About RUPRI™

The Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) provides unbiased analysis and information on the challenges, needs, and opportunities facing rural America. RUPRI’s aim is to spur public dialog and help policymakers understand the rural impacts of public policies and programs. RUPRI was founded in 1990 to address a concern of members of the Senate Agricultural Committee — including Senator Kit Bond (Missouri), Senator Dale Bumpers (Arkansas), Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa), and Senator Bob Kerrey (Nebraska) — that no objective non-governmental source of external data, information, and analysis, regarding the rural and community impacts of public policy decisions was available. Today, RUPRI is housed within the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. RUPRI’s reach is national and international and is one of the world’s preeminent sources of expertise and perspective on policies impacting rural places and people. RUPRI’s activities encompass research, policy analysis and engagement, dissemination and outreach, and decision support tools. The work of RUPRI is conducted through a small core team based in Iowa, the University of Missouri, Washington DC, and through centers and a number of joint initiatives and panels located across the United States.


  • Rural people and places have the resources and capacities to create strong, viable, meaningful, and sustainable futures that can both withstand and turn to advantage the forces of globalization and economic, demographic, and social change.
  • Rural and urban people find common cause and understanding about the future role and governance of rural places and the contribution that rural life and culture makes to national identity.


RUPRI’s mission in support of this vision is to:

  • Provide unbiased analysis and information on the challenges, needs, and opportunities facing rural America.
  • Spur public dialogue and help policymakers understand the impacts of public policies and programs on rural people and places.



RUPRI in pursuing this mission commits to:

  • Provide timely, empirically-based, and non-partisan advice and assistance to policymakers on the rural impacts of public policies and programs and on options for improving the prospects for rural people and places.
  • Foster understanding of and the search for effective solutions to the challenges of rural America by providing safe venues for people with a stake in the future of rural America to discuss openly concerns, issues, and opportunities.
  • Encourage collaboration and common purpose among scholars to pursue research that supports effective policy and practice, and among institutions and agencies that have the expertise, resources, and responsibilities to impact rural people and places.

Promote innovative, collaborative, and systems-based approaches to rural issues that engage decision-makers and rural people at local, regional, state, national, and international levels.


Collaborations – The Rural Assistance Center

A product of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Initiative, the Rural Assistance Center (RAC) was established in December 2002 as a rural health and human services “information portal.” RAC helps rural communities and other rural stakeholders access the full range of available programs, funding, and research that can enable them to provide quality health and human services to rural residents. RAC is a collaboration of the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health (UND-CRH), the Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI), and the federal Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and is located at the University of North Dakota. Funding comes from ORHP and stems from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Rural Initiative, which seeks to create a more integrative framework for the Department’s rural portfolio-a portfolio including some 225 programs.

RUPRI Staff and Leadership Team


Charles W. Fluharty
President and CEO
(319) 384-3816

Isaac Hooley
RUPRI Graduate Research Assistant

Teresa Kittridge
Vice President and COO
(952) 454-7211

Jocelyn Richgels
Director, National Policy Programs
(202) 624-7807

Erin Taber
(319) 384-3857


Leadership Team

Leadership Photos and Bios

Sam Cordes Chair, Spatial Analytics Initiative; and Vice Provost for Engagement, Emeritus

Matthew Fannin Associate Director, Analytic and Academic Programs; and Associate Professor, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana State University

Matthew Fluharty Founder and Executive Director of Art of the Rural, facilitator of its Middle Landscape projects, and a member of the M12 collective.

Tom Johnson Director, RUPRI Analytic and Academic Programs; and Frank Miller Professor of Agricultural Economics, Emeritus, University of Missouri

Keith Mueller Chair, Rural Health Panel; Director, RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis; Head, Department of Health Management and Policy; and Gerhard Hartman Professor, College of Public Health, University of Iowa

David Terrell Chair, Rural State Policy Advisory Group; and Director, Economic Development Policy  Center, Ball State University

Bruce Weber  Professor of Applied Economics and Director of the Rural Studies Program, Oregon State University

RUPRI Contact Information

Rural Policy Research Institute

Institute of Public Health Research and Policy

University of Iowa College of Public Health

145 N. Riverside Drive Iowa City, IA 52242

PH: (319) 384-3857