Submission to the Montana Board of Regents


Montana Cooperative Development Center

Submitted by:

Montana State University-Northern

In accordance with Board Policy: 218 Institutional Organization

1) Identify its purpose:

The Montana Cooperative Development Center will be organized to foster the development of cooperatives in Montana devoted to Avalue added@ enterprises.

2) State its objectives:

To foster the development and growth of cooperatives devoted to Avalue added@ enterprises as one economic development strategy for rural Montana.

3) Briefly describe its anticipated activities:

The MCDC will:

-Develop and deliver a program of cooperative education throughout Montana utilizing NorthNet and other distance learning strategies employed by MSU-Northern.

-Utilize resources from throughout the Montana University System to provide business assistance and incubation services to existing and prospective cooperatives in Montana.

-Provide technical assistance related to manufacturing processes, coordinating this effort with the Montana Manufacturing Extension Center, other University, public and private resources.

-Maintain an electronically accessible library and database related to cooperatives.

-Work with an advisory council representing individuals and organizations active in the cooperative movement in order to provide direction and focus to Center activities.

4) Identify all agencies, organizations and/or institutions which will be involved and include advisory council information.

-Other units of the Montana University System

-United States Department of Agriculture

-United States Department of Commerce

-Montana Department of Agriculture

-Montana Department of Commerce

-Montana Farm and Ranch Organizations

-Cooperative Businesses

The advisory council will be drawn from interested persons associated with the preceding list of agencies and organizations.

5) Identify its organizational structure within the institution.

The Montana Cooperative Development Center will be located within the Department of Business at Montana State University-Northern. The Center Director will be responsible to the Dean of the College of Technical Sciences, the Vice Chancellor/Provost, and the Chancellor.

6) Describe the interrelationships between it and the institutional role and scope, including information about which departments on campus will be involved and how the center or institute will contribute to the academic programs of the institution.

The Department of Business will be the lead department for the Center. Faculty from the Department of Industrial and Engineering Department and the Math/Science Department will be utilized on an as needed basis. The Center will coordinate and collaborate with other units of the Montana University System to accomplish Center objectives and activities where appropriate.

As a laboratory for business and economic development, the Center will be an integral part of the academic mission of the Montana State University-Northern Department of Business.

7) Identify first year and continuing finances necessary to support it including the sources of funding.

The minimum funding level for the Center for the first and subsequent years will be $65,000 state funds as allocated in HB 2 and adopted by the 1999 session of the Legislature. HB 2 also authorizes up to $300,000 per year of Federal funds, primarily from the USDA.

Private sources of funding will also be sought. The Center will also generate revenues from the fees charged for services rendered by the Center.

8) Describe other similar programs in the state and surrounding region.

There is no other single agency or program in Montana devoted solely to the mission and objectives of the Montana Cooperative Development Center.

Other states have Cooperative Development Centers hosted within their University systems. The most prominent of those is the Wisconsin Cooperative Development Center.

9) Identify faculty expertise available for participation in its activities.

Terry Munson

Roger Barber

Lanny Wilke

Brenda Skornogoski

Kevin Carlson

10) State the internal campus review and approval process which has occurred prior to submission to the Commissioner= s office.

In June 1998, the Director of Grants and Sponsored Research worked with the Department Chair, Terry Munson, to write and submit a funding proposal to USDA-Rural Development. Chancellor William Daehling signed the grant application. The proposal was subsequently declined by USDA-Rural Development.

In November, the Director of Grants and Sponsored Research met with Department faculty to review the proposal at which time they agreed to proceed.