Center for State Policy and Leadership

The Center for State Policy and Leadership promotes evidence-based policy and practice in the public sector.

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.


Samuel K. Gove Illinois Legislative Internship
Hall of Fame Reception & Induction Ceremony
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

 Click Here for More About the Illinois Legislative Internship Program



CSPL Institute for Illinois Public Finance Director Co-Edits New Book

Dr. Kenneth Kriz, Director      UIS Institute for Illinois Public Finance

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

Tax Increment Financing and Economic Development, Second Edition”.

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

Charlie Wheeler, III Public Affairs Reporting Program Director
Charlie Wheeler with Nancy Pistorius, sister of Bill Miller

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

2018-19 Inductees:

Patty Culhane

Correspondent, Al Jazeera English
PAR Class of 1994-95

Natasha Korecki

National Correspondent, POLITICO
PAR Class of 1996-97

Trif Alatzas

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Baltimore Sun Media
PAR Class of 1988-89

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

Book Image
Published by IGI Global. (

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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