The Public Policy Center (PPC) is very proud and excited to be celebrating our 25th year. David Forkenbrock founded the Center to be an interdisciplinary academic research unit in the Office of the Vice President for Research, to investigate and inform policymakers about the most important issues affecting our daily lives. His nurturing hand guided the Center for 19 years into a well respected, non-partisan purveyor of information to policymakers, students, and the public. The six areas of research now represented at the PPC study many of those most important issues: Transportation, Health Care, Human Factors and Vehicle Safety, Housing and Land Use, Social Science and the Environment. The interdisciplinary traditions continue to grow, with our research teams acting as conduits for bringing together scholars and policymakers to tackle these most challenging questions. We are proud of our heritage, and driven by our intellectual curiosity to want to learn more and share that knowledge with others.
To provide policymakers and the public with information to make our lives and communities thrive in sustainable ways through academic research. Three activities are used to fulfill this mission:
- Conduct externally funded academic research
- Stimulate and support interdisciplinary research on campus
- Engage the public by sharing the expertise and resources of the PPC and the University of Iowa
Interdisciplinary collaborative academic research is at the heart of the Public Policy Center. Our current research policy areas are:
All PPC faculty have joint appointments in other academic departments across campus. Research is also conducted and supported by an outstanding staff within the PPC and a cadre of graduate and undergraduate students. PPC researchers disseminate their findings through journal articles, books, monographs, and policy briefs. They also interact regularly with state and federal policy makers and provide them with research support, testify before congressional committees, and host or participate in many public events each year.
In 2008, the Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy was established to expand the public engagement activities of the PPC by providing interdisciplinary fora to share information on important policy-related topics with policymakers and the public. The series sponsors lectures and symposia designed to bring together academic researchers, policymakers, and other key stakeholders such as business leaders, students and the public on the most pressing issues of our time. In collaboration with the UI Department of History and Political Science, the Forkenbrock Series sponsors an evening class called “Policy Matters”, that covers different policy topics and is open to the public.