Recently, I was invited to chair the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Committee on Economic and Workforce Development. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the invitation, because the assignment fits right in with what we are doing here at IUP.
IUP and other universities like ours have symbiotic relationships with our host regions. We are an integral part of their culture, economic growth, and general well-being. In return, they give our students a place to conduct field work and find solutions to real problems as they work side by side with their professors and grow as citizens.
Here’s an example.
For a long time, Americans have been demanding a focus on energy independence, although as a nation we may not agree on how to achieve it. IUP’s campuses are situated on what might be the second largest natural gas deposit in the world. Every day, we see or hear in the news media something about drilling—from how it causes contamination to how it will save the economy. The pursuit of energy independence is multifaceted—with geology, geography, biology, chemistry, safety science, economics, and business at play. It affects communities in ways we cannot anticipate, of concern to anthropologists, criminologists, and sociologists—experts who can actively manage resulting social changes.
As a steward of the region, IUP must be ready to respond to any number of pivotal issues, energy included. That’s why we recently developed three new courses of study for our students—management majors in professional land management, energy management, and energy accounting and finance; we are in the midst of developing a major in environmental engineering.
For similar reasons, we are developing new programs in public health—the art and science of creating healthy communities—and digital science and security, because we know that technology is making the world a smaller and, in some ways, a more dangerous place.
All of these programs are multidisciplinary. In today’s world, what isn’t? And, why shouldn’t we expect things to continue to be in the future?
It’s our duty to prepare students not just for what they will face upon graduation, but for a world we cannot possibly imagine in a decade or more.
We owe it to them—and to everyone.
Michael A. Driscoll
With the help of botanists, arborists, faculty and staff members, students, and many other supporters, this beloved campus landmark is returning to the beauty of years past.
Nearly 900 strong, the international student population at IUP is enhancing the learning experience for everyone.
President Driscoll discusses how IUP is preparing students to respond to the pivotal issues of today and tomorrow, such as energy independence.
Selected IUP faculty respond to the question:"As it relates to your academic discipline, what specific historical event is the most underestimated in terms of its impact on society?"
Using hammers, paint brushes, bats, and baseballs, a number of IUP student-athletes have helped build villages—and spirit—in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
For alumni and students seeking careers, IUP offers help in many forms. Among the most effective is connecting them with other alumni.