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The Public Policy Research Institute turns 35

To celebrate 35 years of impacting public policy through unbiased scientific research, the Public Policy Research Institute will hold a conference on November 5 at the George Hotel in College Station.

by Heather Rodriguez ’04

PPRI’s principle investigators, left to right, front row: Daniel Howard, Dottie Carmichael, Emily Naiser, Nandita Chaudhuri, and Trey Marchbanks. Back row: Georges Naufal, Nick Davis, and Alicia Novoa

The Public Policy Research Institute (PPRI) has been making its mark on both state and national procedure for 35 years. To celebrate, PPRI will host a conference on November 5, 2018, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the George Hotel in College Station.

The conference will explore the history of PPRI by examining research within policy areas where they have made a difference, including school discipline and juvenile justice, research to improve public health, and assessing criminal justice.

“Universities have a unique responsibility to contribute to their communities. For 35 years, the Public Policy Research Institute has done this through research that informs public policy and improves policy implementation,” said Kirby Goidel, director of PPRI. “Texas is a better place to live and work because of the work that has been done here. It is a joy to be part of this research and to know what we do makes a real difference in people’s lives.”

Recently, Texas Governor Greg Abbott used research conducted by Dottie Carmichael of PPRI and her team in a proposal to modernize Texas’ bail system. Carmichael’s team showed the importance of using validated risk assessments when setting the bail amount. The proposal has received support from the Texas Judicial Council, the policy-making body of the Judiciary which has been working since 2015 to improve Texas’ pretrial system.

“It has been a great joy for me to watch PPRI’s stature and influence grow over the past 35 years. Beginning with less than one full-time faculty, the institute has become the largest research facility of its type in the southwest. This sustainability and growth is a testimony to the enduring significance of PPRI’s mission,” said Charles Johnson, PPRI’s director emeritus. “PPRI has a proud history of helping shape policies impacting millions of lives and the future looks even brighter.”

The Texas Legislature created PPRI in 1983 to conduct scientific research that would inform and influence public policy. It is currently self-supporting. PPRI has filled a statewide niche for applied policy research–informing policy-making, providing data to improve program performance, and enhancing the overall quality of life of Texas residents.

For more information, click here. The registration deadline is October 15.