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University of Iowa News Release


May 12, 2011

UI faculty will travel Iowa May 18-20

The professors will become the students when a group of University of Iowa faculty members embarks on a three-day learning tour of Iowa this month. The sixth annual Faculty Engagement Corps will visit Marshalltown, Webster City, Goodell and Des Moines, where UI faculty will meet with business, and civic leaders, visit schools, tour a hospital and learn first-hand how state regulations impact small towns.

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.

"The University has so many connections to communities all over the state," said UI Interim Executive Vice President and Provost P. Barry Butler. "But this trip is special. It's our chance to listen and learn -- about the things these communities are doing so well and how we can most effectively contribute."

The group will start in Marshalltown on Wednesday, May 18, where they'll meet with students, faculty and administrators at Marshalltown High School. From there the bus heads to Webster City where the group will meet with business and civic leaders who will share the successes and challenges of economic development in a rural region.

The tour's second day begins with a visit to Webster City's brand new Hamilton Hospital, opened in fall 2010. Afterward, the bus heads north to the small community of Goodell, where the 150 residents are struggling to bring wastewater treatment facilities up to 21st century standards. The group will then head to Des Moines for a dinner meeting with civic leaders to discuss urban renewal.

The trip will conclude May 20 with a focus on state government, including meetings at the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Education, and Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

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.

"It's great to see what a successful initiative this has been over the past several years," said Butler. "It's a real eye-opener for our faculty, and they always come away from it energized and full of new ideas for collaboration."

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,