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Dougherty, Michael

Extension Professor and Specialist
Community Resources and Economic Development

Michael Dougherty has been an Extension Specialist with West Virginia University since 1995, working in the areas of local government technical assistance and community planning.  He has taught planning-related courses in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design since 2005 and joined the college on a split appointment in 2010.

Dougherty received his B.A. degree in Government from the College of William and Mary in 1985, a Master's of Urban Affairs from Virginia Tech in 1989, and a Ph.D. in Planning from Virginia Tech in 1995. His dissertation examined the role local government administrators played in the strategic planning process.  
He has published academic journal articles and book chapters on budgeting, financial management, local government, GIS, information technology, and related issues. He has written conference papers on those topics as well as benchmarking, performance measurement, strategic planning, local government issues assessment, community planning, citizen involvement, and service learning. 

At WVU, Dougherty has worked with local governments and community organizations in over 40 counties.  These include aiding in the comprehensive planning process, developing strategic plans for development, and providing advice and education on operational and administrative issues, ranging from setting up commissions to creating pay classification systems for employees to examining the efficiency, effectiveness, and economy of various governmental operations. 

For the college, Dougherty teaches courses on comprehensive planning and planning law. He has also taught planning studios and independent studies. 

Additionally, Dougherty serves on the board of trustees of the Community Development Council and serves as a Recognition Committee Chair for the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals and Awards Co-Chair for the Community Development Society. 


  1. “An Agent Allocation System for the West Virginia University Extension Service,” with Daniel Eades. Journal of Extension, (53:6) December 2015. 
  2. “E-Government and its Potential to Facilitate Citizen Participation in State Budget Deliberations,” with Kenneth A. Klase (lead author). Chapter in E-Government Website Development: Future Trends and Strategic Models, Carl D. Ekstrom, ed., Hershey, Pa.: IGI Global (2010). 
  3. “Resolving Budget Cuts and Growing Budgets: The Case of West Virginia.” International Journal of Public Administration 32:7 (June 2009): 578-592. 
  4. “Determining the Impact of Local Government Spending on Community and Economic Development,” proceedings of the Community Development Society and National Rural Development Partnership Conference, June 2007.
  5. “Beyond the Public Meeting: Building a Field-Based Participatory Geographic Information System for Land Use Planning in Monongalia County, West Virginia,” with Timothy L. Hawthorne, (lead author), Greg Elmes, Christopher L. Fletcher, Brent McCusker, Marta Pinto, and Daniel Weiner. In Collaborative Geographic Information Systems, Shivanand Balram and Suzana Dragicevic, eds. Hershey, Pa.: Idea Group Inc. (2006).
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