I am a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, moving to the coast of Maine in August 2007.
For 33 years I was a professor of applied economics working on community development issues while at South Dakota State University, Ohio State University, and the University of Minnesota. During most of this time, I had a joint extension and research appointment. I also taught graudate level courses on regional economic analysis, regional input-output analysis, and regional general equilibrium analysis.
All of my extension work was on regional and rural economic development. Most of it was focused business retention and expansion and regional economic impact analysis.
Throughout my career, I worked closed with county Extension Educators. They played a critical role in the business retention program since there was a need for close contacts with local leaders. However, I was never able to find a role for them in regional economic impact analysis since they simply did not have the economics background necessary.
In 2001, I applied for the position of Extension Associate Dean and Director. Only five months after I started as associate dean for Extension, the state announced a major fiscal crisis. This crisis, however, created both the necessity and the opportunity for much greater specialization by the field staff.
Since Minnesota made these changes in 2004, we have had many questions from other states. To answer these, I've written the book, The Minnesota Response, to document the changes and the initial impacts of these changes. Five of my colleagues helped me with this book and are described in "Book Authors" under The Minnesota Response category.