The University of Southern Indiana is actively engaged in developing economic, cultural, and educational opportunities throughout the region. The University engages with area business, industry, social and governmental agencies for applied and partnership initiatives related to the problems and concerns of economic and workforce development, entrepreneurship and innovation, tourism and recreation, health‑care delivery, gerontology, energy development, and environmental-quality analysis.
While service to the region has always been a core value of the institution, an expanded focus on outreach and engagement is shaping new awareness and the intentional positioning of the University's role in the region. Expectations from government, business, and community leaders that USI provides leadership to economic and workforce development initiatives is reflected in institutional emphasis on applied research, scholarly engagement, service learning, faculty and student consulting, and regional partnerships. Faculty, staff and student expertise is extended to activities throughout the region while community groups often use academic resources and facilities on campus.
Workforce development opportunities are offered through targeted degree credit programs, noncredit and contractual programs for a variety of industries, on-site training, online programs, and partnerships with regional economic development organizations.
Volunteer USI is coordinated through USI Alumni and Volunteer Services and is a University-wide program to recruit, place and recognize volunteers who give their services and talents to benefit USI and the surrounding communities.
Volunteer USI contributed 61,715 hours in 2020–2021.
New Harmony, Indiana
Since 1985 USI has provided oversight and management to the historic town of New Harmony, Indiana, a community with a rich intellectual and cultural heritage. It was the site of two utopian community experiments in the early 1800s, and today is a destination for tourists and arts patrons. The University operates the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art and offers tourism and education programs about the community at the Atheneum Visitors Center.
The Carnegie Foundation
Since 2008, USI has held the distinguished Community Engagement Classification from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This achievement recognizes USI’s ongoing collaboration with the Tri-state community and beyond in both curricular engagement and outreach and partnerships. USI is one of only 361 campuses nationwide that holds this designation.