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The Regional Engagement and Economic Development division was formed to partner with the communities that Wichita State University serves to increase capacity, improve sustainability, and foster conditions necessary for economic prosperity. We strive to promote the mission of the university to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good.

Centers/ Programs

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The Community Engagement Institute promotes best practices in organizations and communities interested in improving people’s lives.

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The Public Policy and Management Center advances public good by strengthening people, organizations and communities through research and talent development.

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The Kansas Small Business Development Center offers no-cost advising to help you start or grow your business. Plus more than 100 training events each year.

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Office of Special Programs

Provides comprehensive services to individuals who have limited-incomes, identify as first-generation, are in foster care or are differently-abled. We further the success and well-being of clients through academic, career, social, and accomodation services. 


GEAR UP staff


Wichita GEAR UP is combination of college access programs, working together to help students successfully graduate high school prepared for post-secondary education.

REED overview graphic: REED at the center surrounded by Faculty Research, Student Service Learning, Community Partners and Community NeedsOur Why ...

The communities that we serve are inclusive of both those on and off campus, persons and organized groups, as well as government and non-government entities. Wichita State University is the state’s major urban research and innovation university. As such, we are committed to increasing economic development and prosperity for the people and communities of Kansas by addressing income inequality and overcoming health and education disparities.

The Division of Regional Engagement and Economic Development (REED) has adopted the following definitions of engagement and economic development, from a framework developed by the University Economic Development Association’s (UEDA). 

In higher education, economic development means proactive institutional engagement, with partners and stakeholders, in sustainable growth of the competitive capacities that contribute to the advancement of society through the realization of individual, firm, community, and regional-to-global economic and social potential.

REED partners with community stakeholders to create the conditions necessary for economic prosperity. Wichita State honors its history as a municipal university in our efforts to engage the community in ways that support our neighborhood, city, region, state and beyond.  The division is a part of a larger university effort to drive economics, education, and culture. The other components of the university strategy include

REED scope graphic: Bullseye graphic with Neighboring Community in the center; Wichita on the next level; and South-Central Kansas on the outer level.

What We Do

The Division of Regional Engagement and Economic Development (REED) supports the university mission by:

University Support

  • Management of partnerships with numerous groups
  • Front-door for community agents who desire connection to campus community

Community Support

  • Connection to faculty and staff
  • Assistance with project visioning and development

Unit Support

  • General oversight
  • Grant solicition