University leaders connect with economic development organization administrators to discuss Murray State academics, resources

MURRAY, Ky. — Representatives from the Murray State University Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and Office of Development welcomed economic development leaders from around the region to a luncheon and discussion Oct. 16 at the Hall of Benefactors and Distinguished Alumni in Heritage Hall. 

The event highlighted the University’s efforts to spur economic development across western Kentucky and beyond, including new programs, resources and planning tools.

“We’re here as a college to help communities in the region,” said Dr. David Eaton, interim dean of the College of Business. “We exist to help foster economic development while equipping graduates with the skills needed to make a difference in those communities.”

Murray State recently established the Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (CEED), a new initiative that will provide regional training and consulting support for small businesses, entrepreneurship and industry and explore student learning and employment opportunities through those relationships.

“We as a region have been coming together for a while, and I feel like we’re in the best position we’ve ever been in to connect the surrounding 18-24 counties in thinking about how we can grow together,” said CEED director Chris Wooldridge.

Beginning this fall, the University now offers an on-campus and online graduate certificate in economic development, blending together courses in its existing Master of Science in economic development program to provide students even more ways to succeed in a diverse range of business industries.

Representatives from the Murray State University Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business and Office of Development welcomed economic development leaders from around the region to a luncheon and discussion Oct. 16 at the Hall of Benefactors and Distinguished Alumni in Heritage Hall.

College of Business faculty connected with each economic development leader in discovering new ways to enhance the University’s existing Master of Science in economic development program.

“We’re excited to collaborate with economic development organizations in shaping our program,” said Dr. Narine Badasyan, associate professor of economics and interim chair of the Department of Economics and Finance. “We want to know the most important skills needed that we can include in our curriculum, so when our graduates start working at these organizations, they are able to start right away with the attributes needed to make a difference.”

“My family has been here since before the Jackson Purchase,” said Josh Tubbs, president of Kentucky Lake Economic Development in Marshall County, Kentucky. “It’s so exciting to see this region grow over the years. We appreciate all the resources Murray State has provided for economic development. We couldn’t do what we do without their support.”

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