Food for thought

| Print |  Email
Articles - March 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013

 

BY LUCY BURNINGHAM

0313 FOB GamePlan CulinarySchoolFor many people around the country, Portland sounds like a place where the streets are paved with bacon-maple doughnuts, meticulously roasted coffee and artisan charcuterie. Yes, the city has a vibrant culinary scene, but it also is a hub of food banks, stores and eateries touting local- food sourcing, farmers markets and community gardens.

If Marylhurst University in Lake Oswego has its way, graduates from a new master’s program will help better shape and guide those kinds of businesses and nonprofits. The Food Systems & Society master’s program, which launches in September, will enroll 15 students a year on a low-residency basis. The students will meet four times a year on campus and do the rest of their coursework online.

The degree was designed for midcareer professionals hoping to pursue what Patricia Allen, chair of the new program, says are new types of jobs that are being developed “day by day.”

Will professionals with food-related jobs be willing to invest in this type of higher education?

Definitely, says Ron Paul, a private consultant and restaurateur. Paul came up with the idea for the degree and proposed it to Marylhurst. The university hired DHM Research in Portland to assess interest and led a discussion between 25 local academics, government leaders and business owners, which pushed the idea forward.

Nationally, there are food-policy programs at Boston University and New York University. Chatham University in Pittsburgh offers a master of arts in food studies, and the University of Vermont runs a graduate program in food systems.

In Portland, for the most part, food courses have focused on culinary training or entrepreneurial product development, such as the “Getting Your Recipe to Market" class at Portland Community College. And while Portland State University offers a graduate certificate in sustainability, Marylhurst’s new program will occupy a unique niche on the West Coast.

In the larger financial picture for the university, 15 students paying about $27,000 at current tuition rates to complete the program isn’t a gamechanger. But the program meets other goals, like advancing the university’s national profile and creating a new kind of employee for eager employers, says Marylhurst spokeswoman Shirley Skidmore.

Paul says a student from PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs master’s program put it this way: “A master’s in food policy issues is like urban planning was 25 years ago. No one knew how important it was.”

 

More Articles

Portland’s long-distance bike commuters

The Latest
Monday, August 03, 2015
Matt KellyresizethumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Pushing the extreme.


Read more...

Inside the Box

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY GINA BINOLE

Screening for “culture fit” has become an essential part of the hiring process. But do like-minded employees actually build strong companies — or merely breed consensus culture?


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


Read more...

Up on the Roof

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

In 2010 Vanessa Keitges and several investors purchased Portland-based Columbia Green Technologies, a green-roof company. The 13-person firm has a 200% annual growth rate, exports 30% of its product to Canada and received its first infusion of venture capital in 2014 from Yaletown Venture Partners. CEO Keitges, 40, a Southern Oregon native who serves on President Obama’s Export Council, talks about market innovation, scaling small business and why Oregon is falling behind in green-roof construction. 


Read more...

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Getting What You Pay For

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Chris Maples, president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.


Read more...

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS