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APSU alum to serve on new Chamber task force

11/26/2001
November 26, 2001

Clarksville attorney and Austin Peay alumnus Ken Goble Jr. ('94) has been appointed vice-chair of the Chamber of Commerce's APSU/Community Development Division.

Noble was appointed by Jim Mann, chair of the Chamber. His mission is to create and lead a task force charged with identifying opportunities to strengthen the University.

How? By steady lobbying, for starters, Goble says. Unrestricted by political concerns that hamstring Austin Peay officials, this task force will "pursue the legislative agenda" of APSU and address issues the University couldn't address, he explains, "like improved funding." Its members will be business and political leaders in the community. In other words, people with clout.

The structure of the APSU/Community Development Division includes a committee designed to integrate Austin Peay faculty, staff and students into the business community. Dr. Carmen Reagan, director of the President's Emerging Leaders Program, will lead that effort.

"Dr. Reagan has an extraordinary amount of experience on both sides-the Chamber and the University," says Noble.

The Chamber has long voiced a desire for a closer relationship between Austin Peay and the community. "Faculty and staff have a tendency to stay among themselves," Noble says. "Businesspeople tend to do the same. We want to integrate the two more."

Goble also wants to see more APSU students in Clarksville businesses, believing it could be a mutually beneficial relationship. "A lot of students have to do projects, for their fraternities and sororities, for example, or for class assignments. And the Chamber often needs help on projects like Keep Clarksville Beautiful. We can help each other."

Noble hopes the closer relationships between students and business will influence graduates to remain in the community. "If they feel 'at home' here, they're more likely to stay," he says.

As for the perception that there are few white-collar jobs in Clarksville and thus little to keep them here, Goble says, "It is an issue, and we're working on it." But, conversely, he says, "if we're to enhance our appeal to white-collar industry, we must have white-collar workers."