USM Partners with Universities on Advanced Economic Development Program

October 25, 2017



The University of Southern Mississippi is partnering with three other major universities on a unique initiative designed to benefit mid-level to senior level economic development practitioners.

USM has joined forces with The University of Alabama, Clemson University, and Texas Christian University (TCU) to provide the Advanced Economic Development Leadership Program. Developed as an advanced training course, the program is the first of its kind to be offered in this industry.

“Southern Miss has an impressive legacy in creating initiatives and academic programs for economic development,” said Dr. Faye Gilbert, dean of the USM College of Business. “Over time, the faculty here have also infused the Master’s program with projects, relevant technology, and close connections with professionals in the field. I am excited that we are part of this partnership.”

For Southern Miss, Bill Smith, emeritus faculty member, has been the chief liaison with the other universities to create this partnership and opportunity for the professionals in this field.


The curriculum is designed, collaboratively, by all four universities. Key subjects of personal/professional leadership innovation, organizational skills, project/RFP management, business development, global challenges, technology/data, talent, workforce pipeline and community enhancement strategies will focus on contemporary applied learning. The key subjects are important for working professionals in economic development.


The first session will be held on the campus of TCU, February 5 – 9, 2018. The second session will be held at Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri, August 13-17, 2018. Although just launched, the program is already half-full of participants.

Designed for 40 participants, the pedagogy emphasizes projects, exercises, and facilitated electronic interactions. The program’s faculty will include seasoned economic developers, veteran site consultants, subject experts, and university faculty.


For more information about the program, visit: