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eNews Spring 2017

Posted by cahnrs.webteam | June 2, 2017

The mission of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center is to act as a neutral resource for collaborative problem solving in the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest. The Center provides expertise to improve the quality and availability of voluntary collaborative approaches for policy development and multi-party dispute resolution. The Center is a joint effort of Washington’s two research universities.

Support the Center

Supporting the Center is a tax-deductible investment in the quality of life in our state and region. Donations qualify for donor credit at WSU and/or UW.

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The William D. Ruckelshaus Center’s electronic newsletter (eNews) is published two to four times per year. If you know of someone who might be interested in receiving this eNews, please forward it to them. If you wish to be removed from the list or would like to subscribe.

Project Updates

Cover of the Washington State Coast Resilience Assessment Final ReportRuckelshaus Center staff Chris Page, Molly Stenovec, Jim Kramer and Michael Kern recently provided briefings to legislative committees on the Center’s Career Colleges and Recreation Access Permitting projects, as well as the Chehalis Basin Strategy (view them via our News/Media page). Amanda Murphy, Phyllis Shulman, and others released a report outlining strategies for bolstering the resilience of Washington coastal communities (see this and other recent reports on our Current Projects page). Kevin Harris conducted a webinar (mp4) on collaborative governance and health policy for the Association for Conflict Resolution and initiated collaborative health policy projects in Snohomish County, Yakima, and southwest Washington. Joe Tovar and Amanda Murphy have been conducting a pre-assessment gauging interest in a potential review of Washington’s growth planning framework (our proposed “Road Map to Washington’s Future” project), which resulted in securing seed funding from diverse sponsors such as the American Planning Association, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, the Centers for Disease Control, Futurewise, the Master Builders of King & Snohomish County, the Quinault Indian Nation, and the Washington State Department of Commerce. More information on these and other projects is available on our website.

Hot off the Presses and in the Classroom!

Cover of the public sector as mediator. Center Director Michael Kern recently published an article in the Journal of Human Sciences & Extension entitled Urban Extension: Aligning with the Needs of Urban Audiences Through Subject-Matter Centers (pdf). Earlier this year, Michael co-authored a chapter entitled “The Public Sector as Mediator: The Role of Public Institutions in Environmental Collaboration and Conflict Resolution” in The Mediation Handbook: Research, Theory, and Practice (Routledge Publishing). The book is available here. He also taught a course at the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance during spring quarter called “Making Collaborative Governance Work.”



group photo of the leadership, faculty, staff and students affiliated with the Ruckelshaus CenterCenter Recognized for its Contribution to Collaborative Governance

Leadership, faculty, staff and students affiliated with the Ruckelshaus Center won multiple awards from the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia on May 2. The Center won ASPA’s Award for the Advancement of Collaborative Governance, which recognizes those who inclusively promote and engage in governance, resolve differences and deliver sustainable outcomes. Graduate intern Trevor Robinson received the Graduate Student of the Year Award in honor of his work evaluating the Center’s Walla Walla Water Initiative. Sandra Archibald, Dean of the UW Evans School, received the Call to Duty (lifetime achievement) Award, while Senator Karen Fraser (former member of the Center’s Advisory Board), received the society’s International Affairs Advocacy Award. Board Chair Bill Ruckelshaus and WSU Extension CED Director Rob McDaniel participated in the ceremony.

Comings and Goings

    At its May meeting, the Advisory Board welcomed five new members:

  • State Senator Hans Zeiger replaced retired Senator Linda Evans-Parlette in the Senate Republican ex-officio seat.
  • Senator Christine Rolfes replaced Senator Karen Fraser in the Senate Democrat ex-officio seat.
  • Representative Bruce Chandler filled the House Republican ex-officio seat left open when Hans Zeiger was elected to the Senate.
  • Brian Surratt, Director of the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, joined as a full Advisory Board member.
  • Michael Gaffney (a familiar name and face from the many Center projects he helped make successful as Director of WSU’s Division of Governmental Studies and Services) joined the Board as an academic ex-officio member (as Interim Director of WSU Extension).

A group photo of the Advisory Board.

The Board also said a warm thank-you and farewell to Rob McDaniel, retiring in June after 35 years at WSU Extension. Rob has been instrumental to the Center’s growth and development.

Earlier this year, the Center welcomed Joe Tovar as a WSU Extension Adjunct and UW College of Built Environments Affiliate Faculty member. Joe co-leads (with Amanda Murphy) phase one of our Road Map to Washington’s Future project (see Project Updates). Joe brings 40 years of experience on the state’s growth planning framework. In May, the Center bid a fond farewell to its Development and Communications Coordinator Erin McCarthy, as she pursues a new opportunity at the City of Federal Way Performing Arts Center. We are also sad to say goodbye to our amazing interns Trevor Robinson (beginning a Presidential Management Fellowship position with the US Forest Service in Colorado), and Heather Kosaka (who accepted a position in Yakima as the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Coordinator for the Voluntary Stewardship Program). We thank them for all they did for the Center, and wish them best of luck in their future endeavors!

Support the Ruckelshaus Center!

A drawing of a hand with a red heart above it.With June 30th marking the end of this fiscal year, please remember to make your annual contribution to the Ruckelshaus Center! We are closing in on our $5 million Endowment for Excellence goal, to ensure that the Center and Bill Ruckelshaus’ approach to collaborative problem solving are around for the long-haul. In today’s polarized political climate, the Center’s collaborative approach is more needed than ever. If you would like to make a gift or pledge, you can do so online or by calling 206-428-3021. Or schedule a call or sit-down to learn more about the Ruckelshaus Center and our work by contacting Project and Development Lead Chris Page at (206) 770-6060 or at


Download printable version: eNews Spring 2017 (pdf)