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EXCERPT FROM OUR PEER REVIEW
(EDA Letter dated
December 23, 2002 )

It was the overall consensus of the appraisal team that UMass CED under your direction and consultation, has more than effectively performed on an Outstanding level as an EDA University Center . As a well-managed and performance-based Center, you have effectively provided technical assistance to the Massachusetts distressed cities and towns. The Center has been able to do such outstanding work through the efforts of CED’s Director, Consultant Advisor, the LARP faculty and graduate interns. We found all of CED’s clients in agreement that the Center’s contribution was highly appropriate, and has made a material contribution to economic development, particularly in western Massachusetts . The Center’s projects have been cutting- edge, innovative and pertinent to economic development throughout the state. The LARP faculty and CED have published top-notch publications and timely research projects that have been read and used internationally as well as nationally. As for the Dissemination of Information, as CED Director and Consultant you have been both been frequently and repeatedly utilized as moderators, speakers, presenters and consultants at EDA and other National Economic Development and Planning conferences. CED has also conducted numerous training workshops on regional economic development issues, the EDA CEDS planning process or the preparation of the CEDS document.

 

The CED Graduate Internships are considered invaluable human resources, especially for the distressed and rural areas. The clients described the costs to obtain a student Intern as being less than one-fifth of what a consultant would charge them. They described the work performed by the LARP student Interns to be professional, and the quality of that work has made many repeat users. The students themselves have appreciated the academic, financial support and work experience afforded them through CED. We found that the Center’s EDA grant that supports four students at $5,000 each a semester has significantly leveraged so much more. And what a perfect match for CED to now be housed under the UMass Amherst’ Office of University Outreach with its Vice-Chancellor being the CED Director.

Engaging and involving the CED Advisory Committee in efforts to improve the Center’s visibility, and its partnering efforts with the Massachusetts EDD’s outside of western Massachusetts , were areas where it was suggested CED should improve. Those areas have been addressed as a part of the EDA recommendations. There were no EDA recommendations described for implementation in CED’s 1994 EDA performance appraisal report. And so overall, CED under the direction of its dynamic and energetic Director, and the LARP graduate students were found to be the Center’s greatest assets. We would also like to mention that CED has an outstanding administrative support staff, who have been responsive and available to respond, when the CED Director and consultant are often traveling throughout the state or out of the country. The appraisal team surmised that if there was an rating above Outstanding, that CED would deserve such a rating. We literally found ourselves exhaustive from being so overwhelmed by how CED has been able to produce and leverage so much with the EDA grant the Center receives each year. As an EDA University Center , EDA continues to be amazed at how CED as a partner, consistently leverages our funding in such a substantial and successful way.


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The Center For Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts
Amherst
, is an Economic Development Administration (EDA) sponsored
University Technical Assistance Center.
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