Angela Evans Named Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs

We are so excited to announce that LBJ Professor and CHASP faculty associate Angela Evans has been named Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs. She is a passionate advocate for the LBJ School, and we look forward to what future greatness comes to the department under her leadership. Her first day as Dean will be January 16, 2016. We also thank Robert Wilson for his service as Interim Dean during the transition.

President Fenves announced to the University community today:

“Angela is the right person to lead the LBJ School. Her deep knowledge of the school provides a strong basis for increasing its impact by educating public affairs leaders through scholarship and research in domestic and international affairs.  I am especially excited about her ideas for growing the presence of the LBJ School in Washington, D.C.

Following a long and impressive career of public service to the U.S. Congress, including 13 years as the deputy director of the Congressional Research Service, Angela joined the LBJ School as a clinical professor in 2009. Her years of working directly with members of Congress and their staffs on major legislative deliberations, and supporting them as they confronted our nation’s critical and complex policy problems, offer a unique balance of insight and expertise that will benefit our students, faculty and campus leadership. During her time as deputy director, Angela was recognized for leading major organizational changes that enhanced the research capacity of the Congressional Research Service, as well as improved operations and infrastructure.

While at UT, Angela has earned teaching accolades at the LBJ School and has been the recipient of the Texas Exes Teaching Award. She also has been awarded research grants, including ones from the National Science Foundation and the Dirksen Congressional Center.

Angela continues to be active in the public policy arena, serving as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. She also has recently served as the president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management and on the governing board of the Network for Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration.

Congratulations again to our colleague for the much deserved appointment.

More about Angela Evans.

Policy Research Project with Drs. Erin Lentz and Raj Patel: A Balanced, Food Systems Plan for the City of Austin

How does an urban city like Austin develop a food systems plan that enables economic development, environmental improvement, and public health– while balancing often-exclusionary concerns of elites? The City of Austin calls upon the graduate students of the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs, led by CHASP faculty associates Drs. Erin Lentz and Raj Patel, to engage in a Neighborhood Food Planning Process with a goal of developing Austin’s first Food System Strategic Plan. The City will use the team in piloting the program in North Central Austin to inform how to expand the Neighborhood Food System Planning process city-wide.

In the first year of this three-year Policy Research Project (PRP), the students in the study will begin to identify ways to support inclusivity in Austin’s Food System Strategic Plan. First, these students will identify and synthesize lessons learned from leading model cities across the US and beyond, about how to create and foster an environment in which bold citizen-driven transformations in the food system can happen. Prof. Erin Lentz emphasized, “…developing a toolkit for the City of Austin is the real goal.”

Second, students will work closely with City of Austin residents, civil society actors, local policymakers, and government officials to generate a tailored set of inclusive policy recommendations that are appropriate to Austin’s unique context. Edwin Marty, the City’s first Sustainable Food Policy Manager, has stressed that that the most vital step here is listening and reaching out to community members about their true needs and wants.

Future years’ topics for the PRP will be driven both by the City’s demands, and those of the City’s residents as revealed in the first year’s work.


New Interdisciplinary Roundtable Series with UT Austin Experts


The University of Texas at Austin is home to some of the world’s leading scholars. What starts here really does change the world. The impact of their scholarship, however, can be much greater through collaboration across campus and between campus and the larger policy world.

To facilitate and increase collaboration, the Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs created the new Research to Practice (R2P) Roundtable initiative. Through R2P, CHASP convenes a top policymaker with a select number of faculty and senior researchers at UT Austin whose research is aligned with the social policy issue. The policymakers share their top policy priorities and the group discusses current and potential research that could enhance their goals. Each R2P event explores a different policy area of focus.

CHASP Director Dr. Cynthia Osborne said, “I’m passionate about bridging rigorous research to real world policy. It’s the basis of my work through my child and family research group, and having the opportunity to expand the concept to even more social policy issues and connect high level policymakers directly with scholars is fantastic.”

The inaugural R2P Roundtable was held in October on the topic of child welfare policy with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner John Specia, Jr., well-known former judge and authority in family law, foster care, and Child Protective Services cases. The event was a resounding success and very well received by all parties. The University of Texas at Austin participants included experts from the College of Education, College of Natural Sciences, School of Social Work, the Population Research Center, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

The next R2P Roundtable will be held in the spring of 2016. Please contact with any questions.

CHASP at the 2015 APPAM Fall Research Conference

The APPAM Fall Research Conference, the key conference of the year for policy researchers from around the world, is next week in Miami. Attendees convene to both present and learn about research on current and emerging policy and management issues from 14 different policy areas. This year’s conference program is centered around the theme, “The Golden Age of Evidence-Based Policy.”

