Responding to regional needs

Research Institute


Our professors share a common goal: to put you at the center of the educational experience. Our faculty members hold advanced degrees and have been published in the top journals in their field, but they focus on teaching first.

Whether they're collaborating with students on research projects in their community or offering guidance on career planning, you'll get the faculty support you need to turn your education into a rewarding career.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss with the community opportunities to put our students and faculty in place to help solve area public policy issues.

For more information contact us at 320-308-4774 or email us at


The School of Public Affairs Research Institute coordinates and oversees various research assets in the School of Public Affairs and facilitates and supports the school’s entire research portfolio. Our research efforts include:

Center for Economic Education

With a mission to help develop a well-informed and economically literate citizenry in Central Minnesota, the Center helps organize economic education activities designed to bring about a deeper understanding of our economic system and effective, sensible economic decisions.

Spatial Analysis Research Center (SARC)

SARC is the leading provider of geo-spatial technology education in the upper Midwest. The Center cooperates with the Department of Geography to provide degree programs for both undergraduates and graduates.

SCSU Survey

Since 1980, students have helped survey public opinion on political candidates, drug and alcohol use, the economy, tax policy, community planning and more. The survey has developed a national reputation for accuracy in forecasting Minnesota elections.  Students use a computer-assisted telephone interview system to make calls and help interpret results. Contract surveys give student students real-world experience working with corporations and non-profit organizations.

The St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report

The St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report presents a quarterly analysis of economic and business conditions in the St. Cloud (Minnesota) region.  It includes an area business outlook survey, an index of area leading economic indicators, a probability of recession index and a discussion of the local area economy.

Winter Institute 

The Winter Institute enters its 52nd year of providing the best minds in the region and the country to share their thoughts and ideas on various economics issues with audience from Minnesota and the Midwest. The Winter Institute is a joint product of the Economic Department, the Center for Economic Education, and the School of Public Affairs.  The Winter Institute is important forum for the members of the community to generate ideas that can foster growth and development in greater St. Cloud area, central Minnesota, and beyond.  It has hosted Nobel laureates such as Milton Friedman and important policymakers such as Ben Bernanke.

The Research Office will facilitate collaborative inter- and multi-disciplinary research by our students and faculty and provide unified access for research and expertise to outside constituents and stakeholders.