The University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleThe Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy

Research and Publications

Policy Brief – Fall 2012

Addressing issues concerning energy and the environment:  A short course on energy policy analysis

Brief number one 092012blue

Baker Center Journal of Applied Public Policy – Special Edition, Vol. IV, No. II, Fall 2012

This special edition includes articles from speakers at a 2010 conference – “Howard H. Baker, Jr: A Life in Public Service” and a special addendum including photographs and cartoons from Sen. Baker’s career.


Baker Center Journal of Applied Public Policy, Vol. IV, No. I, Spring 2012

This edition of the journal is now available for free download here:

Be sure to download both the cover (with article listing and page numbers) and “additional files” at the bottom of the screen.  This contains all the articles.


Assessment of Incentives and Employment Impacts of Solar Industry Deployment – Released May 1, 2012

The Baker Center supports research in issues related to energy and the environment.  Just released is this report funded by the Solar Energy  Industries Association,  ”Assessment of Incentives and Employment Impacts of Solar Industry Deployment.”  It examines the impact and looks to the future of solar energy as compared with other energy sources.   As with other research efforts, these results reflect the work of the researchers and are not necessarily the views of the Howard Baker Center or the University of Tennessee.  A summary report is available here:   Solar incentives and benefits _ES_May 1 2012 (2) (embargoed) The complete report is available here:  Solar incentives and benefits _complete report_May 1 2012 (2)



The Science System, Innovation, and Economic Growth   (preliminary report)

Cristina Reiser, GRA, University of Tennessee Department of Economics

Dr. Robert Shelton, Fellow, Baker Center Energy & Environmental Policy Program

 Science, technology, and innovation (STI) combine to form the driving force behind a nation’s economic growth. This multifaceted relationship is reflected in the national innovation systems (NIS) approach which is a systemic model that considers the science system, among other sectors, as part of a much larger system of innovation. It stresses the importance of knowledge/technology flows and relationships between subsystems as drivers of the innovative capability of an economy. One of the most critical subsystems of the NIS is the science system—a network consisting mainly of institutes of higher education, federal research laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and industrial basic research labs. This report provides a synthesis of the theoretical and empirical economics literature on the impact of the science system as it relates to the innovative capability of the economy. In particular, it reviews what the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development defines as the science system’s three main functions— (i) producing new scientific knowledge, (ii) transmitting the existing state of knowledge to the scientific labor force and the general population through education, and (iii) diffusing knowledge as quickly and as widely as possible based on the Mertonian norms of conduct. ScienceInnovationEcon2010.pdf



Work the Polls: College Student Poll Worker Training Program – U.S. Election Assistance Commission – Final Report

Dr. Amy Gibson, Baker Center and Lauren Riggins, Baker Scholar

In May 2010, the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy partnered with the Knox County Election Commission and Pxyl to facilitate the development of the college student poll worker program, referred to as “Work the Polls.” The program recruited students from The University of Tennessee, Pellissippi State Technical Community College, and Knoxville College (a historically black college), to serve as poll workers on Election Day. The program engaged students in the democratic process and trained a new generation of election workers. Strategies for recruitment included the development of a website with training videos, on campus recruitment, social media engagement, and in-person training sessions. Their recruitment efforts were highly successful, finding 295 qualified poll workers to “Work the Polls.” The program highlighted the effectiveness of using social media, email, and student publications to promote participation in the democratic process.PollWorkersReport2011.pdf



In the Public Interest

Baker Center Staff/UT Creative Services

Learn about the Baker Center’s mission and program objectives, while enjoying Sen. Baker’s favorite hobby, photography. In the Public Interest highlights the goals of various programs like Energy and Environment, Global Security, Baker Studies, and the Baker Scholars. Each of these programs seeks to achieve the Baker Center’s overall goal: …to engage members of the public in learning about and discussing America’s system of governance and the role of its citizens. (Senator Baker).


