Universities Participate in PCI Workshop

Institutes of Government

Ruth Craw of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and John Stephens from the University of North Carolina shared their experiences located within their respective Institutes of Government. They also described their programs' affiliation with the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations (SCUPSO). Organized in 1979 with 40 member institutions across the country, SCUPSO supports university-based public service institutes in their efforts to assist state and local governments on a range of issues. The Southern Growth Policies Board partners with SCUPSO to produce toolkits, publications, and teaching aids used by member institutions in providing training and counsel to more than 35,000 local, state and regional government and nonprofit leaders each year.

Intergovernmental Relations

David Patton, Director of the University of Utah Center for Public Policy and Administration, described his program’s role in creating the Utah Intergovernmental Roundtable. When the Utah Legislature recently abolished its Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, the Center stepped in and offered to convene the Roundtable. The Roundtable is comprised of representatives from the executive and legislative branches of state government, county and municipal governments, and the public. It serves as a bipartisan forum for discussing intergovernmental issues.

Centers for Facilitation and Mediation Service Delivery

Bob Jones, Director of the Florida Conflict Resolution Consortium based at Florida State University, and John Folk Williams, Managing Senior Mediator at the Center for Collaborative Policy—a joint program of California State University, Sacramento and the McGeorge School of Law at University of the Pacific—described how their service delivery centers function. Neither receives funding from the university, and both provide a range of services to state and local governments.

Extension and Continuing and Professional Education

Carolyn Penny, Co-Director of Common Ground: Center for Cooperative Solutions at the University of California, Davis, discussed education, training and other services offered by her program. Other participants with similar approaches described their use of Natural Resource Leadership Institutes to build capacity among leaders from multiple sectors to effectively problem-solve and make consensus decisions affecting natural resources and the environment.

Law Schools

Jan Summer, Director of the Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution at the University of Texas School of Law, explained her program's mission to promote the use of dispute resolution and provide education, research, and services to state and local governments and the public. The UT program also has a successful Fellows program that selects influential state and local government leaders, as well as other leaders from across sectors, to participate in special workshops aimed at teaching and improving public policy dispute resolution skills.

Contact PCI to learn more about these programs, or to become part of the PCI network of university-based public policy dispute resolution and consensus building programs. PCI has descriptions of 29 university-programs, their roles, achievements of the last year, and current projects and issues. You can also find a listing of university-based programs in PCI's on-line Directory of State DR Programs.