By SHERI GASSAWAY
Rob Russell has been promoted to director of the University of Missouri Extension’s (MU) Labor Education Program in Columbia, MO.
Russell joined the University of Missouri in 2011 and most recently served dual roles as the labor studies coordinator at UMSL and as the MU labor education specialist. He is replacing Paul Rainsberger who will soon be retiring.
“I appreciate the opportunity to continue the long tradition of bringing outstanding labor education opportunities to trade union members and leaders throughout Missouri and other Midwest states,” Russell said.
"As a longtime Missourian, I appreciate the contributions made by union members toward building our state and look forward to providing quality, affordable education for those leaders and members well into the 21st century.”
In his new position, Russell will be responsible for all continuing labor education activities of the Columbia campus. In that capacity, he will work with unions from across the state to develop educational and research projects to serve the diverse needs of workers.
Additionally, Russell will represent the Columbia campus in the administration and delivery of the credit labor studies certificate program of the University of Missouri System. He will continue to teach courses in the UMSL Labor Studies Program and host the monthly Labor Law Breakfast Series until his replacement in named.
Before joining the University of Missouri, Russell worked for unions in Iowa and Wisconsin where he had the opportunity to organize and represent public employees at all levels of government. He received his bachelor's in geography from the University of Missouri, a master's in geography from the University of Alabama and a doctorate in geography from the University of Iowa.
Russell is a member of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA), United Association for Labor Education (UALE) and AFT-Missouri. He also serves on the boards of the Gateway Chapter of LERA and Bread & Roses Missouri.