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.

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

You Are Invited

Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame

Bill Miller Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame
Reception and Induction Ceremony

Honoring former Public Affairs Reporting program interns with distinguished careers in journalism

Monday, April 29, 2019
5:30pm Reception | 6:30pm Ceremony

Inn at 835
835 South Second Street
Springfield, IL 62704  

Event Registration –

Charles N. Wheeler III, retiring director of the PAR program, will make closing remarks on the status of state government reporting.

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

For additional information contact Nichol Timms
217.206.7163 |

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 at UISInnovate 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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