The Policy Seminar Series is supported by the Thomas C. Sorensen Endowment. In 1996, Nebraska native Tom Sorensen approached Dean Brian Foster of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to discuss the three problems that troubled him then and continue to trouble many people today.
The first, as Dr. Sorensen described it, is the paucity of public discussion of policy issues with a dominance of what discussion there is by only those directly affected by particular issues. The second and related problem is that too few citizens participate in public affairs and run for office. And the third is that many newly elected officials, especially at the local level, know very little about their role, relevant policy issues, and policy matters in general upon assuming office.
Dr. Sorensen gave an endowment to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Arts and Sciences with the understanding that its income would support educational activities to help promote discussion of policy issues among Nebraskans, encourage their participation in public affairs and running for office, and educate newly elected officials.
The UNL College of Arts and Sciences partners with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center in sponsoring the Policy Seminar Series.