Governor Asa Hutchinson recently appointed John Davis to a five-year term on the 11-member Arkansas Rural Development Commission.

Davis is director of university relations and assistant professor of political science at the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

“The ARDC is a group of citizens from rural areas throughout Arkansas charged with oversight of the programs of the Department of Rural Services (DRS). Seven ARDC members are appointed by the governor, two by the senate president pro-tem, and two by the speaker of the House of Representatives. The primary mission of the ARDC and DRS is to enhance the quality of life in rural Arkansas,” according to a news release.

Davis joined the UAM faculty in 2015. He has bachelor’s and master’s of arts degrees from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

“I’m honored that Governor Hutchinson has chosen me to be part of the ARDC,” Davis said. “The commission, in cooperation with the DRS, plays an important role in the lives of the people of this state. With 82 percent of Arkansans living in rural areas, it’s vital that we are responsive to the needs of our rural communities.”

The DRS, formerly the Office of Rural Advocacy, is a state agency that assists rural communities (with a population of 20,000 and under) with information and technical assistance, according to the release.

The agency also provides funding for projects in rural communities through a variety of grant programs such as the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program.