Leath appoints Michael Crum to economic development post

Michael Crum, holder of the Ruan Chair in Supply Chain Management, will become senior policy adviser on economic development to President Steven Leath on Aug. 1. At the end of this month, Crum completes a 16-month interim dean appointment in the College of Business.

Michael Crum

Michael Crum

As senior policy adviser, Crum will make recommendations to Leath on all matters related to economic development, with the intent of expanding the university's contributions to both the state and national economies. He will develop a plan for strengthening Iowa State's economic development enterprise, including its organization and alignment, efficiency, effectiveness, accessibility and responsiveness. He also will represent the university on key external partnerships and task forces.

"I'm extremely happy to appoint Mike to this post," Leath said. "He is uniquely qualified, given his years of experience in the College of Business and on the board of the ISU Research Park. He knows all the relevant stakeholders -- both on- and off-campus -- and those relationships will be essential as the university strives to promote economic development across the state and beyond."

Internal and external roles

In his new role, Crum will work with internal and external groups. In addition to representing Iowa State on economic development boards, he'll work to strengthen coordination with constituents that include those boards, business associations, government agencies, communities and foundations. Crum will serve as a gateway for Iowa's business community to the expertise and business services offered through Iowa State.

Crum will develop a comprehensive system for tracking all of the university's economic development activities, including their performance and outcomes. He also will be involved in developing a marketing plan for the economic development enterprise. He will make recommendations to Leath on economic development considerations such as:

  • Strategic goals and priorities
  • Allocation of resources
  • Integration/coordination of functions and activities

Leath noted that some of Crum's responsibilities formerly rested with the vice president for research and economic development. But many of them are new, reflecting Leath's decision to expand Iowa State's role in the state's economic development efforts. When it's completed in the next few years, Crum will have an office in Iowa State's new economic development building at the research park. In the meantime, he will work out of his Gerdin office. The recipient of several teaching awards, Crum also will continue teaching in the College of Business on a part-time basis.

"It is an honor and a privilege to accept this position," Crum said. "There are many Iowa State units, programs and individuals making significant contributions to our state and national economies. I am very much looking forward to working with them to determine how we can expand and improve our efforts in this important area."

More on Michael Crum

Crum has served as chairman of the ISU Research Park's board of directors since 2004, joining the board two years earlier.

Crum joined Iowa State's business faculty in 1980. He served as a department chair from 1998 to 2001, and held the John and Ruth DeVries Endowed Chair in Business from 2004 to 2011. He has served on many committees, whose purposes were as varied as academic searches and reviews, Faculty Senate proceedings, student athletes' academic progress and strategic planning. He was the college's associate dean for graduate programs from 2005 to 2012 and has served as interim dean of the college since March 2012; that appointment ends July 31 with the arrival of incoming dean David Spalding.