Skidmore named director of North Central Region Center for Rural Development

Mark Skidmore has been named director of the North Central Region Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) effective January 1, 2016.

Mark Skidmore

Mark Skidmore has been named director of the North Central Region Center for Rural Development (NCRCRD) effective January 1, 2016. He is currently a Michigan State University Extension public policy specialist and a professor in the MSU departments of Economics and Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics.

The NCRCRD, a 12-state collaboration, works on innovation diffusion for rural development, sustainable communities, leadership development and entrepreneurial communities. It collaborates with Extension professionals, researchers and their partners to enhance rural development outcomes in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

“I look forward to building on the center’s many strengths as well as expanding efforts to assist communities in improving local government fiscal sustainability and community resiliency,” Skidmore said.

In addition to his MSU Extension appointment, Skidmore holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His former leadership experiences include his role as director of the Fiscal and Economic Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He received his master’s degree and doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado, and his bachelor’s degree  in economics from the University of Washington.

"Dr. Skidmore brings an outstanding record of integrating innovative research and Extension work on issues related to rural economic development and policy,” said David Schweikhardt, the MSU professor who led the search committee. “He has the leadership skills needed to advance the mission of the center.”

Skidmore will succeed Scott Loveridge, who has led the NCRCRD since July 2009. Under Loveridge’s leadership, the NCRCRD initiated and implemented dozens of multistate projects that engaged hundreds of land-grant professionals in the 12-state region. 

“I’m extremely pleased that Mark is moving into this role,” Loveridge said. “He has an outstanding record of academic, outreach and administrative accomplishments. His wide range of interests and creativity will be valuable as the center addresses emerging rural development topics.”   

Ray Hammerschmidt, interim director of MSU Extension, said Skidmore brings a wealth of administrative knowledge and experience in working with MSU Extension.

“We are confident that his leadership will continue to carry forward the important work being done by the NCRCRD,” he said. 

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