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Strategic Plan

SIUE Institute for Urban Research
Strategic Plan, FY10

The IUR maintains two different agendas that serve as the center's strategic plan: a research agenda that prioritizes the research projects of the IUR, and an operational agenda that guides the research and organizational goals and compliance.

A. Alignment with the University Strategic Plan

SIUE's strategic plan has seven long-term goals that are supported by multiple short-term goals. Many of these are tied to the teaching and service functions of the University and, therefore, are only tangentially associated with the IUR's work.

  • Goal #1: Engaged Students and Capable Graduates-this goal is focused on the teaching function of the University; the IUR values strong classroom experiences and learning, and the IUR engages graduate assistants in meaningful research experience
  • Goal #2: Innovative High-Quality Programs-this goal is focused on the teaching function of the University; the IUR values the quality of academic programs and by advancing faculty research, the IUR is helping to advance classroom experiences
  • Goal #3: Committed Faculty and Staff-this goal is focused on faculty and staff development, salary fairness, and work climate; the IUR supports faculty in Operational Agenda item one
  • Goal #4: Harmonious Campus Climate-this goal is focused on valuing diversity and marketing positive messages internally and externally; the IUR maintains a harmonious working climate, and works with Marketing and Communications staff to contribute to internal and external communications as appropriate
  • Goal #5: Active Community Engagement-this goal is focused on connecting SIUE with the larger metropolitan area through key partnerships; while the IUR is not mentioned specifically in this goal, the IUR makes a significant effort to partner with various institutions around the region to advance research goals; this directly ties to IUR Operational Agenda items two and four, and to the entire IUR Research Agenda
  • Goal #6: Sound Physical and Financial Assets-this goal is focused on the management of physical space and financial assets; the IUR incorporates its portion of this goal in the IUR Operational Agenda items two, three, and five
  • Goal #7: Excellent Reputation-this goal emphasizes recognition for the good work SIUE does; this directly ties to the IUR Operational Agenda item four

B. IUR Goals and Achievement Measures for FY10

1. Research Goals and Actions

a. Understand Critical Issues in the Natural and Built Environment

Topic: Regional Infrastructure
Action: Engage the IUR in a working relationship with the Illinois Department of Transportation
Outcome: The IUR has been working with IDOT on measuring the statewide performance of the Job Access Reverse Commute project; a proposal was submitted, has been approved, and is awaiting funding by the State
Status: Complete

Topic: Brownfields and Land Re-use
Action: Engage the IUR in at least one research and funding opportunity related to the reuse of contaminated property; this can be done via Urban Scholars program
Outcome: The IUR has worked through the Applied Research Collaborative to secure a US Environmental Protection Agency grant for the City of East St. Louis for brownfield reuse and green jobs
Status: Complete

b. Understand Key Matters Facing Local Government

Topic: Taxation
Action: Complete the Land Value Taxation study with the 2009 data, and publicize appropriately
Outcome: IUR staff updated the LVT database with 2009 data, and the new document was presented to the American Statistical Association St. Louis Chapter; the presentation will become a web feature in the redesigned IUR website
Status: Complete

c. Build Databases and Literature on Issues Important to Urban Research

Topic: Property Values and Taxation
Action: Investigate the construction of a regional database on property assessments in the Metro East portion of the region
Outcome: IUR staff did a feasibility study of assembling a regional property assessment database and defined the scope of work needed to do this project; it was deemed feasible and is being pursued (see also next action)
Status: Complete

Action: Find RAPID dollars or another external grant for this project by making at least one application for funding
Outcome: The IUR pursued RAPID dollars to fund this project, but it was determined by the program officer to not qualify for funding; therefore, the IUR has prepared a grant for the Sloan Foundation to fund this project
Status: Complete

Topic: Publication and Presentation on Urban Issues
Action: Have at least one publication and/or one conference presentation on urban research; can be done as an urban scholar project
Outcome: The IUR held an Urban Scholars brownbag to discuss urban issues on campus, published St. Louis Currents on various urban issues, and then presented the St. Louis Regional Neighborhoods Conference (which had breakout sessions on various urban topics)
Status: Complete

Topic: GIS mapping as an urban research tool
Action: Identify a way to work with the Geography Department and/or the new Geospatial center to incorporate GIS into the IUR's capacity and work
Outcome: The directors of both units met and familiarized each other with the work of the respective units; it was agreed that it would be very beneficial for the units to work together. A formal understanding will be worked out once the GIS function is fully transitioned into the Geospatial Center.
Status: Complete as possible and continuing

2. Operational Goals and Actions

a. Support the research efforts of the faculty and academic units of SIUE, as well as the governing documents of SIUE and the Graduate School.

Topic: Engage the faculty in research
Action: Maintain at least eight urban scholars at all times in FY10
Outcome: The Urban Scholars program had a total of 12 faculty members involved over the course of the fiscal year, with at least eight being active at all times
Status: Complete

Action: Appropriately publicize support activity
Outcome: Application procedures and forms have been posted on the IUR website and availability of funding has been announced in Research Highlights. The IUR is working with the Marketing and Communications division to further increase the visibility of the Urban Scholars program
Status: Complete and continuing

b. Pursue entrepreneurial activity by being a resource for local government and community institutions.

Topic: Respond to RFPs and RFQs.
Action: Initiate at least five meetings in FY10 with potential clients and make sure they know about the contractual services of the IUR.
Outcome: The IUR met with multiple prospective clients in the current fiscal year, including the City of East St. Louis (resulted in contract), the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District (resulted in proposal, contract anticipated), the Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice initiative (interviewed), the Lewis and Clark Library System (resulted in pro-bono demonstration project), the Edwardsville YMCA (resulted in proposal), among many others.
Status: Complete

c. Pursue external funding for research at SIUE and the community in ways that it supports the IUR financially while advancing the IUR research agenda.

