National University




National University System to house San Diego Institute for Policy Research

New title will be National University System Institute for Policy Research

January 16, 2009

LA JOLLA, Calif. – The National University System will become the new home of the San Diego Institute for Policy Research, a groundbreaking economic think tank that promotes high quality economic, policy, and public-opinion research to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments in the San Diego region, Dr. Jerry C. Lee announced today. The announcement positions the National University System as a leading institution of higher education in San Diego that is engaging the major policy issues in the region.

“The National University System Institute for Policy Research is a vital resource for decision makers and an important economic voice for San Diego,” said Dr. Lee, chancellor of the National University System. “The National University System looks forward to furthering the Institute’s mission of improving the quality of life enjoyed by the region’s citizens.”

The National University System Institute for Policy Research is an independent institute that conducts research and publishes articles, policy briefs, and other materials about regional issues, including municipal government, economic policy, housing, transportation, infrastructure, and fire preparedness. Since its launch in January 2007, the National University System Institute for Policy Research has produced three major policy reports, seven shorter policy briefs, 10 economic bulletins, eight public opinion polls, and over 70 commentaries. National University System Institute for Policy Research staff and research have been featured more than 100 times in the media, including stories in the Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio. The National University System Institute for Policy Research’s efforts have had a direct impact on seven major decisions, including water policy, the City of San Diego’s budget, the enhancement of regional fire protection, and the debate over Wal-Mart Superstores.

Steve C. Francis and Robert J. Watkins, two highly successful local businessmen, will serve as co-chairs of the National University System Institute for Policy Research’s advisory board. Francis is the original founder of the Institute. He also co-founded AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. (NYSE:AHS) with his wife, Gayle Francis, in 1985 and serves as Chairman Emeritus of AMN’s Board of Directors. Francis served as a director and as the company’s Chief Executive Officer for more than 20 years.

Watkins is the President and Chairman of R.J. Watkins & Company, Ltd., which was established in 1980 with offices in San Diego, San Francisco, and London. His professional experience includes service as President and CEO of a $200 million entertainment company and Managing Director for the San Diego office of the international consulting firm of Russell Reynolds Associates. He has held executive positions with American Hospital Supply Corporation, serving on the corporation’s acquisition and divestiture team. He also served as Management Consultant for the national accounting firm Deloitte & Touche.

Erik Bruvold, President and CEO of the Institute for Policy Research, has been involved with San Diego politics and policy making for two decades. Most recently, he was Vice President of Public Policy for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) where he oversaw the organization’s public policy efforts on a range of issues impacting San Diego’s business climate. Kelly Cunningham, Economist and Senior Fellow for the Institute, is a former chief economist and research director for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he established a reputation for his understanding and expertise of San Diego’s regional economy. Vince Vasquez is the Institute’s Senior Policy Analyst and has worked on a wide variety of local and regional policy issues, including government taxes and finance, telecommunications, urban life, poverty, and the Latino community.

In addition to producing special reports, the National University System Institute for Policy Research will continue to publish the San Diego Economic Ledger, a bi-monthly report highlighting key economic happenings in the San Diego region.

About the National University System
The National University System was established to meet the emerging challenges and demands of education in the 21st century. The System is uniquely aligned to connect a diverse population of students to a network of innovative educational programs that are relevant to their lives, careers, and the marketplace and are delivered in a format that respects competing life priorities. Dr. Jerry C. Lee has served as the System’s Chancellor since it was founded in 2001. The affiliates of the System are National University; the National Polytechnic College of Science; National University International; the Division of Pre-College Programs, which includes National University Virtual High School and National University Academy; Spectrum Pacific Learning Company LLC; and WestMed College. For more information, visit: www.nusystem.org.

About the National University System Institute for Policy Research
The National University System Institute for Policy Research is a non-partisan organization that formulates and promotes high quality economic, policy, and public-opinion so as to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governments in San Diego County. For more information, visit: www.sandiegoinstitute.com.

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