Center for Urban and Regional Excellence

Center for Urban and Regional Excellence

Picture of Center for Urban and Regional Excellence

Center for Urban and Regional Excellence

Chicago, United States 

School of Business and Economics
Indiana University Northwest


The Center for Urban and Regional Excellence engages Indiana University Northwest and the community in partnerships that jointly formulate programs and policies to support thriving Northwest Indiana communities. The center works collaboratively with organizations in all sectors to address challenges and co-create solutions in diverse areas including economic development, government efficiency, nonprofit leadership development, public safety, transportation policy, environmental sustainability, health disparities, and arts and culture.

Main Activities

The center is currently involved in a number of research, outreach and education activities that address sustainability and its components. We have provided assessments of senior transportation needs and nonprofit capacity. We are assisting in an education reform initiative. We have trained nonprofits in the building communities of practice. Our most recent work is in the area of civic health, assessing civic outcomes and facilitating the development of a civic capacity strategy that focuses on citizen participation in decision making.

Organizational Structure

The center is staffed by a Director (PhD, JD), and Asst. Director of Engaged Research (MPA) and an Asst. Director of Community Education. We are funded through university allocations and by grants and awards. In the past two year we have received over $150,000 in grants and awards to carry out community-based research initiatives. We also derive funding from non-credit programming


Ellen Szarleta, Ph.D, J.D.