Public Policy Institute

In the News

Read about our Constitution Day panel discussion in the Asheville Citizen Times and Black Mountain News

Our forum was also in the Smoky Mountain News and the Western Carolina Journalist.

Public Policy Institute

The WCU Public Policy Institute aims to empower the Western North Carolina region to effectively manage real policy problems by mobilizing students, community leaders, faculty, and citizens to discuss and develop viable policy options to create more effective policies. 


Our Goals:

  • To help students to become active participants in their communities.
  • To improve public policy in the region by conducting rigorous research on major issues and making it available and understandable to a practitioner audience.
  • To exercise policy leadership in the region.
  • To obtain resources to carry out the mission of the institute, and to attract dedicated students, faculty, and staff to assist in carrying out the mission.


Constitution Day Activities were held on September 17, 2013 by the PPI.  Students handed out free copies of the U.S. Constitution and a panel discussion was held that evening.  The topic of the discussion was:
Changes to North Carolina Voting Laws: Improving or Impairing Elections?

This discussion examined contemporary issues in elections and voting, with a particular emphasis on recent changes in North Carolina laws.  It  included aspects of the recent reforms, such as the voter identification requirement, shortening the timing for early voting, and the removal of straight-ticket voting, and panelists will discuss the policy implications of these changes.  This topic is important as we recognize the significance of the Constitution in our democratic system.   

Panelists were: Kory Swanson (John Locke Foundation); Zeb Smathers (Democracy North Carolina); Chris Cooper (WCU faculty); Todd Collins (WCU faculty)

 For more information on the new changes to election laws in NC, click here.

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