Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy
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The Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy, located at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, is a non-partisan organization, which emphasizes better understanding of government and greater appreciation for the importance of public service. The Center strives to honor its namesake, Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr., and carry on his service to the people of Tennessee and America through education, research, and public programs.
The center focuses on leadership and governance, energy and environment, and global security.
Mission statement 
"The Baker Center develops programs and promotes research to further the public's knowledge of our system of governance and of critical public policy issues, and to highlight the importance of public service. Areas of special interest include the media, energy, environment, the teaching of civics and history, political communications, national security, and the future of representative government. The Baker Center is and will remain a non-partisan institution. In all of our programs and activities, we seek to include and discuss many perspectives. In the best tradition of Howard Baker, the Center embodies his genuine respect for differing points of view. The Center neither advocates nor endorses specific policies or individuals. Instead, we serve as a forum for discussion, debate, education, and unbiased research."
In 2001, the University of Tennessee received a congressionally authorized Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) grant to create the center and begin its programming and operations. In January 2003, Alan Lowe began serving as executive director. The center sought out to follow Howard Baker Jr.'s bipartisan line of reasoning in all of their research and programming. The current executive director is Dr. Matt Murray.
Student Programs 
Baker Center Living Learning Community 
A living-learning experience for incoming college freshmen, the Baker Center Learning Community seeks to promote citizenship while offering shared opportunities to increase understanding of our system of governance within an established student support network. Students accepted to the learning community live together in Morrill Hall and take courses together in the fall and the spring. Courses incorporate simulation and service-learning activities that allow students opportunities to examine public policies and experience how those policies affect the real world. In addition, learning community members often engage in roundtable discussions joined by a variety of community leaders and university faculty. Members are also encouraged to lead roundtable discussions and assist in planning social outings for the group. Many members continue to be involved after their freshman year and can serve as resources to new members with great ideas.
Baker Ambassadors 
As an ambassador, students are given the opportunity to bridge the gap between their student life and their involvement in the Baker Center and the wider community. This opportunity is open to all UT students who are interested in public policy, politics, government, and public service. Baker Ambassadors plan, organize, and host conferences and special events as well as have office hours in the center, assist with the learning community, and lead various initiatives, such as voter registration and civic education programs.
Baker Scholars 
As part of the center's emphasis on education, it has instituted the Baker Scholars Program. Scholars are selected via an application and interview process conducted every January. Undergraduates must have a 3.5 GPA and graduate students must be in the upper third of their class. Baker Scholars conduct research on any public policy matter of their choosing, and can relay this information through papers, videos, and other forms of media. Each scholar is paired with a faculty mentor. This innovative program reflects Senator Baker's constant quest to delve into a subject and examine all sides of the issues. Baker Scholars are given the opportunity to meet renowned guest lecturers as well as influence the Baker Center's programming. Those students who are chosen to be Baker Scholars and finish their research are awarded a Baker Medallion.
Modern Political Archives 
The Baker Center for Public Policy houses The Modern Political Library & Archives (MPA), run by the University of Tennessee Libraries' Special Collections. The MPA contains over 4,000 linear feet of archival material (manuscripts, books, photographs, film, sound recordings, digital files, and ephemera) representing the careers and legacies of select Tennessean members of the U.S. Congress, the federal judiciary, and presidential cabinets. Collections currently open for research include the papers of Senators Howard H. Baker, Jr., William Emerson Brock III, Estes Kefauver, Fred Dalton Thompson, Howard Baker, Sr., and Congresswoman Irene Baker.
Public programs 
The Baker Center hosts a wide range of public programs that involve and inform local, regional, national, and international audiences. The topics for these events involve issues important to America today, as informed by an understanding of history. The Center ensures that its public programs include a variety of students' issues and perspectives. The Baker Center has brought speakers including Al Gore, Fred Thompson, Bob Woodward, Winston Churchill III, and presented hundreds of other community and policy related events.
Since fall 2012, the Baker Center has hosted a bi-annual Baker Distinguished Lecture Series event. Senator George Mitchell spoke at the inaugural event and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke in Spring 2013.
The Future of the Baker Center 
On November 15, 2005, Senator Baker's 80th birthday, the Baker Center broke ground for its new facility--a 53,000-square-foot (4,900 m2) building on the corner of Cumberland Avenue and Melrose Place in Knoxville. This new building has educational, exhibit, public program, collection storage, research, and other administrative spaces critical to its operations. The center opened on October 31st, 2008. Prominent speakers such as Sandra Day O'Connor helped with the opening.
The Baker Center now houses the University of Tennessee's Chancellors Honors Program as well.