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The Rockefeller Institute of Government, in partnership with the
Government Law Center at Albany Law School, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the University at Albany, and the University at Buffalo School of Law, is pleased to announce the formation of the new Center for Law and Policy Solutions (CLPS), which will examine pressing issues at the intersection of law and policy in light of their effects on local communities.
Led by Dr. Katie Zuber, Assistant Director for Policy and Research at the Rockefeller Institute, the Center seeks to inform the development of good public policy through evidence-based practice and research. With a strong focus on state and local government issues, the CLPS will assist policymakers, community organizers, and the general public in identifying relevant solutions to complex social policy problems.
As part of the Center’s commitment to good governance and informed decision-making, student interns will assist researchers in analyzing, interpreting, and disseminating research findings to key stakeholders.
“The Center’s internship program will give tomorrow’s leaders a firm grounding in the use of data and research in the decision-making process as well as hands-on experience building consensus around an issue,” said Rockefeller Institute of Government President Jim Malatras, who will serve as a senior advisor to the Center. “At the same time, it will offer objective, evidence-based solutions to important policy problems.”
In carrying out its mission, the Center also seeks to improve attitudes toward government.
“Knitting together the academic community and our youth to develop public policy is such a worthy endeavor,” said Scott Fein, Senior Advisor to the Center for Law and Policy Solutions. “Harnessing facts and building consensus among those with differing views in an effort to promote civil discourse may prove an antidote to cynicism about the governmental process.”
A five-person advisory committee will provide strategic direction for the Center for Law and Policy Solutions:
• Aviva Abramovsky, Dean, University at Buffalo School of Law • Andrew Ayers, Director of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School • Joseph Belluck, member of the SUNY Board of Trustees and founding partner of Belluck & Fox law firm • Matt Ingram, Associate Professor of Political Science at the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the University at Albany • Timothy Taylor, Adjunct Faculty at the University at Albany and member of the Government Law Center Advisory Board
This collaborative alliance among lawyers, social science researchers, and public administrators will provide a strong, interdisciplinary foundation to the study of pressing public policy issues, ranging from sanctuary cities and immigrant rights to criminal justice reforms and the emerging opioid crisis. Scott Fein, Chair of the Government Law Center Advisory Board, Jim Malatras, President of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, and Patricia Strach, Deputy Director for Research at the Rockefeller Institute and Chair of the Political Science Department at Rockefeller College, will serve as senior advisors to the Center.
“As New York State's flagship public law school with a long-standing history of interdisciplinary education in the pursuit of social justice, the University at Buffalo School of Law is particularly suited to partner in this critical effort to craft real solutions for NY citizens,” said Aviva Abramovsky, Dean of the University at Buffalo School of Law. “Together we can achieve results none of us could do alone.”
“The Center for Law and Policy Solutions will offer students from the cooperating institutions opportunities to confront pressing policy issues that require analysis of data, legal language, local institutions, and social conditions,” said R. Karl Rethemeyer, Dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany. “Students will get a chance to learn about these problems by delving deeply into the issues and sharing their knowledge with the larger community.”
“The Center for Law and Policy Solutions will be on the cutting edge of analyzing problems at the intersection of law and policy,” said Joseph Belluck, a member of the CLPS Advisory Board and member of the SUNY Board of Trustees. “The serious issues facing our society in regards to immigration and criminal justice demand serious analysis. The CLPS will pull together the best minds to significantly move the dial on these issues.”
The Center for Law and Policy Solutions will be housed in the Rockefeller Institute’s renovated Carriage House on Henry Johnson Boulevard in Albany. The Rockefeller Institute of Government will provide administrative staff while the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs, the Government Law Center at Albany Law School, and the University at Buffalo School of Law will provide volunteer policy staff and researchers to work on specific issues.