Collaborations with governmental and nongovernmental organizations and with the broader university enable the Institute to actively engage students in its work, prepare officials for success, and more effectively address public issues relevant to the quality of life in Georgia and beyond.
Long-standing partnerships between the Vinson Institute, the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, the Georgia Municipal Association, and other entities remained strong in 2010 and resulted in more than 16,000 registrations in hundreds of training and development opportunities at convenient locations throughout the state. A major focus in 2010 was the incorporation of more leadership development throughout the training curriculum. The three-day institute for newly elected county officials was redesigned from start to finish to more closely answer the needs of incoming officials in dynamic times.
The Institute continued to forge partnerships with other UGA units and departments to provide growth opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. The second year of the Vinson Institute Fellows Program introduced seven undergraduate students to the workings of state and local government through semester-long internships. A new partnership between the Vinson Institute, UGA’s Honors Program, and its Roosevelt Institute chapter produced the Vinson-Roosevelt Fellows Program, a spring semester internship that selects talented undergraduates from the Roosevelt Scholars course. An inaugural Vinson-Roosevelt Fellow, Matthew Sellers said of his experience in the program, “My internship at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government altered the course of my academic career. My mentor guided me through a project that allowed me to explore my policy interests in local government, and the opportunity to engage with Vinson's expert faculty on issues ranging from demography and environmental policy to local government exposed me to myriad policy issues and solutions.” The Institute had eight graduate research assistants working throughout its various divisions and continues to cosponsor UGA’s Master of Public Administration Program. In total, 47 undergraduate and graduate students worked at the Vinson Institute in a variety of disciplines and projects.
For the past decade, the Institute’s International Center has been active in the professional development of China’s municipal and provincial managers through its China Public Management Program. A special 10-year anniversary event in Beijing in July 2010 called attention to the more than 1,200 participants from seven provinces who have received training in public administration best practices so that they might help build more efficient and responsive governments. The program’s mix of in-class instruction in China with site visits to governmental agencies and cultural locations in the United States contributes to greater mutual understanding between the Chinese participants and their American counterparts and instructors as well as the communities that host visiting delegations.