On a balcony overlooking downtown Boise on Tuesday, Oct. 4, a crowd including President Bob Kustra, School of Public Service Dean Corey Cook, local politicians and university faculty members assembled to celebrate the grand opening of the Idaho Policy Institute, located on the 6th floor of the Zions Bank Building downtown.
The Idaho Policy Institute, created by the School of Public Service, aims to bring faculty experts, well trained and energetic students, and community partners together with objective research and analysis to address problems of public concern.
“We recognize that state and local governments are often strained when it comes to resource allocation to research, so we created the institute to help bridge that gap,” explained institute director Greg Hill.
Although the institute just opened its doors, Boise State researchers already are busy on a number of projects related to its mission. In September, they completed a Treasure Valley Public Policy Survey that queried 1,000 residents of Ada, Canyon and Owyhee counties on their policy preferences and attitudes. Researchers are also working on a downtown revitalization project with the City of Jerome and examining recidivism rates in Idaho drug courts.
“Our intention is to be responsive to the community,” Hill said. “We want all levels of government and nonprofit organizations to come to us with projects and ideas that can be beneficial to them, and we can help design and execute research project to meet those needs.”