Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation

CSII's mission and staff support programs on campus, in the community and across the region.
In this Section

CSII logoThe Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation (CSII) mission is to promote the study and discussion of civil liberties and related institutions (governmental, civic, business, social, scientific, religious, etc.) and innovations through scholarly inquiry, educational activities and community outreach. 

CSII is housed in the College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Science, and subject to UW-System, UW-Stout, and Stout Foundation policies and procedures. 

A Board of Advisors composed of UW-Stout shared governance representatives, participating institutions representatives, and others provide guidance to the CSII Director.

Upcoming Event

Freedom of Association: The First Liberty

Freedom of association is considered a derivative right, but it actually underlies all other rights. Freedom of religion, speech, and press can be suppressed if the right to associate is restricted. But does the Supreme Court realize this??

Join CSII, featured speaker Dr. Luke Sheahan, and respondents (Dr. Tim Shiell and Dr. Elizabeth Buchanan) for a discussion about the freedom of association and its relationship to the other First Amendment rights.

As always, this event is free and open to all!

When : Tuesday, September 17, 2019                                                                                                              Where: Northwoods Room, Memorial Student Center                                                                                  Time: 4:00PM - 5:30PM

CSII Programs & Participating Institutions

CSII's mission and staff support the following programs on campus, in the community and across the region.

Student Research

CSII provides $1000 awards (up to $2500 for exceptional proposals) to students to support research and scholarship on civil liberties and their relationship to institutions and innovation. Only students, undergraduate or graduate, enrolled full time at institutions participating in the CSII campus network are eligible. Applicants are encouraged to contact the CSII Director about potential proposals. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Student Research Application

Faculty Research

CSII will award four $5,000 faculty research stipends during the 2018-2019 academic year to promote civil liberties and related institutions and innovations. Only tenured or tenure track faculty employed full time at institutions participating in the CSII campus network are eligible. Applicants are encouraged to contact the CSII Director about potential proposals. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Faculty Research Application

Speaker Grants

CSII provides grants to support public discussion of civil liberties or the relationship of civil liberties to relevant institutions or innovation. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or organizations. Organizational proposals must identify one individual as the lead proposer. Applicants are encouraged to contact the CSII Director about potential proposals. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Preference is given to proposals that involve presentation of multiple points of view, for example, a speaker with a responding panel, a dialogue / debate between two or more speakers, or a speaker series. Preference also is given to proposals that are co-sponsored by additional campus or community organizations. CSII funded events should be open to the public and provide opportunity for audience involvement. 

Participating Institutions

To support its mission, CSII provides funds to other public and private universities and colleges in Wisconsin to promote the study and discussion of civil liberties and their relationships to institutions and innovation. In 2017-2018, there are twenty-one participating institutions: UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater, Alverno College, Beloit College, Concordia University, Lawrence University, Marian University, Marquette University, Ripon College, St. Norbert College, Viterbo University, and Wisconsin Lutheran College. 

Participating institutions receive funds to conduct programming supporting CSII mission and designate a campus coordinator to organize the programming. Programming can include speakers, debates or panels; book groups; faculty-supervised student research; workshops; and more. All programming is expected to include multiple points of view. 

Faculty and students at participating institutions are eligible to apply for the Faculty and Student Research Awards and Speaker Grants.

CSII Funding

CSII is funded by a four-year $1.7 million award from the Charles Koch Foundation.  The agreement protects the academic freedom of the center and its staff, provides transparency to the public, and gives control of the center to the university.  A copy of the agreement between the university and Charles Koch Foundation is available from the Stout University Foundation. 

 UW-Stout and the Charles Koch Foundation both recognized a significant need for increased education and discussion—guided by civil and rational debate reflecting a diversity of perspectives—regarding civil liberties and their relationship to institutions and innovations. 


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