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50 examples of serving the state

Across UD, faculty, students and staff work in countless ways to enhance the quality of life in Delaware. This is particularly true for the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), founded in 1973 and based in the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration as a public service and applied research center. Thanks in large part to funding from the state of Delaware, IPA collaborates with state agencies, municipal governments, nonprofits, communities and businesses to improve all aspects of the state. In honor of a half-century of public service, here are 50 examples of recent partnerships.


  1. Establishing all-day preschool and wrap-around services for high-needs schools in Wilmington through the Redding Consortium for Educational Equity

  2. Developing flood resilience policies for coastal communities

  3. Tracking the economic impact of the state’s watersheds to highlight the billion-dollar importance of keeping our water clean and safe

  4. Designing virtual tours of Delaware’s seven byways—roadways with scenic, historic, natural, cultural, recreational and archaeological significance throughout the state. 

  5. Developing the Delaware Equitable Planning for Local Adaptation Needs (DE PLANS) website that features local emergency planning tools and resources for Sussex County

  6. Creating the “New Castle County CARES 4 Seniors”​ website to help older adults and service providers identify and coordinate essential services

Teaching mediation techniques to county officers


7. Designing a plan to improve mobility for individuals with special transportation needs throughout Delaware.

8. Connecting high school students from the city of Wilmington with environmental issues, resources and job opportunities through the Wilmington Green Jobs Program.

9. Teaching community mediation techniques to New Castle County police officers.

10. Working with the Delaware General Assembly to offer the Legislative Fellows Program, in which UD students contribute their research and writing skills to assist legislators on critical public policy issues through a six-month internship…and have been doing so for 41 years and counting!

11. Monitoring and reporting data on the educational progress of low-income students across the state.

For 41 years, the Legislative Fellows program has enabled UD students to assist legislators on critical public policy issues.

12. Providing local governments with free technical grant assistance

13. Maintaining a public online directory with contact information for state, county and local government leaders in Delaware

14. Analyzing the workforce development needs of Delaware’s green infrastructure industry

15. Removing 11 industrial dams from the Brandywine River so that the American shad fish can be reconnected with their spawning habitat

16. Launching the second cohort of the Delaware Department of Labor’s Leadership Academy, which engages 25 managers and emerging leaders in a four-month leadership development program

17. Designing a GIS story map to track and address food insecurity issues, starting with a pilot in Sussex County and then expanding statewide

18. Implementing College Application Month in October and November so that every public high school student in Delaware has the chance to apply to college and access career-readiness programs during the school day

19. Training over 200 town administrators throughout the state to become certified municipal clerks


Improving mobility for those with special needs

20. Highlighting stories of underrepresented entrepreneurs on the First State Insights podcast

21. Evaluating the efficacy of physical barriers on public buses to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 

22. Providing direct technical assistance on water quality and quantity issues in Delaware and the Delaware River watershed region

23. Designing a series of workshops to help ombudsmen facilitate contentious meetings among long-term care patients, their families and those who serve them

24. Evaluating state-funded programs that provide early childhood care for low-income families

25. Writing the Recover Delaware Guidebook on community recovery and resilience planning

Advancing Delaware’s historic preservation efforts

26. Hosting monthly 12–14 annual local government workshops for municipal leaders on topics including human resources, real estate and land use planning

27. Facilitating public forums on advancing Delaware’s historic preservation efforts

28. Studying the impact of youth conservation programs in Delaware state parks

29. Helping parents and educators work collaboratively to address the educational needs of special education students

30. Designing a GIS story map highlighting how the town of Bridgeville and the city of Lewes are creating aging-friendly communities

31. Partnering with the state’s Administrative Office of the Courts to provide students with the Judicial Fellows Program, a yearlong internship conducting research on projects that support the public management of the judicial branch 

32.  Fostering community planning efforts through the online Delaware Complete Communities Planning Toolbox

33. Assessing future trends and current needs to support job growth and for career pathways at Sussex County Vocational Technical School District

Water resources engineering

34. Helping local governments plan and prepare for electric vehicle infrastructure

35. Providing technical assistance to Delaware municipalities, including Bethany Beach, Camden, Clayton, Delaware City, Elsmere, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Middletown, Odessa and Wyoming, to update their comprehensive land use plans

36. Surveying the use and demand for the state’s “Park and Ride” commuter lots

37. Exploring geographic information system (GIS) with fifth graders during the annual GIS Day field trip held at the Dover Air Mobility Command Museum 

38. Teaching communications skills and dialogue techniques to iIntroduce the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay to methods for engaging in shared dialogue

39. Hosting workshops with Delaware Sea Grant for older adults in Sussex County on the importance of emergency preparedness

40. Collaborating with nonprofit partners and the National Park Service on the nationally designated Wild and Scenic White Clay Creek watershed and future national designations in Delaware

Connecting high school students from the city of Wilmington with environmental issues, resources and job opportunities through the Wilmington Green Jobs Program

41. Conducting a comprehensive impact analysis of the Freeman Arts Pavilion

42. Researching the economic impact of road construction

43. Highlighting the development projects in the state’s 12 Downtown Development Districts––Clayton, Delaware City, Dover, Georgetown, Harrington, Laurel, Middletown, Milford, New Castle, Seaford, Smyrna and Wilmington––on a GIS story map

44. Collecting biweekly bacteria samples to measure the water quality in the National Wild and Scenic White Clay Creek Watershed

45. Providing workshops on conflict management, communication and parent engagement for educators who serve on Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams

46. Researching and bringing awareness to the intersection of health, housing, transportation, infrastructure and emergency planning issues in the state

47. Offering the UD Summer Local Government Management Fellows program in collaboration with municipalities across Delaware to give graduate students city management experience while contributing to municipal duties

48. Evaluating Delaware’s senior centers on eligibility to receive $7–8 million in financial assistance from the Delaware General Assembly

49. Guiding youth and their families through restorative justice circle dialogues 

50. Coaching government, nonprofits and community leaders on strategies for leading effective meetings

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