University News

IIRA Assistant Director Serves as Co-Editor of Community Development Society Newsletter

November 30, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- Editing is one of many ways in which Timothy Collins helps to promote the mission of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University. Collins, who is the assistant director of the IIRA, serves as co-editor for "Vanguard," a monthly newsletter issued from the Community Development Society (CDS), providing CDS members an opportunity to network with other members while receiving current CDS news, discussions on topical issues and learning about resources.

According to Collins, with a focus on community work through teaching, practice and research, the goals of the IIRA are very closely aligned with CDS.

"CDS encourages community members to participate and influence decisions impacting their lives, while also working with them to enhance their leadership capacity. Community members learn about community issues, as well as the economic, social, environmental and political impacts associated with various action plans," he explained. "IIRA staff members work toward achieving the same outcomes on a variety of rural economic and community development projects, while also promoting a sound statewide rural policy. Increasing knowledge of rural issues and providing high-quality training and technical assistance to rural leaders rank among our top priorities. We recognize the only effective solutions to rural problems will come from local leaders and policy makers, and we offer support in organizing a comprehensive approach."

The staff at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs seeks to improve the quality of life for rural residents by partnering with public and private agencies on local development and enhancement efforts. IIRA staff members focus on eight main issues, including value-added agriculture and renewable energy, health care, education, public transportation, public management policies, housing and technology.

To learn more about the IIRA services available, visit the website at

Posted By: WIU News (
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