Programming and Activities

photo of IOP programs

Institute Forums

Institute forums bring together elected officials and diverse stakeholders to discuss challenges facing Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond. Usually sponsored by one or more of the Institute’s eight policy committees, these events provide balanced insight on an existing or emerging policy issue and foster dialogue between disparate constituencies in the broader community. Forums feature speakers who provide in-depth analysis on national, state, and local topics as well as opportunities for open discussion and response.

Institute Research Projects

Due to the complex nature of some of the initiatives undertaken by the policy committees, the Institute offers assistance with developing applied research strategies that frame issues within national, state, and local contexts, providing committee members and key stakeholders with synthesized and evidence-based policy briefs for further deliberation. This work often culminates in a report and/or forum that conceptualizes the issues and the recommended policy options for consideration by regional policymakers.

If you would like to learn more about the Institute's research efforts, or to request a presentation to your class or group on any of these topics, please contact the Institute at or 412-624-1837.

The Elected Officials Retreat

This event, held annually and cosponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, provides special opportunities for both substantive discussion and personal interaction. The goal of the retreat is to encourage discussion regarding critical regional issues and open the lines of communication among elected officials from different levels of government and community leadership.

Outcomes and Deliverables

An informed and engaged polity is, in essence, a short-term and ongoing outcome for the Institute. Through cross-sector engagement, measurable outcomes and products will include:

  • Development of policy-framing papers
  • Development of resource guides for elected officials
  • Legislative proposals and new legislation
  • In-depth policy research
  • Policy and procedure recommendations and implementation strategies
  • Identification of strategic regional partners to address specific issues
  • Development of educational forums for key stakeholders and the general public
  • Project management for special community-based, collaborative initiatives
  • Organization and support of working meetings with key stakeholders