Looking to take a new and exciting class? Afraid of commitment? Let Harris mini-courses kick-start your professional development plans.

Every year, Harris Public Policy brings in outstanding policy analysts, academics, journalists, and other professionals with on-the-ground experience to teach short courses on a broad range of topics.

Mini-courses are open to anyone with an interest in the subject. Whether you work in a policy field and want to enhance your knowledge and skills or are simply curious about a particular topic, these courses will engage your intellect and give you new perspectives.

These offerings are noncredit and no tuition is charged. Mini-courses are not graded, and enrollment is open to all Harris students unless otherwise noted.

Spring 2017


'Pandora' for Social Impact: How To Use Big Data to Predict Outcomes

Instructor: Jason Saul
Monday April 3 and 17
6:00-8:30pm
Room 289B

Every major profession has tools that help improve decision-making: equity analysts have Bloomberg or FactSet; attorneys have Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis; banks have Equifax or Experian. And what do social impact professionals use? Google. We can do better. Come learn about the future of social impact data and analytics from Jason Saul, CEO of Mission Measurement and founder of the Impact Genome Project. This mini-course will be taught in two sessions: the first session will discuss today’s context for measurement (demand for predictive data and trends in the field); the second session will offer an interactive case study using the Impact Genome® to analyze a real-world policy problem and design a program. Join us! A fabulous dinner will be served both nights!

Jason Saul is one of the world’s leading experts on measuring social impact. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Mission Measurement, a firm that measures and predicts social impact for governments, foundations and corporations around the world. Jason serves on the faculty of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and is an award winning author of numerous books on measurement and social strategy, including: Benchmarking for Nonprofits, Social Innovation, Inc., and The End of Fundraising. Jason was awarded the Harry S. Truman Scholarship for leadership and public service, has been recognized by Bloomberg/Businessweek as one of the Nation's 25 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs and by Crain's Chicago Business as a “40 under 40” business leader.

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The Public Provision of Higher Education

Instructor: Jennifer Delaney
Wednesdays April 5th, 12th, and 19th
6:00-7:50pm
Room 140A

Attending and completing college is vitally important for both individual prosperity and for ensuring a well-functioning civic society. The US states are the primary policy actors involved in offering public higher education. While state investment is substantial, each of the 50 states takes a different approach to how public higher education is supported and organized. This mini-course will explore the state role in higher education. We will begin by focusing on issues of finance and explore the patterns and levels of state support for higher education. We will then turn to policy innovations in the states focusing first on performance funding and state-sponsored college savings plans. Students will have the opportunity to engage with the course material through robust in-class discussions.

Dr. Jennifer A. Delaney is visiting Harris during the 2017 Winter and Spring quarters. She is an Associate Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also the Director of the Forum on the Future of Public Education at the University of Illinois. Dr. Delaney’s research focuses on higher education policy, with an emphasis on finance. Dr. Delaney earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Stanford University, an Ed.M. in Higher Education from Harvard University, and a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan.

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Policy Making in Trump's America

Instructor: Ron Gibbs
Thursdays April 6th and 13th
6:00-7:50pm
Room 140B

Enacting new public policy and bringing about social change is a dynamic process that requires an array of strategic approaches and analytical tools, as well as the capacity to navigate the current political environment in order to win in the endgame.  This seminar will provide a strategic framework to explore various public policy making processes that can be utilized at all levels of government and in the private sector. We will analyze the Trump administration’s strategies and tactics as well as efforts by opposition groups to oppose his policy initiatives.  By providing a real world perspective through case study analysis that span public and private sectors, the major outcome will be to learn how to mesh theory and practice to develop viable strategies and assess the feasibility to bring about proposed public policy changes.

Ron Gibbs is President of National and International Public Affairs Consulting (NIPAC) and provides strategic counsel to governmental entities, businesses and non-profits on public policy development, legislative affairs, alliance building, marketing and crisis communications. He is on the faculty at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy where he teaches Political Feasibility Analysis: Winning Strategies in Public Policy.

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Financial Regulation

Instructor: Alexander Dill
Tuesdays May 9th and 16th
6:00-7:50pm
Room 140C

This mini course will focus on deregulation of the U.S. financial markets and banking system and the current issues and developments.

The course consists of two lectures on the current regulatory framework governing the U.S. capital markets and banking system in achieving stated regulatory objectives and the deregulatory proposals contemplated by the new Administration and the Congress. Short case studies will explore the degree of effectiveness of existing regulation. We will explore regulation of systemic risk in the banking system, as well as consider how the SEC and CFTC address informational disadvantages in the capital markets.

Since October 2015, Alex Dill has been a Lecturer on financial market regulation and compliance in the Financial Mathematics Program at the University of Chicago. He is Senior Research Fellow in the Institute for Compliance at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he teaches securities regulation and business organizations. Alex is also the Associate Director for Law and Economics Studies at the Stuart School of Business’s Center for Corporate Performance.  Alex spent most of his career in finance at Moody’s Investors Service, where he was a senior structured finance analyst, a global ratings compliance officer for structured finance, and most recently head of global covenant research for corporate finance. Prior to Moody’s, he was a Branch Chief in Market Regulation at the SEC.

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Policy Movements to Combat Poverty

Instructor: Rebecca Janowitz
Wednesdays May 10th and 17th
6:00-7:30pm
Room 224

This course will focus on a debate that began in the late nineteenth century and persists today. Does the existence of poverty in wealthy nations reflect social injustice or individual failure? Do efforts to end poverty do more harm than good? Policy is often made without commitment to carefully measuring its ongoing impact on people's lives. If our investigative tools have improved, why don't we use them? Where is the disconnect and what can we do about it?   This should help shape a more effective agenda.

The first session will look at the career of Charles Booth who mapped poverty in 19th century London, shattering preconceptions about the population of the capital of a major industrial and colonial power. The second session will contrast Octavia Hill, a wealthy, innovative and influential philanthropist, and Beatrice Webb, the Fabian socialist, who helped lay the foundation of modern welfare state.

Rebecca Janowitz is a lawyer who works for the Cook County Justice Advisory Council and holds a M.A. from the Harris School of Public Policy.   She has worked in poor communities ranging from the Pine Ridge Reservation to Chicago's near south side.  

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