Center for State Policy and Leadership
This Center’s mission is carried out through research that informs public decisions and understanding; internships, training programs, and applied problem solving that strengthens public leadership; and journalism that educates and engages citizens in public affairs. The Center:
- Researches, evaluates, and helps form effective public policy,
- Educates citizens on public affairs issues, and
- Provides leadership and professional development programs.
2019 Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship Hall of Fame Inductees
David B. Menchetti is a shareholder in Cullen, Haskins, Nicholson & Menchetti, P.C. in Chicago and concentrates his practice in the representation of injured workers throughout Illinois before the Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Circuit Courts and the Illinois Appellate and Supreme Courts. He graduated from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law (JD) and attained an undergraduate degree (BA) with distinction from Stanford University. Mr. Menchetti is a former staff counsel to Illinois State Senate President Philip J. Rock and served as counsel to Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones, Jr. He is listed in the Who’s Who in American Law, has been designated as one of the Best Lawyers in America and has been selected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer and a Super Lawyer.
John D. Nicolay has been a partner of Nicolay & Dart LLC since its founding in 2005. Prior to that, he directed state governmental representation at Winston & Strawn LLP for seven years. Previously, he served as general counsel to Illinois Senate President James “Pate” Philip, where his responsibilities included staffing and operations for the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee. Prior to his work with the office of the Senate President, he served as Legislative Liaison for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office where he helped secure passage of more than 50 pieces of legislation, including major sentencing and evidentiary reforms. He also served as an Assistant State’s Attorney and practiced in the area of commercial and governmental litigation at Shefsky & Froelich, Ltd. In addition, Mr. Nicolay served as a Legislative Aide to former Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson, and as a special assistant to Governor James R. Thompson.
Kevin Schoeben began his 30-year career in state government as an ILSIP intern for Speaker Madigan’s Research/Appropriations staff in 1989 and remained on staff through 1999, primarily staffing several committees for state and local government, appropriations for public safety, pensions, transportation, and state capital programs. Thereafter, Kevin was the Legislative Director for three terms under former State Comptroller Dan Hynes, with notable work toward the establishment of ethics reforms, the state’s rainy day fund, and other fiscal and transparency reforms. Kevin went on to become the Deputy Director of Planning and Programming for the Department of Transportation for four years under IDOT Secretaries Gary Hannig and Ann Schneider.
Survey Research Office
Visit the Survey Research Office for the most recent release of the Illinois Issues Survey
Child Protection Training Academy
Newly Renovated Mock Courtroon in OEM TV Studio Serves as Training Lab for Child Protection Investigators
The UIS Child Protection Training Academy (CPTA), in partnership with DCFS, has a newly renovated mock courtroom located in the UIS Office of Electronic Media (OEM). The renovations were spearheaded by Professor Dathan Powell, OEM Director Cody Pope and CPTA Principal Investigator Dr. Betsy Goulet. The courtroom serves as the training lab for new child protection investigators and other frontline child welfare professionals. Judge John Mehlick, a retired Sangamon County Judge “presides” over the courtroom and numerous other volunteers from the Juvenile Court system lend their expertise.
Illinois Innocence Project
Student Volunteer Inspired to Help Fix Criminal Justice System
UIS Senior Tyler Brown of Quincy, IL, recently went on his first prison legal visit and finally got to meet an Illinois Innocence Project (IIP) client whose case he has been working on over the past year. “It was incredible to meet him. He was nervous but sat calmly while the attorneys talked to him about every detail of his case. It was definitely a learning experience for me.”
Tyler was inspired to volunteer for IIP when he learned about prosecutorial misconduct in UIS’ Conviction of the Innocent class, taught by Project attorneys. “I was shocked by how some prosecutors choose to use false testimony by ‘jailhouse snitches’ to make a case against an innocent person.” Tyler will learn about another aspect of the criminal justice system by joining IIP’s policy team. He will track legislation emerging in the 2020 General Assembly that may threaten the prevention of wrongful convictions. After graduation in May, Tyler plans to take the LSAT with the goal of beginning law school in fall 2021.
University of Illinois Springfield students are helping to free the wrongfully convicted by interning and volunteering at the Illinois Innocence Project on campus.
Graduate Public Service Internship
The Office of Graduate Intern Programs seeks experiential learning opportunities at state and local government agencies for UIS graduate students.
The Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI) is ranked as one of the Illinois’ premier governmental internship programs.
Springfield’s first and only University-led Social Innovation and Business Incubator
UIS Survey Research Office Completes 2019 Sangamon County Citizen Survey
The 2019 Sangamon County Citizen Survey is the fourth iteration in an ongoing project that aims to evaluate resident assessments of the quality of life in Sangamon County. Results are based on a mail survey conducted by the Survey Research Office at University of Illinois Springfield of 652 randomly selected Sangamon County residents on over 60 questions across several different areas, including: culture and recreation, social well-being, health, education, economy, gambling, government and civic participation, environment, and public safety.
