May 14, 2004

CSUS-USC partnership lands nation’s top leadership development program for legislative staff

California State University, Sacramento’s Center for California Studies and the University of Southern California’s State Capital Center have been chosen to direct the nation’s premier training and development program for legislative staff. The first sessions in Sacramento will be in the summer of 2005.

The program, called the Legislative Staff Management Institute, is the cornerstone of the legislative staff training and development programs offered by the National Conference of State Legislatures. It was created in 1990 to help senior legislative staff from each state expand their abilities in dispute resolution and conflict management, management of the legislative process, policy analysis, strategic planning, information systems, team building and communications.

“Effective state legislatures are essential to America’s representative democracy,” says Center for California Studies Director Tim Hodson. “Legislatures, like any other organization, need dedicated, skilled and well-trained staff. The Legislative Staff Management Institute develops that staff.”

The CSUS-USC partnership competed successfully with some of the most prestigious universities in the nation – the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute and the LBJ School of Public Policy at the University of Texas.

“Our proposal’s strength is the combined experience of the partners,” says USC Sacramento Center Director Rich Callahan. “USC runs world-class leadership programs and the CSUS Center has national and statewide recognition for legislative expertise. We were also able to enlist the help of top legislative staff and legislators from California and other states.”

Through the institute, CSUS and USC will offer senior legislative staff from America's state and territorial legislatures opportunities to improve their leadership skills, learn new ideas and best practices, and network with people doing similar legislative work in other states.

The National Conference of State Legislatures, founded in 1975, is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories. NCSL provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues. www.ncsl.org

The Center for California Studies is a public service, educational support, and applied research institute of CSUS. Founded in 1984, the Center’s mission is to strengthen democratic governance in California through preparing people for public service and leadership, helping to solve problems of public policy, and multidisciplinary education. CSUS offers numerous programs related to state government, including a master’s degree in public policy and administration, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in government.
www.csus.edu/calst

The USC State Capital Center is part of USC’s School of Policy, Planning and Development. Located a few blocks from the Capitol building in Sacramento, the State Capital Center offers two master’s degree programs and leadership programs for state executives, nonprofit directors, county mental health executives and newly elected city council and school board members. It includes the newly introduced USC California Policy Institute. www.usc.edu/sacto

More information is available by contacting Tim Hodson at (916) 278-6906 or Rich Callahan at (916) 442-6911 extension 18. Additional media assistance is available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

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