March 2010 

Building Health Communities: A Workshop Bringing together Local Administrators, Policy Makers and Concerned Citizens

Editors:  David Basset, UT Obesity Research Center

Dr. Michael Caudle, Baker Center

Dana Wolff, GTA, UT Kinesiology & Sport

Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the last thirty years. Currently, more than one-third of adults are obese. A multitude of environmental and biological factors can influence people’s eating habits: intensive marketing campaigns, widespread availability of inexpensive high calorie foods, and societal attitudes about food can drastically shape the way people make dietary choices. This paper is a report on a workshop that looked at several policies that could lead people to develop healthier eating habits. One such policy would create “optimal defaults” such as removing a la carte options from school cafeterias. When a la carte options are not an available, students typically eat a smaller amount of unhealthy foods such as chips and desserts. Also proposed at the workshop were “Farm-to-School” programs that promote higher quality foods to be used in cafeterias. In addition, the study encouraged local governments to allocate more funds to constructing and maintaining bicycle and pedestrian paths. Communities should utilize the 3 P’s: “Programs are needed to educate and build awareness; Projects are needed to create environments conducive to physical activity and healthy eating; and Policies are needed so that healthy community designs are the norm, and people are rewarded for making healthy choices” (p 13).Building Healthy Communities_Final.pdf



Civility in Government: Principles and Exemplars           

Baker Center Staff

This booklet is the result of a series of meetings and workshops sponsored by the Baker Center, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Tennessee Business Roundtable and the Freedom Forum. It serves as an educational guide that highlights civility standards for public servants and citizens. By highlighting a use of “preeminence of the facts,” “respect,” “emphasis on policy,” and “responsibility,” the booklet offers ways to maintain civility—even in a tumultuous political environment. The guide also recognizes public servants who embody these principles, such as Senator Howard Baker and the late Senator Robert Byrd. Civility.pdf


August 2008

Convenience Voting in Three Tennessee Counties, Final Project Report

Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, UT Political Science & Baker Center

Dr. Janet Kelly, UT Institute for Public Service

Dr. John Scheb, UT Political Science

Dr. Amy Gibson, Baker Center

Voting in is a valued right in America; however, our precinct-based voting system suffers from problems of cost, effectiveness, and efficiency. Operating a large number of precincts is expensive and it is often difficult to recruit enough staff and volunteers. Election officials have advocated for having fewer voting centers in smarter locations. The Knox County Election Commission and the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy collaborated to examine this idea and “planned a Convenience Voting pilot program of optimally numbered and located voting centers, which would replace the existing precinct system in Knox, Anderson, and Loudon Counties” (p. 1). The purpose of this project was to provide a framework for designing a convenience voting system that can be field-tested in elections. Based on their findings, the authors concluded that the system should be designed to “include key stakeholders in the system design and implementation; consider a system that involves the youngest voting cohort; include time and resources for enhanced poll worker recruitment and training; and limit the employment of new technology to facilitate comparisons with precinct-based elections. The next phase of this project will test the preliminary results so they can be offered to other jurisdictions with confidence” (p. 81). The overarching goal of the project was to make our electoral system more effective and efficient. PewRpt 6-2009.pdf



Power from Perspective: Potential Future United States Energy Portfolios

Bruce Tonn, UT Political Science & Baker Center

Power from Perspective: Potential Future United States Energy Portfolios is the product of a collaborative effort between the Howard Baker Center and Deloitte Consulting, LLP. This paper explores prospective U.S. energy portfolio strategies that could satisfy three primary goals: energy independence, energy security, and greenhouse gas reductions. While the seven strategies presented for meeting these objectives were quite different, they share a common reliance on cellulosic ethanol, nuclear power, and energy efficiency to meet energy demands in 2030. The paper concludes with the idea that in order to achieve national energy objectives, the U.S. energy portfolio should include: a strong role for government, diversity, an explicit statement of goals, and coordinated action across society. DeloittePowerPerspective2008.pdf


October 2007

The Role of Nuclear Power in Global and Domestic Energy Policy: Recent Developments and Future Expectations