CSPL Institute for Illinois Public Finance Director Co-Edits New Book
Dr. Ken Kriz, Director of the Institute for Illinois Public Finance within the Center for State Policy and Leadership, is Co-Editor of a new book
University of Illinois and the Illinois Innovation Network
Innovate Springfield, housed within the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, is the first Hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). Dr. Ken Kriz and Katie Davison, both with the Center, along with UIS Chancellor, Dr. Susan Koch, and Bruce Sommer, UIS Director of Economic Development, provided a presentation in May to the Citizens Club of Springfield regarding UIS and its’ participation in the IIN.
The UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership Welcomes Dr. Alan Simmons
Dr. Alan J. (AJ) Simmons is proud to be the new Director of the UIS Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies (ILLAPS) and the Survey Research Office (SRO). In his role, AJ hopes to help people, governments, and organizations collect actionable data to make informed, evidence-based, decisions. AJ previously worked in the SRO as the Graduate Research Assistant prior to completing his PhD in Political Science from Arizona State University and leading a team of researchers for the Arizona state government. He is married to Valerie and they have two daughters. When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, their two dogs, reading, hiking, fishing, playing and watching soccer, and gardening.
Congratulations to the Bill Miller Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame Inductees
2019 Honorary Inductee Charlie Wheeler
Congratulations to Charlie Wheeler for his honorary induction into the PAR Hall of Fame. Charlie has been with the University for 25 Years! Learn more about Charlie’s outstanding career here – UIS PAR Program
View more photos from an amazing night here – 2019 PAR Hall of Fame
2019 CSPL Annual Convocation
The UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership held its’ Annual Convocation in April. Units within the Center provided highlights of activities for this past year. Below are a few photos from the event –
Select 2019 Convocation to see more photos and video from the event.
Innovating for the Public Good
Each year, the Center for State Policy and Leadership issues an annual report highlighting key developments and accomplishments from the past year. The report for 2018 uses the lens of innovation to look in-depth at ways in which the Center made a positive difference in the world outside the University through research projects, service initiatives, professional development and training, and public journalism. View the report here – 2018 Annual Report
New Book on Capital Management
Co-Authored by Center Staff
This book describes, compares, and evaluates public infrastructure investment policy and practices in twelve countries based on principles recommended by public finance experts. The book finds that the best performers have a skilled workforce recruited through merit-based systems, are situated in relatively less corrupt countries, and are where decision makers are more saving- and investment-oriented. As an outcome of stronger strategic public infrastructure spending processes, these best performers tend to invest in public infrastructure networks more than other countries and are more efficient in their investment. Lead co-author Dr. Awri Srithongrung is a research fellow with the Center’s new Institute for Illinois Public Finance.
Center Releases New Statewide Survey
The 2018 Illinois Issues Survey is the first in a planned long-term project which examines the policy preferences of Illinoisans. The study examines policy issues relevant both at the state and national levels across a wide variety of areas. Questions pertaining to immigration, gun control, taxes and the economy, and education policy are asked. The study is designed in a such a way that the interested public and policy makers can make use of the results, which are representative of registered voters in Illinois.
This report references the overall results of the study (which can also be found in the “Topline” appendix on pg. 24) and compares results across a variety of demographic groups such as geography, political affiliation, and ethnic background. A total of 717 registered Illinois voters were surveyed in July and August, 2018 by telephone researchers at UIS. The margin of error for the survey is + 3.7% at the 95% confidence level. A brief methodological report is appended on pg. 23.
Research was conducted by the UIS Survey Research Office in the Center for State Policy and Leadership. This report was written by SRO Research Manager Matthew Case with assistance from Center for State Policy and Leadership Executive Director David Racine.
Download the report at 2018_Illinois_Issues_Survey.
Center Announces Innovate Springfield
Innovate Springfield joins the Center for State Policy and Leadership, becomes first hub of Illinois Innovation Network
Innovate Springfield, a downtown Springfield innovation and business incubator, has joined the University of Illinois Springfield’s Center for State Policy and Leadership, effective Aug. 1, 2018, under an agreement aimed at expanding economic growth, entrepreneurship opportunities and social progress in the capital city.
In joining UIS, the four-year-old incubator, founded in 2014 by the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, will be the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN). The new initiative, led by the U of I System, was announced in fall 2017 and is being developed to accelerate statewide job creation and economic development through groundbreaking research and innovation.
Read more about the first hub of the Illinois Innovation Network
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