Welcome to the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI)
The IRI, pending final approval by ADHE, aims to become a nationally recognized research institute examining issues related to rurality both in the United States and globally given that many of the challenges faced by rural citizens are similar no matter the locale. On campus, the IRI will strive to become a key institutional asset for students, faculty, and staff while building bridges with rural communities both near and far.
The IRI will have a broad mission with a multidisciplinary focus that involves significant interaction with community stakeholders across the rural-urban continuum. The IRI will provide students with opportunities to formally learn about and engage unique aspects of rural life in Arkansas and beyond. Further, the institute will increase student involvement with research and service-learning projects to benefit their home communities. Faculty and staff will further be able to access and develop new opportunities for research, teaching, and service that will benefit rural communities and have a real-world impact.