CHASP director Cynthia Osborne and faculty associates Angela Evans and Paul von Hippel are participating throughout the conference:

  • Angela Evans will be finishing her term as APPAM Past President as well as moderating roundtable, “Transforming Research and Analysis to Action: Engagement Across the Academic and Policy Divide” (11/12/15, 10:15am) and chairing panel “Getting Research Used in Government” (11/14/15, 8:30am).
  • Cynthia Osborne will be presenting papers “Engaging Fathers: Expanding the Scope of Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs” (11/12/15, 8:30am), “Challenges of Serving and Retaining High-Risk Families in Evidence-Based Home Visiting Programs” (11/12/15, 10:15am), and “Exploring the Role of Fathers’ Birth Presence in Mothers’ Mental Health Outcomes” (11/14/15, 8:30am)
  • Paul von Hippel will be presenting paper, “Seeking Exceptional Teacher Preparation Programs Among Many Noisy Estimates: The Danger of Being Fooled By Randomness,” (11/12/15, 1:45pm; co-authored with Cynthia Osborne) and participating on panels “Supporting K-12 and College Students Academically and Financially” (11/13/15, 8:30am) and “Examining the New Teacher Contract: Compensation and Retention in the Context of Waning Union Power” (11/13/15, 10:15am).

Click for detailed conference schedule.

Angela Evans Receives $300,000 Grant from the National Science Foundation


AngelaEvans_cropwebThere is far-reaching agreement that deep gaps exist between those who generate new scientific knowledge and those who could use that knowledge to formulate and execute social policies.  Despite this consensus, little has been done to strengthen the exchange between academic and policymaking communities, resulting in serendipitous relationships that are often fraught with challenges, and unsustainable over time.

The National Science Foundation recently awarded CHASP faculty associate Angela Evans an EAGER Grant of $300,000 to explore how training protocols supported by NSF and targeted at research scientists in the hard sciences, technology, engineering and medicine might be beneficial to social and behavioral scientists as well.

The ultimate aim of this year-long work is to enhance the exchange of expertise, ideas, and discoveries between the academic research communities and the nonprofit and public sectors. The work undertaken by this grant will create replicable methodologies and training protocols that will allow scientists to build appropriate skills, and to practice successful approaches, to share knowledge and expertise with their policy and nonprofit counterparts.

It is the aim of this grant to help social and behavioral scientist to build partnerships with relevant policy stakeholders early in their research design process to further enhance the potential usefulness and sustainability of their work. Widespread adoption of such a curriculum by a variety of funding sources (e.g. nonprofit, governmental entities, and private foundations) could result in a new orientation for social science researchers – one that is sensitive to the practical challenges faced by policymakers and community stakeholders.

Click for more about Angela Evans and her EAGER Grant Award.

Dean Robert Wilson and CHASP Director Cynthia Osborne at Book Launch in DC

LBJ’s Neglected Legacy: How Lyndon Johnson Reshaped Domestic Policy and Government

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars with the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin and the LBJ Washington Center

October 23, 2015


The LBJ School of Public Affairs’ Dean Robert Wilson and CFRP and CHASP Director Cynthia Osborne are in DC today at the launch event of new book, “LBJ’s Neglected Legacy: How Lyndon Johnson Researched Domestic Policy and Government.”

Dean Robert Wilson is co-editor with Norman Glickman and Laurence Lynn Jr. Cynthia Osborne wrote chapter “LBJ’s Legacy in Contemporary Social Welfare Policy: Have We Come Full Circle?”



(Photos: LBJ Washington Center)

Dr. Cynthia Osborne Named CHASP Director


One of the country’s foremost child and family policy researchers, Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Associate Professor and director of the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named director of the LBJ School’s Center for Health and Social Policy (CHASP).  Former director, Professor Carolyn Heinrich, University of Vanderbilt, will continue her affiliation with CHASP as a Research Professor.

“I am very pleased that Cynthia is taking on the leadership of CHASP,” said LBJ School interim dean Robert Wilson. “A dynamic and innovative scholar and teacher, Dr. Osborne will enhance a rapidly expanding research agenda within CHASP, applying innovative social science based research to evaluate social programs.”

“I’m delighted to be the new director of CHASP,” said Osborne. “I look forward to continuing my work with my colleagues as we aim to answer the pressing social policy questions of our day and improve the well being of the poor and vulnerable through effective policy research. Our collective goal is to be a resource to decision makers, an anchor to students and alumni, a convener of experts, and a megaphone for the important research conducted by our tremendous students and faculty research associates.”

