President Roger Kozak called the weekly meeting of the Vermillion Rotary Club to order. Rev. Robert Grossman offered the invocation and Rotarians introduced their guests. Among the announcements was a reminder of our annual Christmas Luncheon on Dec. 12 and donations to the Food Pantry next week.
Rotarian Barry Vickrey announced that next week John Day would present a program on Oscar Howe. He then introduced the presenter of this week's program, Dr. William Anderson. Dr. Anderson is the director of USD's Government Research Bureau.
Dr. Anderson completed his bachelor of arts in political science at the University of Nebraska and his Ph.D. in American politics and political economy at Ohio State University.
Prior to joining the faculty at USD in 2005 Dr. Anderson worked as an analyst in the U.S. Intelligence Community. He is originally from Huron.
Dr. Anderson's presentation was on the history and goals of the USD Government Research Bureau. The bureau was originally chartered by the state Legislature in 1939 and Dr. William (Doc) Farber was the first director. The purpose of the bureau was and is to provide research for state and local government entities in the region.
It draws its strength from USD's academic expertise. Its mission is to do research on public policy and administrative issues. The bureau uses the latest techniques to evaluate policy and provides technical assistance to governmental agencies. It also assists in offering research training.
The bureau conducts broad-based and sophisticated analyses, addresses timely policy-maker decisions, and helps write grants and serves as a research consultant/program evaluation resource. The Government Research Bureau associates are experts in their respective fields. Dr. Anderson says USD is an extraordinary home base for the bureau.
The Government Research Bureau is currently working with South Dakota cities and towns to identify common needs and concerns, assessing services and the communities' need for them, and assessing how cities and towns compare to one another to provide bench-marks for a set of agreed-upon measures. One example would be to determine what salaries should a government entity offer to be competitive in the marketplace.
Dr. Anderson also suggested that the bureau might consider getting back into the area of political polling to provide the Legislature and other governmental agencies with important information.
Dr. Anderson then ended his presentation by entertaining questions from the audience.