About the Center on the American Governor
The Center on the American Governor, an initiative of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, seeks to promote research and discussion on the role of the governor in the United States. The Center is building an extensive virtual archive and sponsoring a range of academic activities and public forums on topics and issues relating to the office of the governor across the country, as well as the administrations of selected governors in New Jersey and other states.
The Center's first focus has been to create an oral and written record of the administrations of New Jersey's living former governors. The Center website (governors.rutgers.edu) includes archives well underway for the administrations of Brendan T. Byrne (1974-1982) and Thomas H. Kean (1982-1990) as well as others recently begun to similarly chronicle the terms of James J. Florio (1990-1994) and Christine Todd Whitman (1994-2001).
These archives include videotaped interviews with the governors, their cabinet officials, legislators, and others who worked with them. Also available are biographical materials, photographs, memoranda, speeches, and documents highlighting campaign moments, policy debates and decisions for each governor, as well as consideration of lessons they offer for current policy formation and governance.
The website will also provide access to a wide range of resources relating to the office of the governor, including research and scholarly publications on constitutional, political and policy issues; news on the actions of current governors and other developments affecting them; an overview of the evolution of the historical role of governors; and links to other academic, political and media resources.
In addition, the Center on the American Governor is convening conferences and seminars and making video-recordings of these events available on the Center website. Examples of events held to date and posted for viewing include:
-a conversation with former Governors Mario Cuomo (NY) and Tom Kean (NJ)
-symposia on the administrations of New Jersey Governors Byrne, Kean, Florio and Whitman
-panel discussions on New Jersey Governors and the State Supreme Court, Atlantic City History
and Politics, and the Meadowlands and Sports Complex
-forums on Governor Kean's urban policies, education policies and commitment to the arts
-a roundtable discussion of Governor Florio's health and human services reforms
Future programs will include forums that compare the approaches of governors in multiple states to cross-cutting issues such as disaster response, urban education and government reform.
The Center's national focus expanded in 2012 and 2013 when it awarded research grants to early career faculty across the country working on the theme of The American Governor: Politics, Policy Power and Leadership. Selected for funding were 16 applications from researchers working at universities in 18 states on a wide variety of historical and current topics.
In brief, the Center on the American Governor at the Eagleton Institute intends for its reach to be national as it not only conducts research and convenes forums on its own, but also stimulates increased attention from scholars, students, public policy makers, journalists and others across the country to this relatively unexamined office and the actions of the men and women who have held it in the 50 states.
For more information or questions, contact John Weingart at firstname.lastname@example.org or (732) 932-9384 ext. 290.