Friday, June 04, 2010

State Politics and Policy Conference kicks off with Old State Capitol event

The University of Illinois Springfield welcomed nearly 200 political scientists from around the country and the world to central Illinois during the 10th annual State Politics and Policy Conference (SPPC).

The conference began on Thursday, June 3, with a roundtable featuring four former governors from different states at the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield. Former Governors Jim Edgar (R) of Illinois (1991-1999), Madeleine Kunin (D) of Vermont (1985-1991), Parris Glendening (D) of Maryland (1995-2003) and Bob Taft (R) of Ohio (1999-2007) took part in the discussion.

“This is something that UIS does very well. We do it all the time. Not only do we focus so much on state politics and improving government, but bringing the academic and practical together,” said Chris Mooney, UIS political science professor and co-chair of the event.

Bridging the gap between politicians and the academic world was the overall theme for the conference. Politicians admit they can learn a lot from political scientists, but it’s all in the presentation.

“I think they have a great amount of talent in the academic world. We have some great challenges. The problem is they have to be able to translate that information to the public and public officials in a manner they can make use of it,” said former governor Edgar.

The SPPC Conference runs from June 3-5, with sessions on the UIS campus and a banquet in the rotunda of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. Alan Ehrenhalt, Director of Information for the Pew Center on the States will be speaking on the topic of “Governors: Success and Failure”.

For a full list of events and times visit All events except the Friday night reception are free and open to the public.

Read our previous news release on the SPPC Conference

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