Alan Lowe, Baker Center

Lisa Obrentz, Woodrow Wilson Center

Jerry Paul, Energy Fellow, Baker Center

Nuclear power was the subject of a Baker Center conference held in Washington, D.C. on October 3-4, 2007. The Howard Baker Center for Public Policy and the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars sponsored the conference and brought together international experts, policymakers, and industry representatives in the field of nuclear energy policy. These speakers and panelists explored topics such as: the development of the global energy market, the economics of a global nuclear energy marketplace, domestic nuclear energy plant development, and the United States’ position in the global nuclear infrastructure supply chain. RapporteurReport_FINAL.pdf



Local Government in Knox County: What Citizens Need to Know

Mike Fitzgerald, UT Political Science & Baker Center

John Scheb, UT Political Science

David Folz, UT Political Science

Amy Gibson, Baker Center

 The goal of this study was to analyze the governmental structure of Knox County and other similar communities to identify “best practices” for local governments. They examined eight counties that are comparable to Knox County. While these local governments shared similarities, they tended to vary in structure, expenditures per capita, and level of governmental activity. Best practices that were identified included professionalized management, formal performance monitoring, benchmarking, and the use of intergovernmental agreements. Successful county governments also stressed citizen involvement and responsiveness to citizens’ concerns. Using citizen surveys, hotlines, and oversight boards also promoted healthy political processes in county governments. In addition, the authors examined whether governmental structure determined the quality of performance, finding that it did impact it in some situations (e.g. a traditional commission form of county government would be unlikely to be able to meet the demands of a highly urbanized area.) However, the quality of a government was largely dependent on the degree to which its administration was professional and the level of citizen involvement: not structural aspects of the government. The authors hope that this report can serve as a tool that citizens could use to learn about best practices and examine their own county governments.


March 2005

Cleaning America’s Air: Progress and Challenges

David Brill, Editor, UT Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment

 Cleaning America’s Air: Progress and Challenges is composed of conference presentations that took place at the University of Tennessee on March 9, 2005 Scholars and former government officials who have expertise in environmental policy offered a historical narrative and diverse perspectives concerning the issue of climate change. In particular, scholars reflect on the legislative history of the Clean Air Act, which included a bipartisan collaboration between Senator Howard Baker and Democratic Senator Ed Muskie. The publication also includes an essay by Al Gore who argued that policy makers should rebuild bipartisanship within Congress and take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Milton Russell, who was an EPA assistant administrator and founding director of Joint Information Exchange Environment (JIEE), examined the challenges involved with implementing the Clean Air Act. In addition, Paul Gilman, who was the director of the Oak Ridge Center for Advanced Studies and a former EPA assistant administrator, examined the progress that has been made in reducing the level of harmful pollutants in the air. Although The Clean Air Act has made significant improvements to air quality, experts who contributed to this work all echoed the need to pose a sustained collective challenge regarding climate change. The entire conference was recorded and is available here Just scroll down and look for the date and title.


October 2004

Water, Science, and Policy in the 21st Century

Baker Center Staff

Water, Science, and Policy in the 21st Century provides a summary of topics discussed at a symposium that was held at the University of Tennessee in 2005. The event brought together representative stakeholders to discuss potential water scarcity scenarios in the southeastern United States. The report stated that water availability had not been comprehensively evaluated in the last quarter century and water managers expect shortages in the next ten years. They stressed the need for “collaboration to inform decision-making for water-resource management” (p. 4). Speakers also highlighted the complexity of issues pertaining to water availability and planning. The entire conference was recorded and is available here  Please scroll down and look for the date and title.  WaterSciencePolicy2004.pdf


Baker Center Journal of Applied Public Policy

This journal contains peer-reviewed academic and professional articles and student articles on various aspects of public policy. The journal is posted online through the University of Tennessee TRACE

  • Summer 2010 – Vol. III, No. I
  • Fall 2008 – Vol II, No. 1
  • Fall 2007 - Vol. I, No. I