CRD signing

Signing a memorandum of collaboration between BGSU and the University of Toledo is Dr. Heinz Bulmahn (center left) while (left to right) Drs. Frank Calzonetti, Neil Reid and Michael Carroll look on.

BGSU, UT centers to collaborate on community development efforts

BGSU and the University of Toledo have agreed to collaborate on community development efforts emanating from specialized centers at each university.

Representatives from both universities on March 22 signed a memorandum of collaboration between Bowling Green’s Center for Regional Development and Toledo’s Urban Affairs Center.

April 1 is the effective date of the three-year pact, in which the two centers agree to identify and pursue joint funding opportunities for research projects that will reinforce and promote each other’s mission.

Under the agreement, the centers will also promote each other’s activities, including lectures, workshops and conferences, and jointly sponsor at least one such event each year.

In addition, the director of each center will become a member of the other’s Community Advisory Board. Dr. Michael Carroll is director of the Center for Regional Development, while Dr. Neil Reid is interim director of the Urban Affairs Center.

Carroll and Reid signed the memorandum along with Dr. Heinz Bulmahn, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate College at BGSU, and Dr. Frank Calzonetti, UT’s vice provost for research and economic development.

“One of the challenges for universities now in northwest Ohio is to find intersections of collaboration and cooperation,” Bulmahn said at the signing ceremony. “This is an example of one of those intersections. Both the Urban Affairs Center at UT and the Center for Regional Development at BGSU are working to promote economic development, and it is important to combine the resources of both to achieve that goal.”

Reid explained that the agreement is “really just formalizing what we’ve been doing already.” The alliance will help bring together multidisciplinary research teams to address issues, he said.

Carroll and Reid have been working together for three years on economic “cluster” projects to unite similar businesses within the region to promote their industries. A notable example is the Maumee Valley Growers, a consortium of local greenhouse owners and suppliers who, with the help of the centers, are collaborating for the betterment of all.

“They’ve done fantastic work,” Calzonetti said. “Now they’re going to expand these clusters. We’ve had tremendous support from the community itself and from our congresswoman (Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo) for their efforts.

“This is an opportunity to bring the best expertise to bear on the issues at hand,“ he said, adding that the alliance will allow for research into economic, environmental and technology-related issues, including the health and future of Lake Erie.

An interdisciplinary research unit with expertise in regional economics and community development, the Center for Regional Development aims to design innovative and practical solutions to a variety of regional challenges in northwest Ohio.

The Urban Affairs Center’s mission is to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life in Toledo and its metropolitan area by identifying challenges and facilitating solutions in neighborhood, urban and regional development. The center is an applied research unit of UT and a member of the Ohio Urban University Program.
March 27, 2006