Dr. Osborne specializes in policies regarding strengthening families, fatherhood, early childhood interventions, child welfare, and adolescent health under her research group, CFRP. She is the Primary Investigator on numerous program evaluations, including the long-term evaluation project of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Home Visiting Program. She also directed the Project on Education Effectiveness and Quality (PEEQ), a statewide project for the Texas Education Agency.

Dr. Osborne currently serves as Chair of the Responsible Fatherhood working group for the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network, a long-term project of the federal Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. She oversees The University of Texas at Austin’s institutional membership of the University-Based Child and Family Policy Consortium. She also serves on the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Policy Council, the leadership team responsible for setting policy and strategy for the association.

Dr. Osborne joined the faculty of the LBJ School of Public Affairs in 2005 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing at Princeton University. She holds a Ph.D. in Demography and Public Affairs from Princeton University, a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Masters of Arts in Education. Previously, Dr. Osborne taught middle school in a low-income community in California.

CHASP faculty research associates include: Todd Olmstead and David Warner, who are experts in health policy and health care funding; Michele Deitch, who specializes in criminal justice policy, with a particular interest in juvenile justice; Jacqui Angel, who is a leader in aging policy, especially as it relates to Hispanic and immigrant families; Paul von Hippel, who is an expert in research design, statistical methods, and education and health policy; Pat Wong, who is a poverty and social policy expert; Erin Lentz who is a leading scholar in food insecurity in the US and abroad, and Angela Evans, who is the leading expert on ensuring evidence-based policy informs decision makers. Joining CHASP next year will be Abigail Aiken, who specializes in women’s fertility and reproductive health.

For further information contact:
Susan Binford, LBJ School of Public Affairs

Wendy Gonzales, CHASP and CFRP

Michele Deitch Appointed to Board of Fellows of the National Center for Juvenile Justice


CHASP faculty research associate Michele Deitch was recently appointed to the Board of Fellows of the National Center for Juvenile Justice, the research arm of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ).  She was appointed by NCJFCJ President Judge Byrne and is one of only two academics on this national board.

The National Center for Juvenile Justice is the premiere and oldest juvenile justice research group in the country. It produces objective, factual information and provides technical assistance to professionals and policymakers.  Professor Deitch’s role on the Board of Fellows is to provide oversight of the Center’s work, and to ensure the research and data collection conducted by the Center meets the needs of policymakers, practitioners, and researchers.

Prof. Deitch specializes in criminal and juvenile justice policy issues and has most recently received national attention for her expertise regarding jail safety issues in the wake of the Sandra Bland case.

Below are some of her contributions in current news:

Click here for more about Prof. Deitch.

For more information, contact: Susan Binford, LBJ School of Public Affairs, 512-415-4820.


New Analysis by Lincove and Osborne on the Diverse Market for Teacher Preparation


CHASP faculty research associate Cynthia Osborne and former CHASP associate Jane Lincove’s analysis on the diverse market for teach preparation was just published in Journal of Teacher Education. The article, co-authored with former LBJ staff researchers, Nick Mills and Laura Bellows, is titled Teacher Preparation for Profit or Prestige: Analysis of a Diverse Market for Teacher Preparation.

Pulled from the article:

After decades of decentralization, Texas has the largest and most diverse teacher training market in the United States. In Texas, future teachers can choose from more than 200 programs housed at more than 150 institutions including large research universities, community colleges, local education agencies (LEAs), for-profit start-ups, and mission-driven nonprofits. Program scope ranges from highly specialized programs designed to fill specific vacancies in hard-to-staff schools to online programs with the flexibility to operate statewide.

This diversity in teacher preparation programs (TPPs) foreshadows national policy trends. Traditional university-based programs face increasing competition from a growing market of start-ups.

Concerns about the quality of these start-ups, along with criticism of traditional university-based teacher education programs, have prompted calls for higher standards and greater accountability.

This article examines these research questions:

  • Research Question 1: Are there measurable differences in performance for students of recently certified teachers based on organizational or market characteristics of the teacher’s TPP?
  • Research Question 2: Are these student outcome differences explained by teacher selection into TPPs or teaching assignments?
  • Research Question 3: Are there differential effects of TPP type on high-need students and schools?
  • Research Question 4: Do TPP effects converge as teachers gain classroom experience?

Click for the abstract, full text, and PDF.