Topic: Increase the amount of grant applications coming out of the IUR.
Action: IUR affiliates will apply for $1 million in grants and contracts in FY10.
Outcome: The IUR pursued 16 projects valued at just over $1 million in FY10.
Status: Complete

d. Increase the visibility of the IUR on campus and in the bi-state region.

Topic: Appropriately prepare for and celebrate the IUR's 10th anniversary on July 1, 2010.
Action: Engage the Marketing and Communication unit, the Chancellor's Office, and the media to give the IUR exposure.
Outcome: A marketing plan has been developed by the Marketing and Communications unit, with a new logo having been designed, a new web URL secured, and the inclusion of the IUR in the upcoming "Thought Leaders" campaign; the Graduate Dean and Director met with the Provost to discuss the role the IUR can play, and the Provost was supportive of approaching the Chancellor to help in the marketing of the IUR
Status: Complete and continuing

Topic: Make SIUE (via the IUR) the leading authority on East St. Louis.
Action: Appropriately prepare for and celebrate East St. Louis' 150th anniversary in 2011.
Outcome: The IUR continues to plan for a significant celebration of ESL's 150th anniversary in 2011. Budget allocations have been made, contracts for publications are in place, event planning has begun; the key event sponsored by the IUR will be a conference at the Higher Education Center involving all living authors who have written about East St. Louis.
Status: Complete and continuing

Action: Engage in at least one publicly visible project involving East St. Louis.
Outcome: The IUR is a primary component of what's being called the "University Collaborative"-an informal gathering of all the higher education institutions doing business in East St. Louis; the collaborative has been meeting regularly and was "introduced" publicly to the City Council to show this new level of cooperation in the city; the various universities are going to collaborate on the celebration of ESL's 150th anniversary in 2011.
Status: Complete and continuing

Action: Publish work (using the Currents model) on East St. Louis.
Outcome: Three works are underway: a print volume of essays (edited by Mark Abbott, Harris-Stowe), an electronic history encyclopedia (edited by Charles Lumpkins, Penn State), and an electronic archival volume (edited by Steve Kerber, SIUE). All of these have been in work for FY10 and will have deliverables in FY11. Virginia Publishing has been formally engaged.
Status: Complete as possible and continuing

e. Fulfill all fiscal, professional, and personnel obligations as a unit of the Graduate School.

Topic: Maintain all necessary reports and standards.
Action: Establish IRB procedure for the IUR.
Outcome: The IUR internally has reviewed its IRB procedures and found that, internally, we are compliant with University requirements. The work done by the IUR (primarily anonymous survey work) is exempt, though there are possible projects that may come to the IUR through the Urban Scholars program that might need IRB review and approval. We have worked this into our Urban Scholars documents. A larger concern was raised that our clients may not be in compliance. In cases where this is suspected, IUR staff will make an inquiry, request that the other institution pursue appropriate IRB review, and if this is not available, run the IUR's portion of the project through the SIUE IRB. Please note that there have not been any instances of unethical research, and that this consideration is proactive rather than reactive.
Status: Complete

Action: Maintain ethics certification for all IUR employees.
Outcome: All employees of the IUR are compliant.
Status: Complete

C. External Grants and Contracts Received

  • East-West Gateway Council of Governments (multiple awards), $10,000
  • Grant Related Services to East St. Louis, $10,000
  • Washington University SEPE Course, $3,800
  • St. Louis Currents Sales, $1,000
  • Lewis and Clark Continuance Grant, $24,380 (in FY10) (with Mary Ann Boyd)
  • Cahokia YMCA Program Evaluation, $15,000 (in FY10) (via T. R. Carr)
  • Madison County 20-20 Plan, $24,380 (in FY10) (via T. R. Carr)

D. Outreach Activities (major events only)

  • St. Louis Regional Neighborhoods Conference: partnership between the IUR, Harris-Stowe State University, and the St. Louis Association of Community Organizations (SLACO). Drew about 200 participants; keynote speaker was nationally-syndicated Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Leonard Pitts; luncheon speaker was the Honorable Darlene Green, Comptroller of the City of St. Louis.
  • St. Louis Metropolitan Research Exchange: the IUR continues to participate with the STLMRE-an informal group of prominent urban scholars studying the bi-state region; this group co-sponsored St. Louis Currents and participated in the Regional Neighborhoods Conference.
  • Applied Research Collaborative: this innovative group (the applied research functions of SIUE, St. Louis University, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis) has joined together to provide contractual and pro-bono services to various clients in the bi-state region
  • University Collaborative: convened by Washington University and hosted by the East St. Louis Community College Center, this is consortium of all higher education institutions doing work in East St. Louis; multiple arms of SIUE are represented, including the IUR.
  • George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis: stemming from University Collaborative work, the IUR director taught an urban course called Social, Economic, and Political Environment of Social Work at GWB (for a fee paid to the IUR), and this summer the IUR will host a practicum student from GWB to do some of the planning work for the East St. Louis Sesquicentennial.
  • Strategic Planning and Survey Analysis: The IUR engaged in some small pro-bono demonstration projects for the Lewis and Clark Library System and the Children's Advocacy Center in Edwardsville.
    Guided Tours of East St. Louis: The IUR sponsored four bus tours of East St. Louis in association with the Graduate School Symposium and the CAS Colloquium-which brought about 40 faculty and staff members on tours led by Andrew Theising and Eugene Redmond. This coincided with Redmond's donation of his archival material to SIUE.
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