University of Iowa

For Communities

Working with IISC

IISC is a campus-wide effort at the University of Iowa to enhance the capacity of rural and urban communities in Iowa to address the environmental, equity, economic, and cultural issues they face today and plan for a sustainable future.  IISC is housed out of the Provost’s Office of Outreach & Engagement, and is an integral cog in the university’s mission of community engagement and service to the state of Iowa.

Building sustainable communities requires a collaborative spirit and desire to partner with a diverse array of community actors, including local governments, non-profit organizations, local businesses, and educational institutions. At IISC, we believe these partnerships are the heart of this work.

We partner with communities through a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Typically, the RFP is released in late fall, with communities selected by the IISC Advisory Board in early spring. The IISC partnerships officially launch in the fall semester, with projects kicking off in August and September. Each partnership is one year long, with the potential to extend the partnership into a second year. If community partners and IISC choose to extend their partnerships into a second year, the RFP may be released every other year.  RFP announcements are posted on this website and our social media, and are shared broadly through partners like the Iowa League of Cities and the Institute of Public Affairs.  Please contact IISC if you have questions about the process or when to expect future requests for proposals.

The Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities is driven by a commitment to reciprocal partnerships with Iowa communities. It is strongly encouraged that communities interested in learning more about or partnering with the IISC contact IISC staff. We are happy to discuss the program, projects that have been completed throughout the state, and our experiences working on sustainability in Iowa's communities. We also have past community partners that are happy to discuss their partnerships with the IISC and their own efforts to improve sustainability in their community.