Michigan State to host North Central Regional Center for Rural Development

Michigan State University (MSU) has been selected to become the second host institution for the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) beginning July 1, 2009. The search for a new host institution was initiated after Dr. Cornelia Butler Flora, the current Director, informed the NCRCRD Board of Directors that she plans to return to service as a faculty member at Iowa State University in 200.

Michigan State University was chosen based on a competitive search process managed by the North Central Research Association (NCRA), the North Central Cooperative Extension Association (NCCEA), and the NCRCRD Board, in cooperation with CSREES. A Request for Proposals (RFP) was circulated to the land grant institutions in the region’s twelve states. Walt Armbruster, Farm Foundation President Emeritus, chaired a Review and Recommendations Committee that included two representatives from NCCEA, two from NCRA, one from the Board of Directors, and a CES Director from outside the region. This Committee reviewed applications from the three institutions that responded to the RFA, supplemental question responses, and webinar discussions with the applicants to reach its recommendation, submitted to the NCRA and NCCEA. Subsequently, the Joint Executive Committees of NCRA and NCCEA endorsed that recommendation. Finally, all members of the two associations voted to select Michigan State University.

Dr. Ken Martin of The Ohio State University and Chair of the Board, said, “The NCRCRD Board has appreciated the guidance and leadership Dr. Flora provided over fifteen years in promoting rural development through a number of research and Extension program efforts. The Board is committed to the Center and its future and looks forward to working with Iowa State University, Michigan State University, and the North Central Extension and Experiment Station Directors to ensure a successful transition.”

Dr. Tom Coon, Director of MSU Extension, said, “Applying education to economic development is our driving force. We look forward to fostering multistate collaborations that can address needs of rural communities in Michigan and across the idwest.”

Dr. Scott Loveridge, MSU Extension’s State Leader for Community and Economic Development, will serve as the Center’s Transitional Director and chair a nationwide search for the next NCRCRD Director. “The center was crucial in helping me launch my research program at the beginning of my career,” Loveridge said. “I plan to help the center continue to play that role as we establish it here at MSU and seek a permanent director.”

The NCRCRD is one of four Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCS) funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) to coordinate regional development research, education, and extension programs cooperatively with land‐grant institutions across the nation. The NCRCRD was established in 1972. Prior to Michigan State University being named host institution is was located at Iowa State University for the past 37 years

The North Central Region consists of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. For more information about the RRDCs, contact Sally Maggard, National Program Leader, CSREES (202/720‐0741); or Scott Loveridge, Michigan State University (517/353‐6644).