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Public Involvement Network News

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

The William D. Ruckelshaus Center

Opened on October 10, 2006, the Ruckelshaus Center (http://www.ruckelshauscenter.wsu.edu) is a neutral resource for collaborative problem solving.   It was formed to assist in addressing hard-to-resolve social, economic and environmental issues in Washington State. The Center provides expertise to improve the quality and availability of voluntary collaborative approaches for policy development and multi-party dispute resolution.  

The Center is a joint effort of Washington’s two research universities (University of Washington and Washington State University), and was developed in response to requests from community leaders. 

The center provides immediate assistance to those already in conflict, as well as anticipatory assistance to those who see one coming. The center gets involved only if all significantly affected parties agree to its presence, and tries not to duplicate services already available. The center's involvement doesn't signal an imposed solution, but assistance in finding one. By working transparently, the Center increases the chances for success.

Building on the unique strengths of the two institutions, the Center is dedicated to assisting public, tribal, private, non-profit and other community leaders in their efforts to build consensus and resolve conflicts around difficult public policy issues. The Center also advances the teaching, curriculum, and research missions of the two universities by bringing real-world policy issues to the campuses. 

The Center is housed jointly at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington and with Washington State University Extension.  It is guided by an advisory board of prominent local and state leaders representing a broad range of constituencies and geographic locations. The board is chaired by William Ruckelshaus.  The Center’s mission and services were developed after consultation with over 300 Washington leaders and a careful analysis of assistance provided by conflict resolution centers across the country. The result is an array of tailored services that promote collaborative problem solving and builds working relationship to help avoid conflict in the future. 

The Center is careful that it does not duplicate existing resources; instead, it  fills gaps in services to the State.  In meeting its mission, the Center operates in three primary areas:

For additional information, e-mail Rob McDaniel (mcdaniel@wsu.edu) or contact him by phone at 509-335-2937; e-mail Jon Brock (jbrock@u.washington.edu) or contact him by phone at 206-714-6603. 

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