The Social Sciences Public Policy Center, if approved, will serve as a think-tank to explore and support innovative solutions to complex governance challenges in Hawai'i by: 1) bridging relationships between academia, government organizations and community partners; 2) stimulating policy entrepreneurship through consulting and training activities within the State and; 3) encouraging an open and effective environment for public debates on public policy issues.
(1) WHEREAS the proposed Social Sciences Public Policy Center builds on the University's strengths in instruction, non-partisan research, civic engagement and community-university collaborative partnerships and programs; and
(2) WHEREAS one of the University's "Strategic Imperatives" is to "initiate new learning centers that respond to societal needs such as public policy, environmental sustainability, and other interdisciplinary areas of inquiry" (UH-Manoa Strategic Plan, 'Defining Our Destiny, 2002-2010'); and
(3) WHEREAS the Center, housed in the College of Social Sciences at UH Manoa, will incorporate the Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace, including the Program on Conflict Resolution and the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Program; and
(4) WHEREAS initially, the Center will be staffed with two positions reallocated from within the College-- a half-time Interim Director and a full-time fiscal and administrative support specialist; and
(5) WHEREAS upon establishment as a BOR-approved Center, fundraising can officially proceed, and grants and contracts can be secured from government agencies and private foundations; and
(6) WHEREAS there are approximately 65 academic degree-granting policy centers or departments in the United States that are able to provide public policy analysts and consultants to their local and state government leaders, and Hawai'i's policymakers increasingly find themselves confronted with a wide range of complex and private-public interdependent issues without similar access to non-partisan research and analytical expertise for legislative and other decision-making purposes;
BE IT RESOLVED that the Social Sciences Public Policy Center be established in the College of Social Sciences, and that the Spark Matsunaga Institute for Peace be established as a unit within the Center.