Blended image of students at STEMFest, NIU graduate at commencement and a community member enjoying a bike ride in downtown Dekalb, Illinois

What is Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development?

Outreach is the first step to building relationships with the NIU community, near and far. Engagement occurs through partnerships we create. Engagement disseminates the work of the university to the regions we serve - regions that are becoming more global and connected. OERD's 16 departments provide engaged research, teaching and service to our partners. Through regional development we provide programs, classes and services in DeKalb, Rockford and the greater Chicagoland area benefitting students, educators and industry.

OERD conducts our own programs with partners across the region. About 70% of our budget comes from external sources, reflecting our outward focus. Our work directly and indirectly contributes to NIU's mission and vision. Through programs, projects and events, we represent NIU to the Northern Illinois community every day. We bring people together to create meaningful relationships and positive change.

We also provide centralized support for outreach and engagement activities delivered by NIU's seven colleges. We collaborate with faculty and staff on existing projects while fostering external partnerships that link academic research and support services to the community and the region.

Contact Us

Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development
307 Lowden Hall

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