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Established in 1981, the Hobby Center for Public Policy serves the Houston community as a non-partisan research organization within the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Houston.

Directed by Dr Jim Granato, the results of the Center's research are shared with the community through publications, media, conferences, symposia and educational programs.

The Hobby Center is supported by an advisory board of Houstonians prominent in business and civic affairs, and maintains cooperative relationships with many educational and public service entities in the Houston area and the state of Texas. The Hobby Center's funding is currently from legislative appropriations, grants, and from corporate and private donations.

The Hobby Center is also a Full Member of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). NASPAA is the global standard in public service education, and the primary membership organization of graduate education programs in public policy.

Public Policy Research

The Hobby Center for Public Policy (HCPP) is dedicated to providing scientific, non-biased data and analysis to public officials, business professionals, community leaders and others within the Houston community. Led by Dr Jim Granato, HCPP Director, the research orientation of the HCPP is interdisciplinary with particular emphasis on unifying case-study, formal/mathematical modeling, and applied statistical/experimental approaches to any research question. For example, research work teams are now being created to include faculty from a variety of disciplines and universities. These research clusters will focus on a diverse array of important public policy and academic issues while archiving data, conducting statistical analysis, using experiments and computer simulations, and developing working papers. The issue may be education, transportation, energy or a myriad of others but the approach will always use objective methods of analysis. More

Survey Research Institute

Under the guidance of Dr Richard Murray, director of the Survey Research Institute and the Lanier Chair of Urban Policy in the Department of Political Science, the HCPP conducts ongoing public opinion polling. The Center has provided polling data for the Houston Chronicle and KHOU Television, as well as for regional public and private sector entities. In a joint project with Rice University, HCPP modernized its polling capabilities with the installation of a CATI (computer assisted telephone interview) system. The overall project consists of twenty stations in the University of Houston’s new Leroy and Lucille Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting. More

Government Internships

In an effort to introduce students to the inner-workings of public service, Renée Cross, the HCPP's Associate Director and Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, directs the Mickey Leland Congressional Internship Program in Washington and the Civic Houston Internship Program (CHIP) in Houston, and actively participates in the Texas Legislative Internship Program and other independent programs. Intern alumni are now working from Houston City Hall to Capitol Hill. More

Community Outreach

The Hobby Center for Public Policy works with several Houston organizations including the Greater Houston Partnership, the League of Women Voters, Texas Southern University's Mickey Leland Center, Third Ward Community Cloth, and Global Unisource to promote civic engagement, scientific policy analysis and professional training. More