The Maddy Institute, on Friday, Aug. 16, marked a ground-breaking agreement with the San Joaquin Valley’s four public universities (California State University campuses — Fresno, Bakersfield and Stanislaus — and University of California, Merced) to:

“…create a working partnership…to advance public understanding of public policy issues impacting the San Joaquin Valley, as well as to support the development of student skills and experience to help develop the next generation of government and civic leaders in California’s eight-county (Kern, Kings, Tulare, Fresno, Madera, Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin) San Joaquin Valley.”

From Memorandum of Understanding, signed by CSUB President Lynnette Zelezny, Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro, Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn and UC Merced Interim Chancellor Nathan Brostrom.

“This unique collaboration marks a major advancement in The Maddy Institute’s ability to better serve the residents of the San Joaquin Valley,” said the Institute’s Executive Director Mark Keppler. “And it does so in an efficient and effective way by enhancing the public-policy and public-affairs impact by all four campuses on the region,” he said.

Among other things, the goal of this new alliance is to ensure that Valley students on the four campuses have greater access to legislative internships in Washington, D.C., Sacramento and legislative offices throughout the Valley, as well as the Institute’s $56,000 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowships.

It will also enhance opportunities for university faculty from the four campuses to collaborate on public-policy issues unique to the Valley, and share their findings with Valley residents through the Institute’s various public-affairs media platforms (e.g., Maddy Report and El Informe Maddy TV programs, its Valley Views radio and podcast, and its daily news aggregator, The Maddy Daily).

Finally, this new collaboration will provide federal and state officials with a central organization that can provide them access to the top universities and various media markets throughout the eight-county, 250-mile San Joaquin Valley that is home to more than 2.5 million people.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the California Legislature’s unanimous vote in 1999 to create The Maddy Institute — the first and only public-policy and public-affairs institute ever created by the California Legislature — to honor the public service of State Senator Ken Maddy, whose 28 years of public service demonstrated the successful application of personal integrity, legislative know-how and bipartisanship to the governance of the State of California.

The mission of The Maddy Institute is to “…inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public-policy issues important to the region, state and nation.”

The Maddy Institute was established to engage, prepare and inspire the next generation of government leaders and civil servants. Activities primarily focus on Citizen Participation, Policy Analysis and Leadership Training. Our Leadership Training programs include an extensive government intern program for college students throughout the Valley, as well as the Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship.