The Maddy Institute Recognized for Innovative Practices in California Higher Education


Fresno, CA (October 3, 2019) – On Wednesday, October 2, The Maddy Institute was presented with a Focus on Efficiency Award at the 2019 California Higher Education Collaborative (CHEC) Conference at UCLA.

Mark Keppler, Executive Director, Maddy Institute

The Maddy Institute received the award for its ground-breaking agreement with the San Joaquin Valley’s four public universities (California State University campuses – Fresno, Bakersfield and Stanislaus – and University of California, Merced) to create a working partnership to advance public understanding of public policy issues impacting the San Joaquin Valley, as well as support the development of future Valley leaders.

The Focus on Efficiency Award is awarded by the 2019 CHEC Conference Committee to recognize those programs at California’s community colleges, California State University and University of California campuses that demonstrate innovative practices that have been implemented to improve operational performance, services, and outcomes for California Higher Education.

“We are delighted to be the recipient of this Award.  It recognizes the unique collaboration between the California State University campuses at Fresno, Bakersfield and Stanislaus, as well as UC Merced, to create a one-of-a-kind public affairs institute that is a model of inter-campus and regional cooperation,” said the Institute’s executive director Mark Keppler. “This novel arrangement underscores the commitment by the leadership at the Valley’s four public universities to enhance public policy in a way that will benefit the entire region and do so in a way that is both efficient and effective,” he said. 

Among other things, the goal of this new alliance it to ensure that Valley students on the four campuses have greater access to legislative internships in Washington, D.C., Sacramento, and legislative offices throughout the Valley, as well as the Institute’s $56,000 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowships. It will also enhance opportunities for university faculty from the four universities to collaborate on public-policy issues unique to the Valley, and share their findings with Valley residents through the Institute’s various public-affairs media platforms (e.g., Maddy Report and El Informe Maddy TV programs, its Valley Views radio and podcast, and its daily news aggregator, The Maddy Daily). Finally, this new collaboration will provide federal and state officials with a central organization that can provide them access to the top universities and various media markets throughout the eight-county, 250-mile San Joaquin Valley that is home to more than 2.5 million people.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the California Legislature’s unanimous vote in 1999 to create The Maddy Institute—the first and only public-policy and public-affairs institute ever created by the California Legislature—to honor the public service of State Senator Ken Maddy, whose 28 years of public service demonstrated the successful application of personal integrity, legislative know-how and bipartisanship to the governance of the State of California. The mission of The Maddy Institute is to “…inspire citizen participation, elevate government performance, provide non-partisan analysis and assist in providing solutions for public-policy issues important to the region, state and nation.”