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Experts Offer Analysis of Issues Facing 82nd Texas State Legislative Session

January 11 marks the beginning of the 82nd Texas State Legislature. While the state budget and redistricting are set to be the most pressing issues that the legislature will tackle, a myriad of other issues are likely to come before the session. Faculty experts from The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss policy and political issues from a variety of perspectives.

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January 11 marks the beginning of the 82nd Texas State Legislature. While the state budget and redistricting are set to be the most pressing issues that the legislature will tackle, a myriad of other issues are likely to come before the session. Faculty experts from The University of Texas at Austin are available to discuss policy and political issues from a variety of perspectives.

State Government
Bruce Buchanan
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Buchanan is a nationally renowned expert on politics and government. He has written multiple books on the American presidency and is frequently quoted in media stories about state and national politics.

Sherri Greenberg
Lecturer and Interim Director of the Center for Politics and Governance
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Greenberg served as a Texas State Representative for 10 years, completing her final term in January 2001. Greenberg is an expert on the Texas state government, public finance and electronic government.

James Henson
Director, Texas Politics Project and Lecturer in the Department of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Henson runs the Texas Politics Project, which seeks to educate students and Texans about state government, politics and history through a dynamic Web site and a speaker series. It also conducts quarterly statewide issues polls.

Alan Sager
Lecturer of Government
College of Liberal Arts
512-476-3891 ext. 1201

Sager has been active in Republican politics for three decades and is a former chairman of the Travis County Republican Party. He holds both a J.D. and Ph.D. in political science and teaches courses in American Constitutional Development, judicial process and election law.

Daron Shaw
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Shaw was an analyst and consultant in the 1992, 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns. He has written two books on voters and election campaigns and teaches classes on survey research analysis, public opinion and voting behavior, campaigns and elections, political parties and American government.

Sean Theriault
Associate Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Theriault’s research includes American political institutions, primarily U.S. Congress. He also studies party polarization in the U.S. Congress. An award-winning teacher, he has also published articles on subjects ranging from presidential rhetoric to congressional careers and Louisiana.

Election Law, Redistricting, the Texas Constitution, and Local Government Law in Texas
Steve Bickerstaff
Adjunct Professor
School of Law

Bickerstaff is an expert in constitutional law, regulating the use of money in politics, local government law, election law, voting rights, public policy litigation and telecommunications regulation. He wrote a 2007 book called “Lines in the Sand” about the controversial 2003 congressional redistricting in Texas.

Administrative Law, Local Government Law and State Constitutional Law
Daniel B. Rodriguez
School of Law

Rodriguez is a nationally prominent scholar in administrative law, local government law, statutory interpretation and state constitutional law. He is a leader in the application of political economy and positive political theory to the study of public law, and he has authored or co-authored a series of influential articles in this vein.

Bankruptcy and Consumer Credit
Angela Littwin
Assistant Professor
School of Law

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Littwin’s research and teaching interests include bankruptcy, consumer and commercial law as well as conducting empirical research. She is one of the principal investigators on the current Consumer Bankruptcy Project, which has been the leading study of consumer bankruptcy for the past 25 years.

Bankruptcy and Secured Credit
Jay Westbrook
School of Law

One of the nation’s most distinguished scholars in the field of bankruptcy, Westbrook has been a pioneer in this area in two respects: empirical research and international/comparative studies. Westbrook also teaches and writes in commercial law and international business litigation.

Business, Government and Society Issues
Robert Prentice
Professor and Department Chair, Business, Government and Society. McCombs School of Business

Prentice received his B.A. from the University of Kansas and his J.D. from Washburn University. His research and teaching interests include partnership and corporate law, securities regulation and the legal liability of accountants. His expertise covers a wide range of topics relative to the interaction between business, society and law.

Campaign Finance
Brian Roberts
Professor of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Roberts’ research has focused on politics and financial markets, corporate political participation and distributive politics. He teaches a course on money in U.S. politics and has published papers in political science, economics and finance.

Education Policy
Jane Lincove
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Lincove’s research focuses on education policy and economics of education, specifically on the issue of teacher incentive pay. Lincove has served as a policy consultant for the Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles and as an evaluator for several southern California public school districts.

Cynthia Osborne
Associate Professor of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Osborne’s teaching and research interests include poverty and inequality, and educator effectiveness and accountability. She currently works as an evaluator of the Parenting and Paternity Awareness Texas high school curriculum and the No Kidding curriculum to reduce teen pregnancy.

Charles G. Groat
Associate Director
Energy Institute

Groat is a geologist with a broad understanding of energy resources, their uses, environmental issues, and the effects of various policies and regulations on their development. He is also knowledgeable about water resources and coastal processes in Texas and the Gulf Coast area. He has served in geological leadership positions in state and federal government agencies.

Dale Klein
Associate Director
Energy Institute
Associate Vice President for Research

Formerly Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and served as a member, Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Chemical and Biological Defense Programs. Klein’s expertise is in nuclear energy, spent fuel storage, nuclear waste disposal and plutonium disposition.  In addition, he has been involved in nuclear, chemical, and biological defense programs.

Raymond Orbach
Energy Institute

Formerly Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); President of the University of California Riverside; and Provost, College of Arts and Letters, University of California at Los Angeles.  At DOE, served as chief scientist led the Department’s implementation of the American Competitiveness Initiative, and chaired Technology Transfer Policy Board. Orbach is an expert in energy resources, science policy, management and operation of research facilities, and materials physics.

