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Institute director calls new job a perfect position

November 10, 2000

For Carol Weissert, being the director of the university’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research is an ideal situation.

“It’s a perfect position because it pulls together people who are interested in public policy,” said Weissert, currently the director of MSU’s Program in Public Policy and Administration. “It’s MSU’s linkage to public policy, so it’s perfect for me.”

It was only appropriate that she was selected for the job considering her expertise in the field.

Gary Manson, who serves as acting dean for the College of Social Science, called Weissert the ideal person for the position.

“Not only is public policy Carol’s academic background, it is her passion,” he said.

Since her appointment Oct. 23, the political science professor has been working on the duties that come with being the institute’s director.

Her duties include supervising the institute’s activities - which include survey research, training and leadership.

The institute’s mission is to apply research to important public policy issues and establish problem-solving relationships with campus faculty and private and public practitioners.

Weissert felt her previous dealings in research made her qualified for the job.

“I do know what it is like to be on the receiving end of research,” said Weissert, talking about her experience as a newspaper reporter in Dallas, Tex., and Riverside, Calif.

While serving as the institute’s director, Weissert will also maintain her administrative services for other organizations, including executive council membership on the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and the public policy section of the American Political Science Association.

“Carol is a top-notch researcher and faculty member,” said Larry Hembroff, a survey director in the institute’s office who worked with Weissert during a Kellogg Foundation pilot program from 1991 to 1996. “She was extremely good at drawing information from people.”

She has previously served as a research associate for the Institute on Health and Social Policy. During her tenure, Weissert spent time in Washington, D.C., working with the National Governors’ Association, National Conference of State Legislatures and the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations.

She also wrote “Governing Health: The Politics of Health Policy,” which was published in 1996 by the Johns Hopkins University Press and is currently in its third printing.

“(A main responsibility) is linking (MSU) faculty, policy-makers, and staff here at (the institute),” Weissert said. “I have been setting up a lot of meetings to talk about what they would like to see and what their interests are.”

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