Norman Walzer, PhD, Senior Research Scholar at NIU’s Center for Governmental Studies, has been appointed to the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council as a Public Member. The GRAC includes the directors of state agencies that provide rural programs, UI-Extension, SIU Health Outreach, IIRA, and four public members. Walzer has actively researched and published about rural economic development strategies and issues for 30 years. He will chair the Committee on Rural Economic Development and Infrastructure for the GRAC.
Walzer also organizes an annual statewide rural Community and Economic Development conference in conjunction with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, the Governor’s Rural Council, and Rural Partners. This year’s conference was held Feb. 27-28, in Springfield. The theme was “Keeping Rural Areas Exciting Places to Live.” The conference was opened by Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. There were speakers from eight states, with 295 participants.