Jebaraj Named New Director Of UA’s Center For Business And Economic Research

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — Mervin Jebaraj has been named director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton College of Business in Fayetteville.

He will officially take on the role Jan. 1.

Jebaraj has served as interim director since April when Kathy Deck stepped down, and as assistant director since 2007.

Under Jebaraj’s leadership, the center will take on more of a hands-on role for economic development, in addition to its status as an economic information resource for the community, he said.

The center also will work on more initiatives outside of Northwest Arkansas, a move Jebaraj said is in step with the university’s renewed emphasis on its land-grant mission to serve the state.

The UA and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are the only two land-grant universities in the state.

“I’m really looking forward to being a resource but also a catalyst for economic development, working on issues and interventions throughout the state, especially in areas where we haven’t had much of a footprint,” Jebaraj said.

The work will touch on public policy in addition to economic development initiatives, with an ultimate goal to “raise the standard of living,” Jebaraj said.

“It is something I’m personally interested in working on.”

The CBER has a 75-year history at the university. It coordinates or produces a number of informative events on economic trends in the area and nationwide.

CBER collaborates with the Northwest Arkansas Council in Springdale to produce the Quarterly Business Analysis – which looks at key economic trends, projections and issues facing the state and NWA economies – and the annual State of the NWA Region Report, in addition to research papers that include economic impact studies and labor market surveys.

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