The mission of the William D. Ruckelshaus Center is to act as a neutral resource for collaborative problem solving in 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. For more information, visit our website.
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, please email us.
Support the Center
Supporting the Center is a tax-deductible investment in the quality of life in our state and region. Donations are matched up to $100,000 per year by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and qualifies for donor credit at both WSU and UW.
Nationally-Renowned Author to Address Civil Discourse and Hyper-Partisanship at Chairman’s Circle Luncheon
On August 17, the Center will host its second annual Chairman’s Circle Luncheon. This year’s event will feature Ronald Brownstein, two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America. The topic will be Civil Public Discourse in an Era of Hyper-Partisanship. The event is a complimentary thank-you to Chairman’s Circle members, but tickets and event/table sponsorships are also available.
The Center has been asked by the Washington State Governor’s Office to help the Office of Financial Management produce a report to the Governor and Legislature that identifies recommended priority flood hazard mitigation projects in the Chehalis River Basin in southwest Washington. The Center’s tasks are to coordinate the report, using technical information provided by other agencies and organizations, and to conduct a situation assessment of flood alternatives and relationships between responsible parties and stakeholders. The report is due in August 2012.
Building upon the “4Cs Project” conducted several years ago by the Three Rivers Community Roundtable, the Center is conducting research and a public engagement process on the topic of improving governance and governance structure in the Tri-Cities, WA region. WSU’s Division of Governmental Studies and Services is leading the project, with additional research from the UW Evans School of Public Affairs and UW Information School.
Twenty-eight of Washington’s 39 counties have chosen to participate in the Voluntary Stewardship Program (ESHB 1886), which provides an alternative, incentive based approach to protecting environmentally critical areas on agricultural land under the State’s Growth Management Act. Those opting out were mostly counties near the Puget Sound and Lower Columbia population centers, where jurisdictions have already updated their critical area ordinances or are implementing other approaches. At the request of the implementing agencies and parties to the agreement, the Center has remained involved during early implementation, thanks to support from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
The Center is serving as neutral convener of a new group that will advise the Washington State Ocean Caucus and the Governor’s Office on ocean policy and management issues along with Washington’s Pacific Coast. Coastal Marine Resources Committees recommended a neutral convener be brought in and expressed a preference for a university-based provider. The new group offers an opportunity for coastal communities to provide local input and perspectives that inform the state about the objectives and concerns coastal stakeholders have about ocean policies.
Center Welcomes New Board Members/Meets with Spokane Leaders
At the Center’s April 27 Advisory Board meeting in Spokane, Board Chair Bill Ruckelshaus welcomed new members Doug Walker (The Wilderness Society), and WA Senator Ed Murray (D-43rd District). The Center also hosted a lunch discussion between Board members and Spokane area leaders.
Center Co-Sponsors, Presents at Regional and National Conferences
The Center is participating in a number of conferences in 2012 that help advance elements of its mission such as collaborative public policy and civil public discourse. This includes co-sponsoring the May 2012 Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference at the UW Law School and the October 2012 American Society for Public Administration-Evergreen Chapter/UW Evans School conference entitled Civil Discourse to Resolve Governmental Crisis. The Center is also presenting at the national conferences of two organizations devoted to collaborative public policy — the Association for Conflict Resolution’s Environment and Public Policy Section May 2012 annual conference, and the University Network for Collaborative Governance, June 2012 annual conference.
Help the Center Complete its Gates Foundation Match by June 30!
Gifts from individuals and organizations provide the financial independence that reinforces the Center’s neutrality and ability to quickly respond to areas of need. Through the Center, the universities are contributing to the resolution of important and thorny policy challenges. We only have until June 30 to match a $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Your gift is eligible for donor credit at WSU and/or UW. Gifts of $1,000 or more qualify you for the Chairman’s Circle (a group of the Center’s most dedicated supporters) and invitation to events like the Chairman’s Circle luncheon described above. The easiest way to donate online or you can contact the Center at (509) 335-2937 or E-mail.