Center Will Study Role of Congress in Policymaking

John Brademas

NEW YORK-New York University announced the establishment of the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, to be housed at its Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

The Center, named in honor of NYU President Emeritus and former Member of Congress, Dr. John Brademas, will undertake research, teaching, and public outreach activities focused on the role of Congress in making national policy. The Center will bring together current and former Presidents, Senators, Representatives, and other U.S. public officials; parliamentarians from other countries; journalists; students, and scholars to discuss the processes by which Congress shapes policy, as well as important issues of national policy. The Center will be wholly bipartisan.

"The Center will be one of the first of its kind to pursue a rigorous study of Congress as a policymaking institution," said Dr. Brademas. "With our separation of powers Constitution, when it comes to making national policy, Congress, unlike the legislative body in a parliamentary system, exercises great power.. But with 100 Senators and 435 Representatives and, customarily, no strict party discipline, Congress is not an easy institution to understand, even for the well informed."

"I am delighted by the creation of a Center named in honor of my friend and former colleague, John Brademas," said U.S. Representative Charles B. Rangel (D NY), a member of the Center's Advisory Council. "John's extraordinary commitment to examining and highlighting the essential role that Congress plays in making policy will lead to the highest caliber of work. And what better place to house an outside the Beltway, objective Center than in New York City, with its diversity and access to academia and media outlets."

A Democrat, Dr. Brademas served as a U.S. Representative from Indiana for twenty two years (1959-81), the last four as Majority Whip of the House of Representatives. He then served as NYU President from 1981 to 1992 and is now President Emeritus.

In Congress Dr. Brademas served on the Committee on Education and Labor where he played a leading role in writing major legislation to support schools, colleges, and universities; the arts and the humanities; and libraries and museums; and to provide services for children, the elderly, and the disabled.

"Given the influence of the House and Senate on the day to, day lives of every American, it is critical that we promote a better understanding, among both scholars and the public, of how Congress sets its agenda and works to create national policy," said NYU President John Sexton.

The Center will draw faculty from NYU Wagner and other schools of the University, promoting an interdisciplinary approach to the study of the "First Branch" of the United States government.

The Center's inaugural event, on September 15, will feature Senators Richard C. Lugar (R IN) and Paul S. Sarbanes (D MD) and will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The lecture is the first in a series to be held at the Library, and is sponsored by Bernard Schwartz, Chairman and CEO of Loral Space & Communications, and his wife Irene.

Other planned activities include a series of seminars on Congress's legislative resources led by NYU Wagner Professor Paul Light and symposia on specific issues and legislative measures, some of which Dr. Brademas authored during his service in Congress. The Center will hold conferences in New York City, Washington, D.C., and at NYU's international sites. The Center will also sponsor internships on Capitol Hill for NYU undergraduate and graduate students.

"I am pleased that New York University has named its Center for the Study of Congress after my good friend and fellow Hoosier, John Brademas," said Senator Lugar, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "As a distinguished legislator and university president, John has an impressive history of achievements in education. I am confident that with his idealism, integrity, and creativity, the Brademas Center will develop constructive ideas to inspire a desire for public service in students and a more comprehensive understanding of the role that Congress plays in shaping the laws that govern our nation."

The Brademas Center has formed an Advisory Council, which includes current and former U.S. Senators and Representatives from both political parties, others experienced in government, members of the NYU community, academic authorities on Congress, and leaders from other sectors of American life.

The activities of the Brademas Center ( center), will be supported by a grant directed by the U.S. Congress as well as by private contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations. Dr. Alicia P. Hurley, director of NYU's Office of Federal Policy, is the Center's acting director.

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