Message from Vice President Kearns

A Message from Vice President Kearns

Kevin KearnsWelcome to the Division of Engagement and Economic Development (EED)! Our mission is to facilitate and support university - community collaborations that enhance the intellectual, cultural, artistic, and economic vibrancy of our region. Such collaborations include active community engagement and partnerships with local and regional organizations, governments, businesses, and universities.

As the newest division of the university, our mission reflects Fredonia’s commitment to the values outlined in the Power of Fredonia strategic plan: “Fredonia depends upon shared and vital networks of involvement, communication, and understanding in our relationships with one another and in our connections to Chautauqua County and the broader region. As a public, regional university, Fredonia has an important role in the cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of the region. Community engagement is valued both as a form of faculty scholarship and as an important learning experience for students. As a community that values creativity and collaboration, Fredonia relies on the diverse perspectives each person brings to campus relations and community partnerships.”

We are excited to work across all divisions of the university as we document our level of community engagement and regional economic impact, and we look forward to working with community partners to enhance the quality of life in our area. We invite you to learn more about our long standing involvement in the community through the Career Development Office (CDO), the Native American SUNY: Western Consortium, and other engaged units across the university. The CDO enhances our regional vitality through community engagement by connecting the talents, knowledge and passions of Fredonia's students, faculty, and staff to employers, addressing community needs and creating applied learning opportunities. The Native American Consortium is one of two consortia created by the State University of New York (SUNY) to address the higher education needs of Native American students and communities.

Another example of Fredonia’s long standing commitment to community engagement and economic development is the Fredonia Technology Incubator (FTI) in Dunkirk, NY. The 22,000 square foot LEED Silver facility houses a variety of small startup companies. The Incubator staff provides support, mentorship, and assistance to the startup companies that aspire to grow their businesses and graduate into the community. Clients in the incubator are given access to business resources and assistance, technology expertise, and a wide range of highly qualified faculty and business mentors that enhance their chances to succeeded and thrive. The Fredonia Center for Social Entrepreneurship program, a graduate of the FTI, continues to actively serve the community with programs such as Spoke Folk and Meals on Two Wheels.

We are committed to working collaboratively on programs and initiatives that can contribute to the economic and intellectual vitality of our region. New York State’s StartUP NY program, a tax free incentive program designed to attract businesses and jobs to the state, is a prime opportunity for regional cooperation. To maximize the economic impact of the initiative, we are working closely with SUNY institutions in the region to create jobs and prosperity, and revitalize our local economy. We are also partnering with Chautauqua County Government, the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), the City of Dunkirk, the Village of Fredonia, and our local business community on the Fredonia StartUP NY campus plan.

Fredonia’s Division of Engagement and Economic Development (EED) is actively seeking input from community members, faculty, staff and students on how we can further support campus and community collaborations. We look forward to working with you.

AEED Division Contact Information:

Advancement, Engagement and Economic Development

Dr. Kevin Kearns, Vice President for Advancement, Engagement & Economic Development
701 Maytum Hall
State University of New York at Fredonia
Fredonia, NY 14063
(716) 673-3758