The Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities—Guinn Center—a statewide, nonpartisan research and policy center long located in southern Nevada is now being hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). It will now have an office on the Reno campus, while maintaining a southern Nevada presence in an office at the College of Southern Nevada campus in North Las Vegas.
“The Guinn Center staff will continue to divide time between Las Vegas and Reno to ensure our statewide focus,” wrote members of the Guinn Center’s leadership team in a December op-ed.
The nonprofit organization’s mission is to advance evidence-based policy solutions through research, public engagement and strategic partnerships. It was founded by former UNR president Joe Crowley and former Harrah’s Entertainment CEO Phil Satre.
In the proposal to relocate the center to UNR, it was noted that the move could help the university maintain its status as an “R1” institution under the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education—a status that is reserved for institutions that produce the greatest amounts of research.
As a nonpartisan think tank, the Guinn Center works with practitioners to provide analysis, develop and implement evidence-based programs and test solutions.
“Both the University and the Guinn Center will benefit from this formal affiliation,” Jeff Thompson, interim executive vice president and provost for UNR, said. “We look forward to having our faculty and students build upon our previous collaborations and continue to provide expertise on a broad range of public policy issues that are critical to the state and Guinn Center research.”
The Guinn Center recently successfully partnered with the university’s School of Community Health Sciences on a U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture Rural Health and Safety Education grant.
“We believe the Guinn Center’s affiliation with the university will serve our respective entities and the Silver State,” Executive Director of the Guinn Center Nancy Brune said. “A strong system of higher education is critical to Nevada’s ability to compete in the global marketplace of ideas and assist in our economic recovery. New policy choices based on sound research, sensible and pragmatic thinking, and bold ideas can pave the way forward to a brighter future.”
The Guinn Center has published more than 60 policy reports in areas of tax and fiscal policy, education, health, social policy, economic development, workforce development, good governance and energy.
Brune also said the Guinn Center is financially self-sufficient and will continue to pursue external grants and philanthropic support to fund its operations.
During the course of the last six-plus years, the Guinn Center’s policy reports have been used to inform legislation and policies. In September 2020, a report released by the center detailing how communities of Color are disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic garnered widespread media attention.
To learn more, visit the Guinn Center website at guinncenter.org.