The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences


Dartmouth Professors Glick and Laws to Offer New Gateway Course on Law and Public Policy

Our two Rockefeller Center post-doctoral fellows, Professors David Glick and Serena Laws are offering a new gateway course in the Public Policy Minor during the Spring 2011 Term.  The course, PBPL 28: Law, Courts, and Public Policy, will serve as the first course to be taken by public policy students seeking to track in law and public policy. 

According to Professors Glick and Laws, “Critics see judges as ‘legislators in robes.’ Others see judges as ‘policymakers.’ We will investigate the role that legal institutions play in public policymaking.  What roles do practical considerations play? How can groups use courts to pursue change?  How much impact do courts have?  Can courts make good policy?  Applications will include educational funding, tobacco regulation, and campaign finance.” 

Professors Glick and Laws are serving in their second years as post-doctoral fellows in the Center.  Both Glick and Laws earned Ph.D.'s in political science; Glick from Princeton University, and Laws from the University of Minnesota.       

Winter 2011 Rockefeller Center Newsletter

Vol. 16, No. 3 -- Winter 2011



The Rockefeller Center electronic newsletter is published at the beginning of each term, and is a summary of news and notes.



 The 112th Congress is now in session and as focus turns to the national policy agenda, Rockefeller Center Director Andrew Samwick discusses the continued importance of local and state issues, such as underfunded defined benefit pension plans, in his Winter 2011 Direct Line.  

Professsors Shaiko and Samwick Attend DC Conference for FIPSE Awardees

Professors Ron Shaiko, associate director of the Center, and Andrew Samwick, director of the Rockefeller Center, traveled to Washington, DC in December for a conference hosted by the Department of Education for awardees in the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) program. The Center was notified in late September of its $750,000, three-year grant from FIPSE.  At the Washington, DC conference, Shaiko and Samwick learned that the Rockefeller Center was one of 38 awardees from a pool of 417 applications from colleges and universities across the nation.  Conference meetings provided information on federal regulations regarding the implementation of U.S. government-funded programs.  Samwick and Shaiko were joined by Virginia Reed, director of the Center for Program Design and Evaluation at Dartmouth. Reed will serve as the lead program evaluator during the three-year grant period.


Public Program Preview: Keith Hennessey, The Brooks Family Lecture

Keith HennesseyFormer Director, National Economic Council
Research Fellow, Hoover Institution
"The Size and Scope of Government in an Aging America"

Reflections of a Rockefeller Center Funded White House Intern: Ariel Murphy '12

“The Rockefeller Center's Internship Funding Program is phenomenal, and has provided me with an unforgettable opportunity to learn more about public policy and gain a better understanding of public service. Financially, it would have been extremely difficult to take part in the White House Internship Program, but through the generosity of the Rockefeller Center, I was able to take a huge step forward in the exploration of my professional and academic interests. As a former First-Year Fellow, I can also say that the Rockefeller Center has really helped to shape my Dartmouth experience.”  – Ariel Murphy ’12, in her internship self-evaluation 

Professor Ellen Meara Joins Public Policy Faculty at the Rockefeller Center

During the Winter 2011 Term, Professor Ellen Meara joins the Rockefeller Center as an adjunct associate professor of public policy.  She is teaching a health policy seminar—PBPL 84.2: Health Policy Reform. The goal of her seminar is to analyze the likely strengths and weaknesses in U.S. health reform to address three major challenges in the health care system: access, cost, and quality of health care. 
In addition to her teaching in the Center, Meara is also an associate professor at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.  Professor Meara is an economist whose research examines: 1) trends in medical spending and health outcomes in the U.S. and 2) the interaction of social policy and health outcomes. Much of her research has focused on medically vulnerable populations such as Medicaid enrollees, the uninsured and recipients of public income support with mental and substance use disorders.

Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Winter 2011

In years with Presidential or Congressional elections, we typically turn our attention to public policy at the national level. But many of the most pressing problems are occurring at the state and local level. An example is the underfunded status of many defined benefit pension plans for state and local public sector workers. According to a recent study by economists at Rochester and Northwestern universities, state-sponsored pension plans have unfunded liabilities of over $3 trillion and municipal plans have unfunded liabilities of over $500 billion when properly valued.

Fall 2010 Rockefeller Center Newsletter

Vol. 16, No. 2 -- Fall 2010



The Rockefeller Center electronic newsletter is published at the beginning of each term, and is a summary of news and notes.



Rockefeller Center Direct Line - Fall 2010

When he campaigned for President, Barack Obama used a slogan, “Change We Can Believe In,” which also served as the title of the book he published before the election outlining his plan for America.  Change in our public policies is very gradual, sometimes frustratingly so, but the promise of change by candidates and demands for change by voters figure prominently in most of our elections.  This year’s midterm elections are no exception.

Dartmouth Ranks in U.S. Senate Set to Grow After November Elections

Currently, Dartmouth’s sole representative in the United States Senate is Senator Kirsten Gillibrand ’88 (D-NY).  Senator Gillibrand is poised to win her special election to the Senate in November, following her appointment to the Senate to fill the seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State.  It is likely that at least two Dartmouth alumni and perhaps three will join Gillibrand in the United States Senate next January following the November elections. 

First, former Member of Congress, former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget and former United States Trade Representative under President George W. Bush, Rob Portman ’78 (R-OH) has a double-digit lead against his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, according to two polls conducted in the past two weeks—Quinnipiac and CNN/Time. Portman also maintains a two-to-one fundraising advantage over Fisher. 


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences