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University of Iowa News Release


May 10, 2010

UI faculty to visit Southeast Iowa May 19-20

The professors will become the students when a group of University of Iowa faculty members embarks on a two-day learning tour of Southeast Iowa this month. The fifth annual Faculty Engagement Corps will visit Fort Madison, Burlington and Columbus Junction, where UI faculty will meet with business, and civic leaders, visit schools, tour a hospital and discover the power of wind energy.

The trip allows faculty members to develop a clearer understanding of the cultural, historical, economic and educational underpinnings of the state, and introduces faculty to the communities from which their students come and in which the state taxpayers live.

"Often when our faculty and administrators visit Iowa communities, we are making presentations about an area of our expertise or sharing information about the university's mission, goals and achievements," said UI Provost Wallace Loh. "This trip is different. It's a learning mission for our faculty, an opportunity to find out how we can contribute to these communities' efforts and to learn from what they are already doing so well."

The group will start in Fort Madison on Wednesday, May 19, where it will tour Siemens Energy and meet with the executive team to learn about wind energy and the future of Iowa's green economy. From there the bus heads to Burlington, where the group will meet with leadership and staff at the Great River Medical Center day concludes with a dinner meeting with business and civic leaders who will share the successes and challenges of one of Iowa's oldest communities.

The tour's second day focuses on education, with May 20 visits to Southeastern Community College in the morning and Columbus Junction Community Schools in the afternoon.

The Engagement Corps began in 2006 as part of the university's Year of Public Engagement and now is supported by the Office of the Provost, the Faculty Senate and the Office of University Relations.

"I am so gratified at the gracious and generous way the hosting communities have opened their doors to us," said Loh. "I truly believe the university faculty are the net beneficiaries of this important exchange of ideas."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011,