MTSU to host March 15 forum on Middle Tennessee gr...

MTSU to host March 15 forum on Middle Tennessee growth; RSVP by March 11

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Middle Tennessee State University is hosting upcoming public forum featuring a group of area mayors and business leaders to discuss the rapid growth and accompanying challenges in the Midstate region.

“A Forum on Growth and Challenges in Middle Tennessee” will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 15, in the Tennessee Room of the James Union Building, 516 Alma Mater Drive. While free and open to the public, space is limited and organizers need RSVPs submitted online by Monday, March 11, at

Speakers for the event will include Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown, Franklin Mayor Ken Moore and Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, as well as Joyce Heames, dean of MTSU’s Jones College of Business, and Michael Skipper, executive director of the Greater Nashville Regional Council.

Serving as moderator will be The Tennessean’s David Plazas, opinion and engagement director for the USA Today Network Tennessee, award-winning columnist, editor and opinion strategist, and host of the “Tennessee Voices” video podcast.

The forum is being co-hosted by MTSU’s Jennings and Rebecca Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning, or COE-URP, and the nonprofit Cumberland Region Tomorrow.

Off-campus visitors planning to attend the event should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at Free parking is available in the Rutherford Boulevard parking lots, with free Raider Xpress shuttle service running periodically to the interior of campus.

RSVPs should be submitted online by Monday, March 11, at (Submitted illustration)
RSVPs should be submitted online by Monday, March 11, at (Submitted illustration)

About the co-hosts

Established in 1997, the Jones Chair of Excellence in Urban and Regional Planning seeks to promote applied research and service focused on regional and urban planning, provide a forum to generate discussion and solutions, and support the on-campus development of curriculum materials and faculty more conversant with the issues of the region. 

Dr. Murat Arik, assistant professor of management, Jones College of Business, and director of the MTSU Business and Economic Research Center
Dr. Murat Arik

Current chairholder is Murat Arik, who also serves as director of MTSU’s Business and Economic Research Center. The chair position focuses on research and service to the Nashville and Clarksville metropolitan statistical areas, but Arik said he wants to serve as a resource for the broader community in Middle Tennessee counties.

Formed in 2000, Cumberland Region Tomorrow “works to inspire responsible growth the 10-county Nashville region through education, conversation, and collaboration,” according to its website, as well as “facilitate the regional discussion on growth, identifying best practices and encouraging collaboration for action.” Learn more at

— Jimmy Hart (

Employee account created by LAM on 5/8/12 (PZRNFAC report)