With initial support from JPMorgan Chase & Co., Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs are collaborating to introduce a new and innovative program for veterans and military family members, who aspire to public office or another form of a political career.
The “Veterans in Politics” (VIP) initiative is designed to act on the opportunity associated with the affinity for civic engagement and public service demonstrated by those who have served the cause of the nation’s defense. Despite gains in the 2018 election cycle from a recent historic low, veteran representation in Congress has declined from more than 75% in the 1960s, to 19.1% today.
“The IVMF and the Maxwell School are uniquely equipped to design and deliver this specialized program,” says David M. Van Slyke, dean of the Maxwell School. “The IVMF’s deep involvement, understanding and engagement with the veteran and military-connected community, coupled with the Maxwell School’s standing as the nation’s #1 ranked school of public affairs, positions us to empower those who have served our nation in uniform with preparation, expertise and confidence, so that they can extend their commitment to public service in the form of a political career at the local, state, or federal level.”
The VIP program will enroll its inaugural class in late 2019. The program will feature both online coursework and a one-week intensive residency. VIP curriculum will cover election law, party politics and public policy, creating, managing and leading campaign teams, campaign finance, understanding voters, message development, mobilizing volunteer teams, responding to citizen issues and conflict management, among others topics.
“Veterans are a natural fit for public office. They comprise more than one-third of the federal work force and have been shown to be more likely to vote, contact public officials, volunteer, give to charity, and work with neighbors to fix problems in their community,” says Nick Armstrong, IVMF Senior Director of Research and Policy and Maxwell School alumnus. “Most importantly, veterans tend to demonstrate more bi-partisan behavior than their peers. Their military service primes them for the responsibilities that come with public office, yet programs to support such a career are few and far between.”
The VIP program aligns with Syracuse University’s commitment to be the “best place for veterans” and the military-connected community. Consistently ranked among the top 10 best universities for veterans, Syracuse was most recently ranked the #1 private school for veterans by Military Times and the #4 school overall in 2018. The University is one of only 15 Pat Tillman Foundation University Partners. Now in its second year as a partner institution, Syracuse was selected for its innovative veteran services, strong culture of support for military veterans and spouses and its rigorous academic programs.
The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs is home to the nation’s #1-ranked school for graduate education in public affairs (U.S. News), offering graduate professional degrees in public administration and international affairs. It is also Syracuse University’s home for innovative teaching and research across nine social science disciplines (Anthropology, Citizenship and Civic Engagement, Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Policy Studies, Political Science, and Sociology).
The University is furthering its commitment to the veteran and military-connected population with the construction of the National Veterans Resource Center (NVRC), a first-of-its-kind multi-use facility dedicated to advancing academic research, programming and community-connected innovation serving the social, economic and wellness concerns of the nation’s veterans and families. The NVRC is scheduled to open in spring 2020.
To request more information about the “Veterans in Politics” program, please visit the following web page link https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/veterans-in-politics