The Michael O. Leavitt Center for Politics & Public Service provides an important service on campus as an interdisciplinary hub for leadership opportunities, citizenship education, public and humanitarian service, and public policy research. The Leavitt Center assists the University in accomplishing its mission and promoting its core values: academic excellence, community and social responsibility, and involvement and personal growth.
While politics exists without democracy, a society cannot have democracy without politics and political leadership. Leaders are artists-in-government across the spectrum of public policy arenas and academic disciplines, who define issues, develop solutions, build agreements, and respond to citizen concerns. Leaders are catalysts of self-government. Without a pool of well-trained leaders, a democratic society cannot survive. Preparing young men and women for careers in public service is therefore as vital as democracy itself.
The Leavitt Center is a non-partisan, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to preparing students to serve as responsible and educated leaders in a democratic society. We are building tomorrow's leaders today.
The Leavitt Center prepares students in four distinct ways:
- Leadership to broaden student’s career and professional opportunities by providing internship and leadership experiences.
- Citizenship to increase political participation by promoting citizenship awareness.
- Service to support civic service and volunteerism by providing opportunities for humanitarian service.
- Research to explore public policy issues by providing valuable resources, including the Michael O. Leavitt Collection.
Craig Jones, emeritus professor of political science, envisioned an organization that would stimulate students' interest in getting involved in the public affairs of their communities by running for elected offices, serving on various boards and committees, and being informed and active citizens.