About BERC

Since its establishment at Middle Tennessee State University in 1970, the Business and Economic Research Center (BERC) has conducted research on the regional economy as a public service and on a contract basis for clients from the community. Learn more about BERC history.

BERC publishes two quarterly reports: Global Commerce—Tennessee and the International Economy, edited by Dr. Steven Livingston, and Housing Tennessee, in partnership with the Tennessee Housing Development Agency. 
Recent research projects for external clients include an economic impact assessment for Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee, an economic and fiscal impact for Cumberland University, a study of Williamson County's population growth and economic dynamics, a benefit-cost analysis of the proposed Cates Landing port rail system, and an economic and fiscal assessment of the city school system in Florence, Ala. 
For MTSU, BERC conducts research on the economic impact of the University and its alumni, feasibility studies for prospective degree programs, degree cost estimates, and the impact of federally funded university research and development on economic growth.

Student workers

The BERC employs several graduate- and undergraduate-level students to assist with research projects. Click here to meet our student staff.

Center Activities

  • Studies—economic impact, feasibility, emerging industries
  • Analysis—competitiveness, industry clusters
  • Research—labor market, international business
  • Economic outlook—modeling/forecasting 
  • Public speaking—community-oriented lectures
  • Publications
  • Data center for faculty research
  • Affiliate of Tennessee State Data Center


Selected Clients

  • Nashville Health Care Council
  • Tennessee Department of Labour and Workforce Development
  • Tennessee Small Business Development Center
  • Wilson County, Office of the Mayor
  • Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association
  • Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce
  • Cumberland University
  • Austin Peay State University
  • Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee 
  • Tennessee Housing Development Agency


BERC director Murat Arik has consulted extensively with local and state government agencies, chambers of commerce, and private businesses. For two decades before  becoming director, he served communities across Connecticut and Tennessee as an economic research professional. His research focuses on regional economic trends, international business dynamics, strategic management of resources, and management of innovation. He teaches strategic management to undergraduates. Murat holds a Post-Doctoral Bridge Program (PDBP) certificate in management from the University of Florida, a Ph.D. in international political economy from the University of Connecticut, an M.A. in political science from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in public administration from Ankara University. He serves on the board of directors of Leadership Middle Tennessee (www.leadmt.org) and the Institute for Global Business Research (www.igbr.org). He is also the associate editor of the Global Journal of Management and Marketing (GJMM). 

Facebook Logo  Twitter Icon