The Center for Governmental Studies (CGS) is a public service, technical assistance, and public policy development organization. Its mission is to provide services contributing to the economic well being of the region and the State of Illinois and enhance the capacities of governments and not-for-profit organizations to develop policies and to manage and evaluate their own programs and services. The CGS is part of the university’s Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development.
The CGS provides technical assistance to a variety of local governments, state and federal agencies, regional councils, not-for-profit organizations, and professional associations. This involves conducting economic development studies, including fiscal impact analysis and labor market analysis; engaging in strategic planning; building, managing, and mining large administrative databases; conducting applied research studies in a number of public policy areas; providing data and analytical studies, including the mapping of data; and conducting community surveys. In recent years, the CGS has developed a reputation for providing expertise in facilitating the formation of regional organizations and working with partners to find regional solutions to problems.
The CGS is not a degree-granting unit, but cooperates closely with a number of academic departments throughout the university. It does offer non-credit professional certificates through its Civic Leadership Academy. Through externally funded projects, the center provides unique opportunities for graduate students from a wide variety of disciplines to become involved with interdisciplinary research and technical assistance programs.