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The Role of Think Tanks
and Policy Centers

December 11, 2000
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Ctr., MSU

This session will explore how public policy is shaped by think tanks and other organizations which work at the intersection of research, policy and politics. We will examine the work of one public and three independent private sector organizations and analyze how their reports, studies and information are used by business and political leaders in the policy debate.


Session A Resource Persons:

Mr. Joseph Overton
Senior Vice President
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
140 West Main Street
P.O. Box 568
Midland, Michigan 48640
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Joseph Overton is Senior Vice President of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, an independent, non-profit research and educational organization located in Midland, Michigan. At the Center, Mr. Overton directs research projects, staff operations and strategic planning. 
He has also written a variety of Center studies and commentaries.

Mr. Overton holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University and a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, and was appointed by Governor John Engler to the Michigan Appellate Defender Commission upon recommendation by the Michigan Supreme Court. He currently serves a term expiring in 2003.

Before joining the Mackinac Center, Mr. Overton held a variety of positions at The Dow Chemical Company, including Electrical Engineer, Project Manager, and Quality Specialist. Mr. Overton has been involved in studying and promoting free market principles for over a decade. His work has taken him to Poland, Nicaragua, the People's Republic of China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Colombia, Malawi, Mozambique, Greece, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia.

Dr. David N. Plank
Director, The Education Policy Center at Michigan State University
and Professor, Department of Educational Administration,
College of Education, Michigan State University
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David Plank is a professor of educational administration specializing in the areas of educational policy and educational finance. He has conducted research and served as a consultant in these areas in the United States, Africa, and Latin America. His research interests focus on the relationship between democratic governance and policy change in educational systems. He is co-investigator on three studies of school choice and school reform in Michigan. The first, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, explores the enactment of competing reform strategies in professional development schools and charter schools. The second, funded by the Spencer Foundation, investigates the ecological effects of expanded opportunities for school choice in metropolitan Lansing. The third, funded by the Michigan Legislature, compares the impacts of school choice in Lansing, Detroit, and Grand Rapids.

Mr. William Rustum
Senior Vice President & Senior Consultant 
for Environmental Policy and Economic Development
Public Sector Consultants
600 West St. Joseph
Lansing, MI 48933
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William Rustem is senior vice president of Public Sector Consultants and senior consultant for environmental policy and economic development. Before joining the firm, Mr. Rustem was Gov. William G. Milliken's chief staff advisor on environmental matters and interim director of the Toxic Substances Control Commission. Following his service with the State of Michigan, Mr. Rustem became the first executive director of the newly established Center for the Great Lakes in Chicago and then joined the Michigan United Conservation Clubs as director of development. In these positions, Mr. Rustem acquired special expertise in issue campaigns. He coordinated the petition drive and campaign in 1976 for the Michigan "bottle bill," co-chaired the 1980 campaign to shift education funding from the property tax to other sources, and coordinated the 1984 statewide campaign for the constitutional amendment creating a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

In addition to his work with the firm's clients on environmental and economic development matters, Mr. Rustem is the principal coordinator of PSC's work with a major foundation in its national project to assist its grantees in responding to the devolution of authority for domestic programs from the federal to the state governments. He has been with the company since 1985. Mr. Rustem was educated at Michigan State University, holding a B.S. in social science and an M.S. in resource development.

Session B: Learning Teams Planning Activity

Resource Persons: Coordinators and Fellows

During this session we will also debrief the 2000 IEL Leadership Forum experience and provide time for the EPFP Learning Teams to meet.


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Lessons in Leadership

November 13, 2000
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Ctr., MSU

During this session the Fellows will explore the challenge of leadership change from the perspective of leaders representing three different organizations. We will focus on institutional change in a K-12 school district, an intermediate school district and a state government agency. We will examine the impact of different leadership styles and strategies, discuss how leaders develop an agenda and manage the transition process.


Session A Resource Persons:

Dr. E. Sharon Banks
Lansing School District

Dr. Banks officially started in her role as Superintendent of the Lansing School District on July 1, 2000. Dr. Banks holds a B.S. in business education, a M.A. in education, as well as a doctorate in educational administration, all from Ball State University. 
Additional biographical information for Dr. Banks

Mr. Chris Wigent (EPFP 1998-99)
Superintendent Designate
Calhoun Intermediate School District
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Chris Wigent is currently the Associate Superintendent of the Calhoun Intermediate School District (CISD) located in Marshall Michigan. In April of 2001, he will become the Superintendent of the CISD which serves 13 local school districts and three public school academies. The CISD has an annual budget of $50 million, has 275 employees and supports programs that have a positive impact on over 32,000 students in the Calhoun County area.

Chris has served in public education for twenty years. Positions that he has held include: high school teacher, high school assistant principal/athletic director, high school principal, and superintendent. From 1990-1994, he was the Superintendent of Dryden Community Schools in Lapeer County and from 1994-2000, he served as the Superintendent of Olivet Community Schools in Eaton/Calhoun County. He joined the CISD in August of 2000. Areas of expertise include strategic planning and school improvement, personnel management, board-superintendent relations and school finance.

