Lansing State Journal

Written by
Vickki Dozier

The Michigan Townships Association presented its Lifetime Service Award to Kenneth VerBurg, a professor emeritus from the Michigan State University Extension state and local government program.

The Lansing resident retired after 30 years as a professor at MSU. He authored the book “Managing a Modern Michigan Township” — long considered one of the fundamental manuals for township officials. The award recently was presented to VerBurg during MTA’s 60th annual statewide educational conference and expo in Detroit.

“Professor Ken VerBurg has devoted a lifetime to improving local government in Michigan,” said Larry Merrill, MTA’s executive director. “Beginning with his master’s thesis on the driving forces of municipal cooperation and continuing with writing multiple books on county and township government, he has played a pivotal role in helping local government officials better understand their roles and responsibilities. MTA has conferred on professor VerBurg its Lifetime Service Award in appreciation of all of his work on behalf of Michigan State University’s mission to make a positive difference in improving Michigan local government.”

VerBurg has authored several books and papers on local government, including “Michigan Laws Related to Planning” and a 2007 document for the State Boundary Commission titled “Intergovernmental Cooperation in Michigan: A Policy Dialogue.” Additional publications include: “Michigan Politics & Government,” “Michigan Open Meetings Act” and “American Policy Studies.”

At MSU, VerBurg was a professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Resource Development and Community Development Programs for the Institute for Community Development.

He also was associate dean for the Lifelong Education Program. Previously, he was business manager at Grand Valley State University, and he also worked at the Michigan Department of Education.

“I am thrilled to be honored for a lifetime of research and education in local government,” VerBurg said. “I have truly enjoyed my work.”

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