Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

Tim Collins.Timothy Collins

  • PhD, University of Kentucky, Sociology (Rural)
  • Adjunct Professor of Rural Development

Timothy Collins served as assistant director of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) from 2005-2016. His roles included research, policy, outreach, and sustainability.

Collins has helped author more than 200 publications, reports, and essays on diverse rural issues, including environmental policy, economic development, sustainable land use, and education. His research interests include rural community sustainability. He is the author of Selling the State: Economic Development Policy in Kentucky, published by IIRA, and is a regular contributor to the Daily Yonder (

In March, 2014, he was elected chair of the Prairie Land Conservancy, which is dedicated to land preservation in western Illinois. From 2010 to 2015, he served on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Advisory Board, where he helped staff develop the template for the statewide Conservation Congress. He has testified before Congress twice on rural development and was a Community Development Society board member.

Before coming to IIRA, Collins was an educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension with specialties in land use education, leadership, and agricultural economic development in and around Gettysburg.

Contact Info

Timothy Collins

Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs

Western Illinois University