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University of Denver Strategic Issues Program tackles state government

Nonpartisan panel will study The Future of State Government

DENVER – With state governments across the country straining to provide services in a difficult economic climate, the University of Denver Strategic Issues Program (SIP) on August 11th launched a yearlong study to understand the future and role of state governments in today’s world.

The panel, led by Dr. Jim Griesemer, is composed of 21 leaders in business, health services, education, public advocacy and government. Panelists include Kaiser Permanente Colorado President Donna Lynne, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado Vice President Mary Lou Makepeace, Qwest CEO Ed Mueller, and Colorado Health Foundation President Anne Warhover.

Panelists will hear from expert speakers throughout the year, including Bruce Benson, President of the University of Colorado; Bill Pound, Executive Director of the National Conference of State Legislatures; and Mary Mullarkey, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court.

The study will strive to gain not only a Colorado perspective, but also the view of national organizations and sub-national governments from around the world. By the summer of 2011, the panel expects to release its findings and a road map for state governments moving forward, examining services states provide and revenues they collect.

“This is not just about what taxes to you raise to run a state government,” Griesemer says. “This is about what a state government should be and what a state government should do. It’s about the very nature of state government in the 21st century.”

The panel’s first meeting from 8 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Aug. 12, is open to the public. Speakers will be Director Charlie Brown and Public Policy Analyst Jeff Roberts of the DU Center for Colorado’s Economic Future; Henry Sobanet, president of Colorado Strategies, LLC; and Todd Saliman, director of the Colorado Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting.

The panel will meet roughly every two weeks. A full schedule, along with video interviews, and information on speakers and panelists, is available online at  

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The University of Denver is committed to improving the human condition and engaging students and faculty in tackling the major issues of our day. DU ranks among the top 100 national universities in the U.S. For additional information, go to

  Chase Squires
Phone: (303) 871-2660

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