Voinovich School to host 2016 national CUPSO conference

Daniel Kington
March 16, 2016

Representatives of university-based institutes and centers from around the United States will converge in Athens on April 6–8 for the 2016 Consortium of University Public Service Organizations (CUPSO) annual conference.

CUPSO was first organized in 1979 as a coalition of university-based public service institutes in the south. The organization was founded to support these institutes in their service to state and local governments as they engage in work around contemporary public policy issues.

“CUPSO provides a forum for networking and information exchange among university colleagues,” Mark Weinberg, founding dean of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, said. “The consortium has a good mix of both large and small institutes and centers.”

Across its various workshops and presentations, the 2016 CUPSO conference will focus on university leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation and the relationship between public service institutes and government. New this year, the Voinovich School will sponsor a pitch competition, where four member institutions will showcase their innovative social and public policy initiatives to compete for cash prizes.

The conference will also showcase Ohio University, highlighting the Voinovich School’s programs and offering a campus tour the Voinovich School, a horse-drawn carriage ridge through the historic Ridges, as well as a tour of the Kennedy Museum.

“This gathering promises to provide a unique opportunity to network with other university-based public service organizations and engage in productive discussions on topics that are high on the agendas of organizations such as ours,” Weinberg said. “Because of the relatively small size of the gathering, there will be plenty of opportunities for the kinds of interactive, practical and candid discussions that are often of most benefit.”

The consortium has members in 24 states, including organizations such as the Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia and the McClure Center for Public Policy Research at the University of Idaho. The Voinovich School is the only member in Ohio.

All members of CUPSO observe three central goals: providing credible research and evaluation information to better government policy; providing research, training and technical assistance to improve government management practices; and developing leadership within government and nonprofits.

“I have been involved with CUPSO for over 20 years and it has been a tremendous asset to me in my role as Dean of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs,” Weinberg said. “In fact, I consider it one of the most valuable organizations I have belonged to in my professional career. The ideas and support I have received have helped shape the programs we have built here at Ohio University.”

For more information about CUPSO, visit their website.