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WVU Institute for Public Affairs
316 Woodburn Hall
P.O. Box 6317
Morgantown, WV 26506-6317
Phone: 304-293-5432
Fax: 304-293-8644
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Affiliated Organizations

The West Virginia Association of Counties

County Commissioners’ Association of WV

West Virginia Municipal League

The West Virginia University Institute for Public Affairs is a research and service institute providing a broad range of activities in support of the people and government of West Virginia. The Institute is housed in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University and has close ties to the Department of Political Science and its Graduate Program in Public Policy.

The Four Primary Goals of
The Institute for Public Affairs

  • To promote public policy research on issues of importance to the state and the citizens of West Virginia
  • To provide educational training to local government officials on leadership, public policy, and governance issues
  • To become an important center for scholarly research on public policy
  • To seek all funds, grants, and other sources of assistance from other agencies of government as well as the private sector for the purposes of research, service and/or economic and community development

Latest News and Events

Create the Fix

Create the Fix

An upcoming information session and panel discussion on the Federal Budget will be held Tuesday April 3, from 10am to 3pm at the Waterfront Hotel. The session is FREE and includes lunch.

The goal of the session is to break through political rhetoric and inform people on what the Federal Government is actually spending funds on. There will also be a panel discussion on ways to improve both the budget itself and public information on the budget. The keynote speaker is New York Times columnist Ron Nixon. The itinerary for the event can be found by clicking the following link Create the Fix

The event is free, but registration is REQUIRED, because of the lunch.
The link to registration is:

Smart and Livable Cities and Towns

Professor Leyden outlines the importance of smart and livable cities and towns at an event sponsored by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST).

COMING SOON: A New Initiative by the IPA

icti_k (1)logo Innovative Cities and Towns Initiative

Professor Leyden’s research discussed in The Atlantic Cities magazine:
Click Here for The Atlantic Cities article.

Dr. Leyden helps Chester, WV attain neighborhood redevelopment funding.
TS&T Site Planning Moves Forward

The latest edition of the West Virginia Public Affairs Reporter [West Virginia Economic Development Funding: The Role of Federal Earmarks by Sean O' Leary and Dr. Karen Kunz] is now available online and in print.

Dr. Kevin Leyden’s Article, “Understanding the Pursuit of Happiness in Ten Major Cities,” Featured in Urban Affairs Review

The pursuit of happiness has a long history as a primary political end in Western political thought. Along with traditional economic indicators, policy makers are increasingly concerned with the subjective well-being of a society as a measure for its success. It is important to understand the nature of happiness and ask what can be done to improve it. This article builds upon existing literature that consistently identifies health, wealth, and social connectedness as key predictors of happiness. We find that the design and conditions of cities are associated with the happiness of residents in 10 urban areas. Cities that provide easy access to convenient public transportation and to cultural and leisure amenities promote happiness. Cities that are affordable and serve as good places to raise children also have happier residents. We suggest that such places foster the types of social connections that can improve happiness and ultimately enhance the attractiveness of living in the city.

To read the recent publication by Dr.Kevin Leyden, Dr. Abraham Goldberg and Dr. Philip Michelbach in Urban Affairs Review on “Understanding the Pursuit of Happiness in Ten Major Cities”, Click Here. Or to go directly to the article

To view the 2008 Quality of Life Survey used to for this research, Click Here. Approximately 1,000 respondents were interviewed in late 2007 in the cities of Seoul, New York, Toronto, Milan, Berlin, Stockholm, Beijing, London, Tokyo, and Paris. Data collection was generously funded and supported by the South Korean National Academy of Sciences, the Global Metropolitan Forum of Seoul, and the Seoul Welfare Foundation.”

Dr. Leyden Awarded Grant for The “Cleaner, Greener, Leaner” Study

Dr. Kevin Leyden, Director of the Institute for Public Affairs is a Co-Investigator on a Grant titled: The “’Cleaner, Greener, Leaner” Study: Combating Climate Change through Planning for Sustainable Transport. The grant primarily supports a PhD Student for three years under the Science, Technology, Research & Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE) Programme 2007 – 2013 funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (Republic of Ireland).

Professor Leyden Speaks at IRCHSS & IRCSET Postdoctoral Symposium, June 2011

Professor Kevin Leyden of the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change/West Virginia University recently presented research at the IRCHSS & IRCSET Postdoctoral Symposium held in Dublin at the Royal College of Physicians on June 27, 2011.

Dr. Leyden notes that a well-designed city can allow for creativity, sustainability, good health and innovation. He believes that developers have taken the lead too much with city development and that research will be essential to help make them more livable. Well-designed public transportation can offer huge benefits and cities built primarily for car transport can have a particularly damaging effect. Dr. Leyden said that cities focused on cars also discouraged walking and cycling, pointing out the increase in obesity rates in the US in recent years. He believes Ireland could be heading in the same direction, as there is now one car for every two adults, a 62pc increase since 1990.

For more information on Prof Leyden’s presentation, please see HERE

Research Matters is Relaunched, April 2011

Research Matters magazine was relaunched in April 2011. Dr Meghann Drury of Centre for Innovation and Social Change is on the Editorial Board of the magazine, and Prof Kevin Leyden of CISC/ WVU is part of the Galway 2040 initiative, featured on page 3-4 of the Spring 2011 issue.
The magazine focuses on the human interest side of research and encourages researchers at all stages (PhD student, postdoc, lecturer, professor) to write articles. It especially encourages junior researchers to submit articles relating to their research, to give them exposure and experience with this type of publication. For submission enquiries, please email

It will be a quarterly publication and the next edition is due out in September 2011.

To read the current issue, please see HERE

World Experts speak at 3rd Annual Social Marketing Conference, April 15, 2011

World Experts Two world renowned behavioral change experts, Dr. Doug McKenzie-Mohr and Dr. Craig Lefebvre came to the Centre for Innovation and Structural Change, NUI Galway for “Enabling Sustainable Behaviour: The Environment, Communities, Health & Well Being”, the 3rd Annual Social Marketing Conference on Friday, April 15th in NUI Galway. The Conference, organized by Dr Christine Domegan (CISC and Marketing) was a huge success and engaged over 60 delegates for a day of presentations, interactive sessions and lively discussion.

Pictured (left): Dr. Kevin Leyden, CISC/WVU; Dr Christine Domegan, CISC and Marketing; and Keynote Speaker, Dr Doug McKensie-Mohr.

For more information on the Conference, please see HERE

Dr.Kevin Leyden of CISC/WVU Coordinates and Judges Early Career Researchers Contest at Globe Forum 2010, November 2010

Professor Kevin Leyden of Centre for Innovation and Structural Change and West Virginia University collaborated with Globe Forum 2010 on the Early Career Researchers Contest. Dr. Leyden coordinated the contest and was on the judging panel.

Globe Forum in association with IRCSET, Dublin City Council, Accenture, Enterprise Ireland, IDA, SFI, UCD/Trinity Innovation Alliance, SEAI and other university partners sought out early career researchers in order to highlight on-going individual or team-based research that has implications for science, sustainability and society.

For More Information about Globe Forum- CLICK HERE

Members of the Research Group:

  • Martin Hynes – Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology
  • Neil Kerrigan – Enterprise Ireland
  • Andreas Lassesson – Science Foundation Ireland
  • Kevin Leyden – National University of Ireland, Galway
  • Mark Simpson – University College Dublin

See the six pitches from the finalists of the Early Career Researcher Competition, which was hosted on stage by Professor Leyden. WATCH HERE!

For more information on the Contest, please visit:

For more information on Globe Forum, please visit:

The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men (Plato)

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