Florida State University launches new nonpartisan Institute of Politics

Florida State University announced Thursday the launch of its new Institute of Politics (IOP@FSU)a nonpartisan, world-class home for civic engagement and researchwhich will showcase the role of politics in improving the lives of Americans.

Housed within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the IOP@FSU will feature applied political research by a cadre of world-class scholars, curricular initiatives aimed at celebrating American democracy while encouraging civic engagement, and events that celebrate the power of public service.

The institute also will be a hub of learning, research and engagement at the state, regional and national level. The IOP@FSU took flight after legislation was passed by the Florida Legislature, which generously provided $1 million in initial funding.

The IOP@FSUaffiliated with the university’s nationally renowned Department of Political Sciencewill act as a trusted convener of political ideas, insight and research. The institute will offer a fresh lens through which people can view political information in an objective way. Forums, symposia and workshops will bring together the top minds in politics to engage with students, faculty, elected representatives, political practitioners and citizens in the private sector.

“A Top 20 university like Florida State must constantly seek new ways to engage with our students and the world. We are proud to launch the Institute of Politics, which is yet another example of the university’s growth,” said FSU President John Thrasher. “We are so appreciative of the confidence placed in us by the governor and the Florida Legislature.”

“Florida State University has always supported civil and civic discourse and promoted the ideals of public service to the next generation of leaders,” said Tim Chapin, dean of the FSU College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. “We are eager to share the high-quality research and public engagement activities of the college and work closely with our talented alumni, both in the Florida political arena and in Washington D.C., to showcase the role of democracy in creating an even stronger state and nation.” 

The institute is offering an undergraduate fellowship program, one that nurtures student understanding of the significance of government institutions and the power of civic engagement. These IOP Fellows will have unique opportunities to engage with experts in government and world-renowned researchers on a variety of political topics. These efforts allow students to become more civically engaged, utilize the talents of alumni and faculty to promote research in politics, and increase awareness of public service to the general public.

“The institute is envisioned as a place where political practitioners and academics can interact and as an entity that will promote the marketplace of ideas to strengthen our political processes and institutions,” said FSU Associate Professor of Political Science Hans Hassell, the director of the Institute of Politics. “We hope to bring people together across the political divide, finding optimism in politics and celebrating the American democracy as once envisioned by the founders.”

The institute will be hosting a range of online events in the coming months involving Florida and national political leaders and insiders. Plans are also underway for a public kickoff event in January where attendees will hear from institute leadership and get a preview of upcoming projects and activities.

“We want to reacquaint all people across the nation with the optimistic side of politics,” said attorney Al Cardenas, who was a catalyst behind the formation of IOP@FSU. “We have to get back to a place where we can talk about issues respectfully and rationally and form opinion based on research and debate.”

For more information on the Institute of Politics at Florida State University, visit www.iopfsu.com.