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Concordia University to launch Center for Public Policy

The Irvine-based university seeks to address current issues facing Orange County.

By Karly BarkerPublished: October 13, 2011 02:49 PM

Kurt Krueger, president of Irvine-based Concordia University, announced today that the university will launch a Center for Public Policy. The new center will allow the college to participate in research, events and strategic partnerships in regards to contemporary issues facing Orange County public leaders, according to Concordia representatives.

“There is no question that state and local governments are experiencing profound change,” said Krueger. “I believe our university can play an important role in facilitating the discussion of how that change will impact Orange County and in the preparation of leaders equipped to manage that change in the next decades.”

Newport Beach council member and former mayor Keith Curry will serve as the director for the new program. Curry recently retired after more than two decades as the managing director of Public Financial Management.

University officials hope that the new center, under Curry’s leadership, will help strengthen its courses in public administration, particularly in public finance. The center will host its first “Annual Report” forum on Nov. 17 to address the state of Orange County.

“Our goal is to focus on Orange County as an urban area of more than three million people, and to serve as a resource in helping local officials make better decisions,” said Curry. “We also aim to prepare students with practical, real-world skills needed for today’s local governments, with a particular emphasis on public finance.”

The university has enlisted a “who’s who” of Orange County to serve as board members for the Center for Public Policy. Steve Churm, OC METRO publisher and CEO of Churm Media, will join labor leader Nick Bernardino and union critic Supervisor John Moorlach on the board, as well as Orange County Supervisor Bill Campbell.

“The board represents the diversity of opinion and the breadth of experience that we want to be the hallmark of Center programs,” said Curry.

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