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Cheryl Peck

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This Year



Barbara Ferrara named interim director of policy center at UIS

April 26, 2004

SPRINGFIELD - Barbara E. Ferrara, associate director of the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has been named interim executive director of the Center, pending approval by the U of I Board of Trustees.  Her appointment follows the resignation of Dr. Milan Dluhy, who had served as the Center’s executive director for a short time.  A national search for a director will begin next fall.

Ferrara has 28 years’ experience as an administrator in the Center, previously known as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center for Governmental Studies and before that, the Institute for Public Affairs. She has worked as the associate director since 1989 and before that was assistant director of the Center for Policy Studies and Program Evaluation.  She has a master’s degree in public administration from UIS and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from MacMurray College.  She is currently pursuing the Doctorate of Public Administration at UIS.

“We are fortunate to have a strong manager to turn to in Barbara Ferrara during this time of budget pressures and new opportunities in the Center,” said UIS Provost Michael Cheney.  “She is a highly respected professional whose depth of experience and commitment to public service equip her to guide the Center’s continued development.”

U of I President James Stukel asked UIS to change the name of the Center last fall after concerns were raised about the resemblance between its name and that of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. There was concern that the similarity of the names was causing confusion in fundraising and marketing efforts. In November, the U of I Board of Trustees approved the name change.

Dr. Dluhy, who became the Center’s executive director on July 1, 2003, came to UIS from Wilmington, North Carolina, where he was a professor and chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of North Carolina.  Dluhy succeeded Ernest Cowles, currently director of the Center’s Institute for Legal and Policy Studies.

Dr. Dluhy decided to leave the executive director’s position at UIS after the decision was made to change the name of the Center and refocus the Center’s mission on state policy and leadership.  “He came to UIS expecting to direct a presidential center, and when we decided to change the focus of the Center, he chose to pursue other opportunities,” Provost Cheney said.

Ferrara said the goals of the Center for State Policy and Leadership are to continue building its national reputation as a center to study states’ policies, to focus on its core missions of improving governmental effectiveness and citizen education, and to forge partnerships for leadership development and civic engagement.

The Center focuses on serving the research and information needs of opinion leaders, government officials, educators, scholars, and citizens.

Units within the Center are the Institute for Legal and Policy Studies, Institute for Legislative Studies, Illinois Issues magazine and Center Publications, Office of Electronic Media, Office of Graduate Internship Programs, Papers of Abraham Lincoln, Public Policy High School Initiatives, Survey Research Office, and WUIS/WIPA Public Radio.
    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 40 degree programs – 20 bachelor’s, 19 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.