Fishlinger Center Policies

Advisory Board
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research is a program of the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The College is non-partisan. All College policies apply, including but not limited to the College’s commitment to academic freedom. When necessary and appropriate, individuals expressing judgments or opinions should identify their judgments or opinions as their own, not those of the College or other organizations with which they may be affiliated.

The Board of Advisors shall consist of not fewer than ten nor more than twenty members.

Consistent with approved criteria, the Board of Advisors shall help determine and prioritize potential topics for center sponsored studies.

The Board of Advisors shall have the opportunity to review and comment on each survey instrument and reporting before it is finalized in an effort to ensure that the survey addresses the most salient questions or issue to provide data on public perceptions that can help frame issues for meaningful public discourse.

The Board of Advisors will help to identify and recruit participants for a forum on the results of the surveys/studies and their implications for public policy.

The Board shall approve policies governing any surveys/ studies undertaken for non-College entities. Surveys and studies undertaken by faculty utilizing center resources need to be approved by the College’s Institutional Review Board and the center’s director.

The Board shall meet in person at least twice a year. Board members who consistently find it impossible to participate will be asked to step off the Board.

Criteria for Surveys and Studies
Topic should have significant implications and national import for or in domestic policy.

If local, however, the survey or study must have clear national implications. (e.g., a survey on Stop Question and Frisk in New York City would have national import because of its policy implications. A survey on East River Bridge Tolls would not.)

Topic should be important, actionable with likelihood of showing variation in opinion. The results may displease some powerful group of people (i.e. must be connected some topic(s) or issue(s) that are the subject of deep feeling and/or partisan rancor). This may not, however, influence the objective conduct of the survey or study and / or the reporting of the results. The entire research process should be transparent.

Process for Selecting Possible Topics
The process for submission of possible topics for Center Studies shall be open to advisory board members, faculty, students, administrators and alumni. The first screening will be conducted by the Director of the Center for relevance and feasibility using guidelines approved by the Advisory Board. Abstracts of promising topics will then be presented to the Advisory Board at the annual meeting. These will be discussed and then prioritized by the Advisory Board.