Voinovich School director elected president of professional association

Katie Labovitz
May 24, 2010

 The Director of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Dr. Mark Weinberg, can add “president” to his list of accomplishments. During the 2010 Annual Conference for the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations (SCUPSO) from April 7-8 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Weinberg was elected as president for the 2010-2011 term, having just served as vice-president from 2008-2010.
    The Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations, founded in 1979, is an association where member institutions collaborate in their efforts to provide service, training and strategic leadership development to state and local governments in each of their respective states. Partnered with Southern Growth, the regional public entity based in North Carolina that promotes economic development policies, the overarching goal of SCUPSO is to improve the quality of policy making and government management in the region.
    As president of SCUPSO, Weinberg will preside over business and director’s meetings of the Annual Conference and other assemblies throughout the year. He will also be working closely with Linda Hoke, Director, Council on the Southern Community for the Southern Growth Policies Board.
    “I am looking forward to working with Dr. Weinberg in his role of SCUPSO president,” Hoke commented in an email interview. “He has been an active and long-time member of the organization and has presented at numerous SCUPSO meetings, sharing ideas on topics related to strategic leadership development, student involvement and economic development. Dr. Weinberg is very forward-thinking in his work at the Voinovich School and I am sure that this will carry over into his thinking about SCUPSO.”
    Weinberg, representing the Voinovich School, has been a member of SCUPSO for the last fifteen years. During this time, Weinberg has been able to interact with directors of fellow schools, centers and institutions who have similar missions and service obligations. These conferences promote information sharing between members, giving and taking innovative ideas that can be used to initiate positive change.
    It was at one of these annual conferences where Weinberg found the model for the structure of the Voinovich School; the School of Government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The Voinovich School also benefited from Clemson University’s ideas of having innovation research groups, which has helped the School’s past watershed restoration projects.
    Other institutions have been looking at the Voinovich School for inspiration. “I think they have been more interested in the way that the Voinovich School integrates a large number of students from across the university into practice and project-based planning teams,” Weinberg remarked, “and the extent to which we are developing and integrating this practice into a degree program.” (For the first time, students entering the Masters of Public Administration program in the fall of 2010 will graduate with a diploma from the Voinovich School.)
    The Voinovich School is also considered to be a positive example of partnership within a university community by forming lasting working relationships with the Ohio University College of Business (in entrepreneurship and regional development efforts), and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and College of Arts and Sciences (in energy and environmental collaboration). In addition to working with other entities at the university, the Voinovich School also works with other academic institutions. Currently, the School is partnered with the Ohio State University on a climate change project. Prior work has also been done with the departments of Natural Resources and Health, among other state government organizations. These cooperative efforts aid in data collection and enhance the School’s ability to better serve its clients.
    Weinberg’s strong leadership and knowledge from heading up the Voinovich School are assets as he starts his SCUPSO presidency this fall. He recognizes the increasing importance of collaboration between government and nonprofit organizations at the state and local levels and is looking forward to a productive term. “I have been a member of SCUPSO for 15 years, which has been invaluable,” he states. “I am thrilled to serve as its president for the next year.”