Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D., St. Mary’s University Professor of Political Science and President Emeritus, will serve as the University’s new director of the Institute for Public Administration, Politics and Public Policy. He replaces Arturo Vega, Ph.D., who has been appointed Chair of the Political Science Department.

Formed in 2011, the Institute’s mission is grounded in two foundational of values of St. Mary’s University: service and educating leaders for the common good. The Institute seeks to add understanding and value to local, regional, state and international communities through relevant public interest programs and research.

During the past two years, the Institute has hosted Community Conversations, through which St. Mary’s has welcomed the San Antonio community to hear from area leaders on important public interest matters. Community Conversations speakers have included Mayor Julian Castro, City Manager Sheryl Sculley and civic leader and entrepreneur B.J. “Red” McCombs.

Despite the success of Community Conversations, as envisioned by Vega and its other founders, the Institute’s goals are even more far-reaching. The Institute plans to strengthen the University’s national reputation as an epicenter of community engagement by becoming a more significant resource on matters of public interest. It plans to do so by offering research, reports and other appropriate analyses for public agencies, non-governmental entities and the general public. The Institute’s undertakings will draw upon the entire intellectual assets and disciplines that constitute the St. Mary’s scholarly community, including its faculty, students, staff and alumni.

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