It is with pleasure and gratitude that we present the Public Policy Center's Annual Report for academic year 2021-2022. This was another year of significant transformation and achievement resulting from the hard work and ingenuity of the people associated with the PPC.
Significant transformation began with our transition back to campus following the pandemic-related quarantine. The comradery and community resulting from personal interactions are impossible to replace, and yet we continue to learn how to effectively integrate virtual activities into our day-to-day operations. The transformation was strengthened when we moved all PPC operations into our newly renovated Public Policy Research Building at the end of the year. We are extremely grateful to the leadership of the university for supporting this move and the Facilities Management staff and contractors who made it happen. It’s great to have all PPC faculty, staff, and students under the same roof!
Significant achievement in that we continued a very active, externally funded portfolio of research (13 grants totaling $7 million), resulting in 245 publications, presentations, policy briefs, and reports; an increasingly impactful set of student success activities (900 students engaged in research and policy-related education); an enlightening set of speakers and symposia hosted or co-hosted by the PPC, including our Policy Challenges for Iowa and the Nation Series; and substantial support for social science researchers, including the Iowa Social Science Research Center assisting researchers to submit 114 grants. Our DEI activities continued to be cross-cutting through our research and individual reflection, including a discussion series with our colleagues in the OVPR and the State Hygienic Lab.
With P3 funding provided by the Office of the Provost, we built the research and policy education infrastructure for priorities that evolved from the Engagement Work Group associated with the university’s Path Forward Strategic Planning process. This campus-wide initiative identified ways to support faculty and staff and engage more students in Research, Internships and mentoring, Service learning, and civic Engagement activities. In collaboration with the 70+ faculty, staff, and students on our Advisory committee and sub-committees, we successfully met the goals set forth in our P3 funding proposal and are continuing to grow these within the PPC missions – including student and faculty mentoring, faculty-led undergraduate research teams, online badging modules, and community-engaged research. The FY22 P3 report, which includes our ongoing efforts, is available here.
Through all these efforts, our faculty, staff, and students addressed some of the most challenging issues of our times, including health and environmental disparities, social justice, vaccine uptake, and more.
I feel privileged to lead the Center's dedicated staff, students, and faculty, and I’m grateful for the hard work and creativity that leads to our success in generating new knowledge and sharing it with the campus and beyond. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your support, and we look forward to working with you in 2022-2023.