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Promoting Princeton: University Makes Concerted Push to Engage Businesses in Effort to Spur Partnerships, Collaboration

Coleen Burrus (Photo: Aaron Houston)

Princeton, NJ, February 10, 2017 — Andrew Sheldon reports on NJBIZ that Coleen Burrus added one word to her title shortly after being hired by Princeton University in spring 2015.

Director of corporate and foundation relations quickly became director of corporate engagement and foundation relations.  The simple move was meant to convey a specific shift at the college.

“We want to send the message that Princeton wants to be engaged with companies in a comprehensive way,” Burrus said.

And not just companies; New Jersey companies.

“I came in with Princeton University saying, ‘We’re going to put our stake in the ground; this is important to us,’” she said.

Princeton has long prided itself as being one of the best universities in the world — it has held the top spot in the prestigious U.S. News & World Report rankings the past four years.

But it also has been bothered by another reputation it has earned over the years: Being a university that was “in” New Jersey but not “of” New Jersey.

The school is trying to change that.

There are plans to start an incubator to attract startups. And it will be in Plainsboro, not on campus.  And the university is not only aggressively promoting the longtime ties and partnerships it does have to the state, it is trying to grow them.

Most of all, it is making sure it is out and about in the state, letting business leaders and organizations know Princeton is eager to partner.

Burrus said everyone at the school is on board.  “It’s absolutely top-down,” she said. “This is coming from the president, the provost, the dean for research.”

But, Burrus noted, it will be done without changing Princeton.

For Sheldon’s full story, click here.


Follow Sheldon on Twitter at @SheldonAndrewJ.