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Strategic Issues Program

Announcing the Strategic Issues Panel Topic for 2015: Legislative Accountability

The 2015 DU Strategic Issues Program (SIP) will examine the issue of legislative accountability in Colorado, Congress and other states. The topic is a timely one, echoing public dissatisfaction with legislative gridlock and Congressional inaction and reflecting a widespread desire for more effective legislative bodies. While all eyes tend to be on Congress—what they are or are not accomplishing, and whether partisan bickering will lead to more government shutdowns—the question of accountability also applies equally well to state legislatures across the country.

In an era when polarized politics often leads to legislative gridlock and political finger pointing, how do citizens judge the effectiveness of their state and national legislatures? Are there standards to which legislative bodies should be held? Is it possible for voters to assess their elected representatives in terms of the overall effectiveness of the legislative body, rather than on the individual’s personal charm, charisma or political party alone?

To examine this issue, the 2015 Strategic Issues Panel on Legislative Accountability will explore questions such as:

• What are the characteristics of an effective legislative body?
• How does a legislature identify issues that are most important to citizens?
• What are the standards for success? How do legislators and the public judge the effectiveness of a legislative session?

In the process of examining these and other questions, the panel will seek to identify a framework for legislative accountability, one that can be applied to Colorado, other states, and Congress.

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Other Panel Topics

In 2014, DU released the Strategic Issues panel report, “Unsettling Times: Higher Education in an Era of Change” a framework for other colleges and universities and a launch-point to expand and inform the public discussion about the role and future of higher education.

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You will find links to other past panel reports in the navigation bar to the right or under the "Panel Topics" tab at the top of the page.


The University of Denver Strategic Issues Program

As a part of its commitment to serve the public good, the University of Denver regularly convenes a group of citizens to examine an issue of particular importance to the people of Colorado. These groups, called strategic issues panels, reflect the University's belief that, as an independent institution, it is in a unique position to make contributions to the state that has been home to the University since our founding in 1864. In a real sense, these panels affirm the values of informed civil discourse, intellectual freedom, open communication and rigor that guide the University of Denver itself.