Dr. Jason Jolley, professor of rural economic development and director of the Master of Public Administration program, and Dr. Gilbert Michaud, assistant professor of practice, co-authored an article in the eJournal of Public Affairs that discusses higher education institutions’ role in economic development and stimulating rural entrepreneurial ecosystems. The article outlines seven specific programs through which the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs aims to solve problems in challenging communities to drive regional and rural economic growth.
The article, “Economic Engagement, Development, and Entrepreneurship: The Role of Applied Public Service Colleges,” was published in eJournal of Public Affairs in December.
This article investigates the unique role of applied public service colleges in engaging with communities through economic development and entrepreneurship-related activities. Schools of public administration, affairs, and service are often distinctively tasked with being public facing, connecting and working with outside agencies, nonprofits, and other stakeholders. Using a case study of Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, which employs a public-private partnership model to find solutions to challenges facing communities, the economy, and the environment, the authors discuss the emerging engagement role of these schools using a typology of strategies brought forth by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. The authors outline seven specific programs run by the Voinovich School and discuss the activities, services, and intensity of each. As opposed to other forms of civic or community engagement, this article focuses primarily on economic engagement, such as technical assistance, business development, and related activities that drive regional and rural economic growth. Having a deeper comprehension of how such programs operate to enhance engagement and interaction between academics and outside stakeholders can be an important aspect of growing similar connections in other schools to further pursue regional connectivity and development.