The Georgia-based Butler Center for Business and Economic Research at Columbus State University joined AUBER when Ben Blair, the director, was hired to start the center.
Blair says it was important to join AUBER and get a chance to network with existing centers, learn the best practices, and incorporate them into his center.
Ben McKay, the assistant director at Georgia Southern University’s Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research enjoys sharing and collaborating on research.
Blair says he appreciates the opportunity to get feedback on research projects and get into the “nitty-gritty” of it with his colleagues.
For Brian Lewandowski, associate director at the University of Colorado’s Business Research Division, one of the major values of AUBER is that members come from all over the U.S., and he hears about the projects they’re working on that might be relevant in his community.
Lewandowski also enjoys attending conferences where he continues to improve his skills and collaborating throughout the year with other centers on projects.
For Bruce Kellison, director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Texas-Austin, AUBER’s professional and networking opportunities are very valuable.
Kellison says that a new colleague at BBR attended the 2017 conference and was struck by AUBER’s collegial, collaborative nature. “AUBER is a remarkable organization that way,” Kellison said. “It stands apart from many other professional organizations.”
Jeffrey Michael, the executive director at the Center for Business and Policy Research at the University of the Pacific, joined AUBER because his dean asked him to take over a center. He found AUBER on the Internet and went to the fall conference to learn how to run a successful center.
Michael says the conference was invaluable. “I’ve been going back every year for a decade to learn lessons from colleagues and mentors that I really value.”
What is best about AUBER is the fact that many centers are going through the same kinds of issues that you find in your own state, says Kathy Deck, the director of Community and Economic Research Partnerships at the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce.
“When there is one seemingly unsolvable problem somewhere, chances are you can go to your AUBER colleagues and find out a great answer,” Deck says.
Being able to share information and experiences with a collection of equals (leaders at centers devoted to state and regional economics) is very valuable, says Patrick Barkey, the director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana.
Providing information to policymakers and business in the state we live is important, Barkey says. “We learn how to do better through our relationship with AUBER.”
Eric Thompson, the director of the Bureau of Business Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, enjoys being an AUBER member because of the chances to work with other people who have a passion for applied economic research.
Thompson says he also gets a lot of great ideas from talking to his AUBER colleagues.
The Economic Research Institute of Erie at Penn State University-Erie has found AUBER to be “one of the most productive relationships with a national organization,” according to the center’s director, Ken Louie.
“We benefit from the connections and interactions we have with AUBER members throughout the country. …and from being able to tap into resources…of centers at much larger universities.”
“Of all of my professional associations, AUBER has proven to be the most valuable time and time again,” according to Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida.
Snaith says that the camaraderie, best practices, and willingness of members to assist in issues they’ve faced is “worth my time and money many times over.”