs to Stillwater, and collaborating to develop a ‘green’ regional transportation system.

Future projects are planned in education, recycling, community health and other areas that are identified by university and community members as important for the entire region.

The team includes seven individuals associated with OSU and seven other business and community leaders from Stillwater.

OSU team members are Joe Alexander, president CIED; Renee Daugherty, professor human relations and family sciences; Glenn Freedman (team facilitator), vice president CIED; Carolynn Macallister, associate professor and director of Outreach Center for Veterinary Health Sciences; Robin Purdie, Director Seretean Wellness Center; Joe Weaver, associate vice president of business and finance, and Mike Woods, professor and department head of agriculture economics.

Also included on the team are Stillwater Mayor Nathan Bates; John Bartley, CEO Community Escrow and Title Company; Larry Brown, president and CEO Stillwater Chamber of Commerce; Kevin Fowler, vice president Stillwater National Bank; Rex Horning, president Stillwater National Bank; Pam Nelson, publisher Stillwater NewsPress, and David Swank, CEO Central Rural Electric Cooperative.