Chris received his BA from Albion College in 1979, his M.A. from Michigan State University in 1985 and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at MSU. He served as an EPFP Fellow in 1998-99 and was selected to participate in the 1999 Leadership and Policy Seminar co-sponsored by the Michigan EPFP, the Michigan Virtual University and the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Carol Wolenberg (EPFP 1988-89)
Deputy Superintendent for Administrative & Support Services
Michigan Department of Education
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Carol Wolenberg is the Deputy Superintendent for Administrative and Support Services with the Michigan Department of Education, a position she has held since April of 1995.  She is responsible for executive direction of the administrative service areas which provide support functions for the Department:  Financial Management & Administrative Services; State Aid and School Finance; Budget, Contracts, & Grants; Human Resources; Information Technology Services; and School Support Services.  In addition, Ms. Wolenberg directs and coordinates new and existing collaborative policy development and initiatives with other state government agencies, external groups, and associations.  She represents the Department on many boards and commissions, including the State Interagency Coordinating Council for Early On Michigan, the Children's Trust Fund, and Michigan Business Leaders for Education Excellence.  During her tenure with the Department of Education, Ms. Wolenberg has been the Assistant Superintendent for Interagency Coordination and Special Projects, Assistant to the Superintendent, and Director of the Office of Grants and Special Projects.  She has also worked in the areas of higher education, career education, and vocational education.  Carol has been an instructor at the community college, adult education, and high school levels and has worked in the community. Ms. Wolenberg earned a B.S. in Education and an MBE from Central Michigan University and has done post-graduate work in curriculum and administration at Michigan State University.

Session B: Establishing Learning Teams

Resource Persons: Coordinators and Fellows

During the 2000-01 program year the Michigan Fellows will participate on one or more Learning Teams and gain experience working in a virtual learning community. The Learning Teams will be responsible for planning a series of future EPFP sessions on a set of topics which have been identified by this year's participants. During this session the Fellows will refine the set of proposed topics identified to date, establish diverse cross boundary teams, and develop strategies for effective team participation.


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Establishing a Policy Framework

October 23, 2000
12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Kellogg Ctr., MSU

This session will focus on concepts and strategies for creating a policy framework. Fellows will explore both the practical and theoretical aspects of how public policy is developed and implemented. Several policy issues of current concern to Michigan citizens will also be examined.


Session A Resource Person: Mayor David Hollister

Following a teaching career which began in 1965 and after six years of public service as a county commissioner, David Hollister was elected to the position of State Representative from Lansing's 57th District (now the 69th District) in 1974 and served until December 1993. He was elected Mayor of Lansing in November of 1993, and was re-elected to a second four-year term which began on January 1, 1998. He has announced his intention to seek a third term.

As a State Legislator, Mr. Hollister served as a member of the House Appropriations Committee where he co-chaired the Subcommittees on Social Services and Mental Health. In addition, he served on the Appropriation Subcommittees of Public Health, School Aid/Department of Education, and Transportation. Mr. Hollister also was a member of the Task Force for Investment Budgeting and Michigan's Future, and chaired the Job Academy Subcommittee of this Task Force.

In his legislative role, Mr. Hollister was active in working on public health issues concerning indigent health care, AIDS, long-term care, certificate-of-need and cost containment for hospitals and nursing homes, organ transplantation, toxic waste, infant mortality, substance abuse, domestic violence, emergency shelter and food. In the area of social services, Mr. Hollister played a key role in the Michigan Legislature on issues such as child care, homelessness, energy assistance and weatherization programs for low income and public assistance recipients, and employment and training programs for welfare recipients. In the area of mental health, he was a leader and advocate in the shift from institutional to community care.

Mayor Hollister has been invited to speak to the Michigan EPFP Fellows for the past 14 years and is consistently rated as one of our most popular and important policy resources. He was awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership's National Leadership Award at the 2000 Michigan EPFP Alumni Seminar.

Session B: Resource Persons: Coordinators and Fellows

Policy Perspectives: We will provide an overview and discussion of the concepts which underlie three models of policy development. Fellows will be asked to evaluate these models in terms of their own policy experiences and identify current policy issues which support these models.

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Assessing Leadership Styles

October 9, 2000
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Kellogg Ctr., MSU

Fellows will debrief and interpret both the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and the FIRO-B instruments and examine how different styles and behaviors can conflict with individual and organizational goals. Through group discussions, we will explore how these styles impact various work settings.


Session A Resource Person: Ben Perez

Argelio B. Perez is a consultant affiliated with a number of private and public organizations including University Associates Consulting and Training Services and the Institute for Educational Leadership. He has a diverse background in public administration with substantial experience in supervision, fiscal management, legislation/regulatory monitoring, staff development, planning and reorganization.

He is also principal of Transformations, a Lansing-based consulting firm, specializing in leadership development, organizational change, team-building and facilitation.

Ben has been a senior executive in urban school districts (Detroit and Lansing), city government (Lansing), and state government (Michigan Department of Education) for thirty years. He is affiliated with the Institute for Educational leadership as a senior consultant in Leadership programs and Governance and has served, for the past 19 years, as Coordinator of the Michigan EPFP.

He earned a B.A. in education from Justin Morrill College, Michigan State University, and a M.A. in Classroom Teaching from the College of Education, Michigan State University. In 1991, he was awarded the Institute for Educational Leadership's National Leadership Award.

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