Policy Profiles

Vol. 13 No. 2, October, 2014
Illinois in the Post-Recession Recovery: A Fresh Look at the State’s Progress

Vol. 13 No. 1, May 2014
Too Many Governments in Illinois? What is the Impact on Townships?

Vol. 12 No. 2, August, 2013
Workforce Status in Downstate Illinois

Vol. 12 No. 1, February, 2013
Employment Changes in Downstate Illinois and Business Climate Perceptions

Vol. 11 No. 4, December, 2012
Promoting Entrepreneurship in Rural Illinois 

Vol. 11 No. 3, November, 2012
Local Government Structure and Public Expenditures in Illinois: Does Governmental Structure Matter?

Vol. 11 No.2, May, 2012
Tax Caps on Illinois Local Governments: How Well Are They Working?

Vol. 11 No.1, March, 2012
Health Care in Rural Illinois: The Role of Critical Access Hospitals

Vol. 10 No.4, August, 2011
Illinois' New Look: How the Past Ten Years Changed the State

Vol. 10 No.3, July, 2011
Developing the Arts: A New Tool for Community Development Programs

Vol. 10 No.2, April, 2011
Local Government Structure and Public Employment: A Fresh Look at Illinois' Predicament

Vol. 10 No.1, February, 2011
Do Home Rule Governments Work Better? A New and Different Perspective


Archived Policy Profiles


University Engagement and Environmental Sustainability


Edited by: Patricia Inman and Diana Robinson

Universities have a key role to play in contributing to environmental development and combating climate change. The chapters within this volume detail the challenges faced by higher education institutions in considering environmental sustainability, and provide both a broad view of university engagement and a detailed examination of various projects. 

As part of this series in association with the Place and Social Capital and Learning (PASCAL) International Observatory, the three key PASCAL themes of place management, lifelong learning and the development of social capital are considered throughout the book.

While universities have historically generated knowledge outside of specific local contexts, this book argues that it is particularly important for them to engage with the local community and to consider diverse perspectives and assets when looking at issues within an ecological context. The chapters in this volume provide new perspectives and frames of reference for transforming universities by engaging in the development of resilient communities.

Community Visioning Programs: Processes and Outcomes

Community Visioning

Edited by: Norman Walzer and Gisele F. Hamm

This edited volume examines best practices of community visioning programs used across the U.S. to help cities identify future options and ways to implement strategies to reach them. The book focuses on outcomes achieved by these program as well as variations in approaches and techniques such as Breakthrough Solutions and Strategic Doing.

Community Engagement and Service Mission of Universities

Community Engagement

Edited by: Patricia Inman & Hans G. Schuetze

Journals, White Papers, and Other Publications

Management's Perceptions of Annual Financial Reporting White Paper

Dr. Craig S. Maher and Dr. Shannon N. Sohl, CPA, (December 2013). International City/County Management Association.

CGS Research Associate Dr. Shannon Sohl and NIU Public Administration faculty member Dr. Craig Maher prepared a white paper for the International City/County Management Association on the current state of local government financial reporting. The paper includes findings on how GASB financial statements affect management, provide benefits to stakeholders, and offer professional support and outreach.

Measuring Community Development: What Have We Learned?

Andrew S. Blanke and Norman Walzer (December 2013). Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society. Vol 44., No. 5.

This paper, published in Community Development (December 2013), reviews the history of outcome measurement in community development organizations and describes innovative and emerging measurement practices. The paper describes several development organizations that have been successful in improving service delivery by adopting outcome measurement practices with technical assistance from national and regional grantors, a focus on social, environmental, and economic goals, and reduction of evaluation cost through secondary data or inexpensive case study methodology.

Breaking into local government: A guide book for career changers

International City/County Management Association Breaking into Local Government Task Force, Dawn S. Peters, Chair (2013).

With a record number of professional local government managers retiring, there is a gap in the talent pool the fill these chief administrative officer positions. In order to help fill this gap, ICMA has created this Guide to provide resources for those looking to "break into local government' as a mid-career move. This Guide features case studies that highlight the non-traditional career paths of various ICMA members including the transition from the private sector, federal or state government, and military as well as a number of resources that are available to help ease the transition into professional local government management.

Community Responses to Disaster

Edited by Brent Hales, Norman Walzer, and James Calvin. (December 2012). Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society. Vol. 43, No.5.

This special issue on “Community Responses to Disaster” includes papers dealing with innovative ways in which cities and/or countries have responded to natural disasters with special focus on using best practices of community development. Articles show that use of the community capitals can be important in rebuilding areas hit by natural disasters.

Innovative Community Change

Edited by Norman Walzer and Sam Cordes. (February 2012). Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society. Vol. 43, No. 1.

Many communities are taking a systematic approach to community change strategies and this special issue examines some of the best practices that have been identified across the U.S. Many of the articles involve engaging and training local leaders to engage better in finding workable solutions to reach their community objectives.

Business Starts in the Midwest: Potential Entrepreneurial Groups

Norman Walzer and Andrew S. Blanke. (July 2013).   Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society. Vol. 44, No.3. 

This paper, accepted for publication in Community Development, (September 2013) examines the percentage change in business starts in 850 counties in nine Midwestern states to identify population groups that are correlated with business starts in their counties. The article indicates that five groups are especially important including: percent females between 25 and 34 years of age, percent of population between 54 and 65 years, Hispanic populations as a proxy for immigrants, percent unemployed, and farmers with less than 260 acres. The results of this paper can help development practitioners identify groups to target programs.