What you need to know
The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) provides opportunities to work with fellow community members and University faculty and staff who are passionate about sustainability in your region.
The University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) advance the environmental, economic and social sustainability of Greater Minnesota through authentic community-University partnerships that co-create innovative solutions and fulfill the University's land-grant mission.
RSDP conducts its work through regional governing boards. Each RSDP region (Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest) has a board composed of community volunteers and University faculty and staff. We strive to have three community board members for every University member.
Our boards are committed to building partnerships that connect the citizens of their region to local assets and the education, research and outreach resources of the University of Minnesota. These boards build partnerships in the region, connect RSDP work to regional sustainability issues, review project proposals, and make decisions about the allocation of University resources toward projects that demonstrate public purpose.
Roles and responsibilities
RSDP board members function as a team, working with local communities to identify and implement programs and projects that foster sustainable systems in our four focus areas of agriculture and food systems, resilient communities, natural resources, and clean energy. The board solicits, evaluates and votes on proposals. The board coordinates and leverages the resources of the University of Minnesota and other partners, and ensures active community participation and shared decision-making.
Board members are asked to serve for three years, participate in regular board and focus area work group meetings—both in-person and by conference calls—contributing time, energy and insight to the projects. Mileage and honorarium for agreed upon meetings and special assignments are paid by the regional RSDP through the University of Minnesota. Board membership is open to residents of Greater Minnesota and University of Minnesota faculty, staff, and students.
Southwest RSDP board members Sean Yang and Kathryn Kelly.
Whether you are a community volunteer or University faculty, there are many benefits to serving on an RSDP regional board.
Benefits to community members
Meaningful opportunities to give back to your community and region
Opportunities to grow your sustainability network - in your community, across the state, and with the University
Opportunities to work alongside University faculty and staff in making decisions about the allocation of University resources
Benefits to University faculty and staff
Opportunities to gain working knowledge of issues related to your research or area of work
Opportunities for community-engaged research and partnership
Opportunities to serve the land grant mission of the University
Opportunities to grow your sustainability network - with fellow University colleagues, in local communities, and across the state
University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, Central RSDP board member Jim Chamberlain, and Northwest RSDP board member Bob Backman.
Characteristics of RSDP board members
Interest in leveraging Community-University partnerships for a more resilient Greater Minnesota
Active interest in community involvement that fosters economic, social and environmental sustainability
Ability to work with a diverse group integrating various experiences and viewpoints
Ability to work collaboratively regionally and statewide
Willingness to embrace the complexity of sustainability issues
Belief that community-University partnerships can work to the benefit of both researchers and communities
Can function with the courage to take public/community risks
Appreciation for the need of process when working in a group
Comfortable in a decision-making role for projects and programs that come before the board
Operates with integrity in making resource decisions
Builds and calls upon a network of people within the region to advance opportunities for sustainable development
Willing to contribute to board governance by maintaining and revising organization rules and structures
Interested in serving on an RSDP regional board? We encourage you to apply! Applications for RSDP Work Groups are now being accepted in all regions. Apply to serve on one of our work groups. We are currently accepting board applications in the following regions: Northeast, Northwest and Southeast. The Northwest RSDP is specifically seeking farmer, rural electric coop and municipal utility representatives at this time.
If you have questions completing this form, please contact your regional Executive Director:
Apply to an RSDP board today!Click here
Reviewed in 2021