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Mission & Vision

The Mission of the Jay N. Darling Institute at Drake University is to provide educational and scholarly expertise for rural communities so that their citizens have improved access to quality health care and education, nutritious food, unimpaired natural resources, and ongoing economic and cultural opportunities.

Our Vision

The Institute will infuse its Mission throughout the University and develop interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and learning that empower leaders of the future to seek out professional and personal growth throughout the rural Midwest. Focusing primarily on the heartland (Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin), the Darling Institute will serve rural communities by collaborating with them to resolve challenges preventing them from flourishing now and into the future.

Key Outcomes

  • Transform access to educational opportunities at Drake to support lifelong learning for rural stakeholders. Create and deploy new curricular and co-curricular experiences to build the next generation of leaders eager to work in rural communities.
  • Deploy the knowledge and expertise of Drake faculty, staff, and students to lead rural communities as they seek to transform their food systems, health care systems, educational opportunities, and economic futures.
  • Collaborate with regional stakeholders to deliver transformative change to rural communities through student service, faculty research, and policy advocacy.
  • Build and steward the authoritative archive of Darling’s legacy and use that archive to infuse Darling’s approach to leadership and civil discourse to drive rural communities towards a more sustainable future.
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