Annual Report 2005
A new cultural education program in Mexico helps inform Georgia local officials who govern diverse communities.
Being a successful leader in state or local government requires the ability to effectively administer the business of today while at the same time preparing for the changes that tomorrow will bring. Vinson Institute faculty and staff responded to this challenge by providing continuing education to more than 18,000 individuals through some 600 programs in 2005. Thousands more learned about the Institute through presentations at conferences, meetings, and seminars in Athens and around the state.
Two new initiatives focused on state legislative and executive leadership. A select group of 25 members of the Georgia General Assembly completed the first Georgia Legislative Leadership Institute. The attendees, nominated by the House and Senate leadership, gained knowledge and skills required to be successful in today's legislative environment. The new program was supported in part by the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation and extends the Vinson Institute's nationally recognized training program for legislators, conducted since 1958.
The Institute and the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business Institute for Leadership Advancement joined together to offer a new program of leadership training for the heads of Georgia's state agencies and the senior managers who report to them. The Executive Leadership Program is one of five new initiatives under the Georgia Leadership Institute, championed by Gov. Perdue's Commission for a New Georgia. The three-part agenda examines personal leadership and team performance, performance improvement, and ethics and values in public service.
In addition, the opening of a new satellite office of the Vinson Institute near the Capitol allows faculty and staff to more readily respond to the needs of state government and legislative clients. The office serves as the base for the Institute's state government programs of instruction.
In October 2005, a group of city and county officials participated in a new instructional program in Mexico aimed at helping them enhance their ability to govern Georgia's increasingly diverse communities. Supported by a grant from the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, the participants spent time with government, community, public safety, and social services officials in the cities of Monterrey and Xalapa and the surrounding towns and villages. They will subsequently help in the development of a new class that can be incorporated in the Institute's governmental education curriculum.
In February 2005, Cobb County officials and Vinson Institute training faculty marked the 20th anniversary of the Management Development Program for Georgia Local Government being conducted for the county. The occasion was marked by the presentation of certificates to the 2004 graduating class. County manager David Hankerson commended the Institute for diversifying the curriculum over the years in response to the county's changing needs and acknowledged the high retention rate for program graduates throughout the years.
Planning and zoning issues take on increasing importance as Georgia communities face both the opportunities and challenges of change and growth. The provision of planning and zoning workshops was enhanced during 2005 to include specialized instruction for members of appointed boards so that they can effectively and ethically carry out their responsibilities.
Vinson Institute faculty members authored the new fourth edition of Effective Supervisory Practices, a popular publication of the International City-County Management Association.
The China Studies Program expanded its efforts to transfer knowledge and skills gained through the Institute's training of Georgia governments and subsequently enhance Georgia's globalization. This expansion included more joint training and education programs with administrative colleges and institutes in China and new internship and study abroad opportunities for University of Georgia public administration students. New local government management courses were also carried out in partnership with public administration institutes in Ukraine and Georgia.
The Institute's Civic Education Program was strengthened with the appointment of its director as the state coordinator for the nationally sponsored programs Project Citizen and the Civic Mission in Schools. The Institute also took on full coordination of the General Assembly's legislative intern program, which was previously managed by Georgia State University.