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The Indiana Daily Student

IU signs agreement with NSA Crane

Faculty and researchers gathered in the Wrubel Commons Conference Room of the Cyberinfrastructure Building to watch Fred Cate, IU vice president for research, and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Rick Williamson sign a new agreement with Naval Support Activity Crane.

The agreement, signed Wednesday, Oct. 14, is an Educational Partnership Agreement with NSA Crane, a naval base located in south-central Indiana.

“I believe it will provide the students an opportunity to do hands-on experience,” Williamson said at the signing ceremony.

Through the partnership, IU students and faculty will have opportunities to visit the base and use it as a research lab, share equipment with Crane and work more closely and more directly with Crane researchers on Crane’s projects or their own projects.

“We believe that Crane will be an outstanding laboratory for the IU community to work and learn,” said Joe Carley, associate director for economic development.

NSA Crane will also offer students programs for academic credit, internships and science projects.

It will also allow students the chance to work with the federal government.

It will allow students to gain career experience at a Department of Defense facility near campus, said Kirk White, assistant vice president for strategic 
partnerships.

“Additionally, this partnership will provide IU students with new opportunities to work on projects within the federal government context and help IU continue to develop great public servants,” Carley said.

Initial projects conducted under the agreement include an energy behavior management study led by Bill Brown, IU director of sustainability, and conducted by School of Public and Environmental Affairs graduate students, as well as an emergency management collaboration.

However, this is not the first time IU has worked with NSA Crane.

The relationship with Crane goes back decades. This relationship, however, has always been more project-based and 
faculty-focused.

With the new partnership, NSA Crane will begin to work more with the students, said Bill Stephan, IU vice president for 
engagement.

“We reached a point where we really wanted to expand and grow the scope of the relationship ... particularly in a way that would be more beneficial to our students and faculty and would also, obviously, be geared in a way that was going to be helpful to Crane,” Stephan said.

Stephan said part of the challenge of working with Crane in the past has been the high security clearance it required and the restricted access to the base.

The new agreement will help overcome those challenges.

“It really kind of allows for the Crane base to be more open and available to students and faculty at Indiana University,” Stephan said.

The timing was right for this new agreement, Stephan added.

“There’s an opportunity here to really grow the relationship deeper,” Stephan said. “We’re very, very pleased about what this means, particularly for our students.”

The new agreement will develop during the next year.

It will allow for more class and research projects, joint grants, internships and further collaborations.

It is really up to IU to decide how far and deep they want this to go, Stephan said.

“I think it’s just really going to add to the range of opportunities that our students have to learn at IU, so we’re very enthused about it,” Stephan said.

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