The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Five Colleges, Inc., Grant Launches New Policy Practitioner Residency Program

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A grant from the Five Colleges consortium will establish a residency program that brings in experienced public policy practitioners over the next two years to support the learning and research goals of Five College students and faculty. A group of 22 collaborating faculty from UMass, Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges developed the successful proposal. The award will be centrally administered by the UMass Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA).

“I am excited by the opportunities this grant presents,” notes CPPA director M.V. Lee Badgett. “Public policy is an important focus in over 300 Five College courses. Visiting residents—nationally-recognized experts from government, think tanks, NGOs—will bring experience that touches many area faculty and students.”

According to the group’s proposal, another goal of the residency program is to help establish long-term collaborations among Five College public policy faculty, “develop[ing] the kinds of shared goals and working relationships that have launched other successful Five College committees, councils, and programs.”

Beginning with the fall of 2011, the new program will support one policy practitioner per semester who spends up to two weeks in the Pioneer Valley giving public talks, meeting with students, working with faculty on curricular issues, assisting with new research initiatives, or helping to develop new internship opportunities for students.

A steering committee composed of faculty from all five colleges will help to identify and select the residents, soliciting nominations from area colleagues and others. Residents might include current legislators or directors of national or international nonprofits, policymakers who have recently retired or left public office, and alumni who have distinguished themselves through public service.

Practitioners who are expert in many areas of public policy—ranging from environmental policy to economic policies related to the recent fiscal crisis—will be considered as potential residents, but all those considered will have an interest in advancing social justice through their policy work.

For updates about the new Five College policy practitioner-in-residence program, visit www.masspolicy.org.

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