From the Editor

Ann LeRoyer, January 1, 2005

When Jim Brown joined the Lincoln Institute as president and CEO in May 1996, he had served on the faculty of Harvard University for 26 years and headed the Joint Center for Housing Studies at the Kennedy School, considered the most prestigious research center on U.S. housing issues. As he prepares for retirement from the Institute after nearly nine years, he says that the most surprising aspect of his tenure has been his role in expanding the organization’s international programs, especially in Latin America and China.

“The Institute’s programs on U.S. land use and tax policy were well-established and ably directed by senior fellows on the staff,” Brown noted, “but the need and demand for training and research on these topics remain critical in the new market economies that have emerged over the past few decades. Public officials, policy makers, academics and stakeholders in the private sector all have been very receptive to and eager for our educational programs, and we have developed a lively exchange of knowledge and mutual respect.”

Brown expanded and reorganized the Institute’s academic agenda by integrating research and educational programs into three academic departments: Planning and Development; Valuation and Taxation; and International Studies. This structure encouraged each department chair to develop a curriculum, sponsor research, offer educational programs and disseminate information to fit the needs of various constituencies.

“I wanted to empower others to do their work in their own program areas, and I think the results have been very positive,” Brown commented. “The Institute is more widely known today because of our enhanced commitment to curriculum development and special demonstration projects, as well as varied outreach efforts to share the results of our work. We are fortunate to have the financial resources to be able to develop programs and offer them to those who need and can benefit from this information.”

The Institute offers more than 75 courses, conferences and seminars annually at Lincoln House and at locations around the globe to public officials, practitioners and private citizens. In addition, the Institute’s research and graduate student fellowship programs have been greatly expanded over the past five years.

“I’m very pleased with how the staff has developed numerous ways to disseminate our sponsored research and information about our programs,” Brown added. “These include the Land Lines newsletter; books, working papers and other academic publications; our annual catalog; and our Web site. Advances in online communication have challenged us to continue to find ways to reach new audiences.”

As the Institute board, staff and faculty prepare for the next generation of presidential leadership, we offer our sincere thanks to Jim Brown for reinvigorating the organization’s academic mission, the scope of research and educational programs, and approaches to learning and communicating information about the many facets of land policy.