Teresa A. Bennett is Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Office of Community Engagement at IUPUI, an urban-serving institution with 30,000 students. Teresa provides strategic leadership to advance and maintain business, nonprofit, and economic development relationships in alignment with the IUPUI Anchor Institution initiatives. She also directs campus initiatives including operations of SOURCE River West Entrepreneurship Center that promotes neighborhood-based businesses, the Charles R. Bantz Fellowship and Scholar Awards Grant Initiative that provides annual grants to support community-engaged research, and Professional Development and Continuing Education (PDCE) programs that connect the university’s intellectual capital to the pressing demands for talent and professional growth.
Prior to the launch of the Office of Community Engagement, Teresa founded the IUPUI Solution Center, where she served as an expert resource to strengthen and expand IUPUI’s engagement mission by developing partnerships with business, industry, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. The Center supported thousands of research initiatives, product development and business assistance projects, internships, and other community-serving engagements. Through her leadership, the Solution Center attracted over $7 million in gifts, grants, and matching funds in support of university-community engagement. Teresa developed and led the IUPUI Community Venture Fund, that awarded nearly $3 million in matching grants to organizations and small businesses to seed and expand sustainable community partnerships.
Previous positions include: Communication Director for CERIAS (Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security) at Purdue University, West Lafayette, where she led national and international external relations; Director of Business Development and Recruitment for the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, where she managed business and external relations; and Director of Communication and Development for the (O’Neill) School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where she also helped to establish and launch the Center for Urban Policy and the Environment (now Public Policy Institute) and served as lead editor for hundreds of research reports and white papers.
Teresa earned a Master's of Public Affairs, majoring in Policy Analysis, from Indiana University; and a Bachelor's of Arts in Communication with emphasis on Public Relations and Issue Management from Purdue University. She completed doctoral courses in Philanthropic Studies. Teresa consults and presents on topics related to strategic planning, leadership, organizational effectiveness, and professional development, and teaches on community research topics. She also serves on numerous community boards and committees, including the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site, MCCOY, Pattern, UWCI Capital Projects Fund Committee, and the Central Indiana Small Business Development Center.