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Problem-Solving Partners

Rockefeller Institute’s renovated Carriage House on Henry Johnson Boulevard in Albany, site of the new Center for Law and Policy Solutions.

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 21, 2017) — Local communities confronting problems such as immigrant rights, criminal justice reforms and the emerging opioid crisis will be given access to a new source of innovative solutions, thanks to a just-formed alliance of four established institutions of law, social science and public administration.

UAlbany’s Rockefeller College Public Affairs and Policy is joining with the Rockefeller Institute of Government, Albany Law School’s Government Law Center and the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Law to create the Center for Law and Policy Solutions (CLPS) to tackle civic challenges at the intersection of law and policy.

Led by Katie Zuber, assistant director for policy and research at the Rockefeller Institute, the new center will focus on state and local government issues to assist policymakers, community organizers and the general public in identifying relevant solutions to complex social policy problems.

As part of CLPS’s commitment to good governance and informed decision-making, student interns will assist researchers in analyzing, interpreting and disseminating research findings to key stakeholders.

“The center’s internship program will give tomorrow’s leaders a firm grounding in the use of data and research in the decision-making process as well as hands-on experience building consensus around an issue,” said Rockefeller Institute's president, Jim Malatras, who will serve as a senior advisor to the CLPS. “At the same time, it will offer objective, evidence-based solutions to important policy problems.”

“The Center for Law and Policy Solutions will offer students from the cooperating institutions opportunities to confront pressing policy issues that require analysis of data, legal language, local institutions, and social conditions,” said R. Karl Rethemeyer, dean of Rockefeller College. “Students will get a chance to learn about these problems by delving deeply into the issues and sharing their knowledge with the larger community.”

A five-person advisory committee will provide strategic direction for CLPS:

  • Aviva Abramovsky, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Law
  • Andrew Ayers, director of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School
  • Joseph Belluck, member of the SUNY Board of Trustees and founding partner of Belluck & Fox law firm
  • Matt Ingram, UAlbany associate professor of Political Science
  • Timothy Taylor, UAlbany lecturer of Africana Studies and member of the Government Law Center Advisory Board

This collaborative alliance among lawyers, social science researchers and public administrators will provide a strong, interdisciplinary foundation to the study of pressing public policy issues, ranging from sanctuary cities and immigrant rights to criminal justice reforms and the emerging opioid crisis.

"The Center for Law and Policy Solutions will be on the cutting edge of analyzing problems at the intersection of law and policy,” said Belluck. “The serious issues facing our society in regards to immigration and criminal justice demand serious analysis. The CLPS will pull together the best minds to significantly move the dial on these issues."

CLPS will be housed in the Rockefeller Institute’s renovated Carriage House on Henry Johnson Boulevard in Albany. The Institute will provide administrative staff while Rockefeller College, the Government Law Center and the UB’s law school will provide volunteer policy staff and researchers to work on specific issues.

Senior advisors to CLPS include Malatras; Patricia Strach, UAlbany chair of Political Science and Rockefeller Institute's deputy director for research, and Scott Fein, chair of the Government Law Center Advisory Board.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.