Varun Rai
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Rai is an expert in policy issues concerning energy, technology, the environment and climate change. His research has been published in Harvard International Review, Newsweek, Energy Policy, Economic and Political Weekly and IAEE Energy Forum.

Energy Policy and Environmental Regulation
David Spence
Associate Professor of Law, Politics and Regulation
Co-Director of the Energy Management and Innovation Center, McCombs School of Business

Spence’s research and teaching focuses on business-government relations and the regulation of business, particularly energy and environmental regulation. He received his Ph.D in political science from Duke University, and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina.

Josh Busby
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Busby is the author of several studies on climate change, national security and energy policy from the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution and CNAS. His research interests also include U.S. grand strategy, energy security and the foreign policy of advanced industrialized countries.

Varun Rai
Assistant Professor of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Rai is an expert in policy issues concerning energy, technology, the environment and climate change. His research has been published in Harvard International Review, Newsweek, Energy Policy, Economic and Political Weekly, and IAEE Energy Forum.

Environmental Law
Frank Cross
Herbert D. Kelleher Centennial Professor of Business Law, School of Law
Professor in Business, Government and Society, McCombs School of Business

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Cross practiced law for several years before joining the Business School faculty in 1984. His scholarship traverses several fields, including descriptive and normative studies of judicial decision-making, the economics of law and litigation, and traditional policy and doctrinal issues in administrative and environmental law.

Wendy Wagner
School of Law

Wagner’s research focuses on the intersection between science and environmental law. She has written extensively on issues regarding the reliability of the research used by agencies to formulate regulations, as well as on a number of issues in toxics policy, consumer regulation and administrative law.

Melinda Taylor
Senior Lecturer and the Executive Director of the Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration and Environmental Law
School of Law

Taylor teaches environmental law and natural resources law courses including one that focuses on the legal issues that pervade the conservation and regulation of public lands, wildlife, fisheries and wetlands. Prior to joining the faculty, she was the director of the Ecosystem Restoration Program at the Environmental Defense Fund. She has also served as deputy general counsel of the National Audubon Society in Washington, D.C.

Executive Leadership
H.W. Brands
Professor of History
College of Liberal Arts

Brands has written more than 20 books on such leaders as Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his most recent book “Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Family Law, Domestic Violence
Jeana Lungwitz
Clinical Professor and Director of the Domestic Violence Clinic
School of Law

A co-founder of the Domestic Violence Clinic in 1997, Lungwitz has testified on family law issues before the Texas Legislature in past sessions. She is also a shareholder with Lungwitz and Lungwitz, P.C., and an appointed member of the Supreme Court Protective Order Taskforce.

Health Care Policy
Jacqueline Angel
Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Angel has published extensively in the sociology of aging and how it is affected by the life course and social policy. She also serves as an advisor to professional committees, non-governmental organizations and other agencies that provide basic services to the elderly.

William M. Sage
Vice Provost for Health Affairs and James R. Dougherty Chair for Faculty Excellence in Law

Sage received his M.D. and J.D. from Stanford University. His areas of teaching include health law, regulatory theory, antitrust, and professional responsibility. Sage serves on several advisory boards including the Code Red Task Force on the uninsured in Texas.

David C. Warner
Professor of Public Affairs
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Warner’s major teaching and research interests are health policy and health finance. He is currently working on projects related to improving health insurance coverage, the integration of the U.S. and Mexican health care systems, diabetes policy, public health funding and U.S.-Mexico border health.

Immigration and Border Issues
Ricardo Ainslie
Professor, Department of Educational Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

Ainslie studies the effects of ethnic conflicts on communities and the psychological experiences of immigrants. He produced the documentary “Ya Basta! Kidnapped in Mexico,” which investigates a wave of kidnappings and violent crime that has plagued Mexico during the past decade. He is available to discuss a range of topics pertaining to U.S.-Mexico border violence.

Simone Browne
Assistant Professor of Sociology
College of Liberal Arts

Browne studies surveillance with a focus on airport, biometrics and US/Canada border security.

Neil Foley
Associate Professor, Department of History
College of Liberal Arts

Foley examines the various strategies — legal, labor and political — that Mexicans and blacks used to obtain equality in Texas and the Southwest from World War II to the present. He is available to address concerns about civil rights issues regarding the Arizona immigration bill, the border wall, immigration reform, deportation and the changing demographics of the U.S. in the 21st century. He can also share insights into the social and political forces that drove immigration laws in the past, and how those laws have shaped immigration reform since then.

Gary Freeman
Chair, Department of Government
College of Liberal Arts

Freeman specializes in the politics of immigration, comparative social policy and politics in western democracies. He examines how immigration has profoundly shaped the national development of countries. He can comment on an array of topics, including immigration policy and security, the economic effects of immigration, settlement issues, multiculturalism and conflict.

Barbara Hines
Clinical Professor and Co-director of the Immigration Clinic
School of Law

Hines has practiced in the field since 1975 and litigated many issues relating to the constitutional and statutory rights of immigrants in federal and immigration courts. She frequently lectures and writes on topics in the area of immigration law.

John McKiernan-González
Assistant Professor, Department of History
College of Liberal Arts

McKiernan-González researches public health, civil rights and transnational social movements. His interests include American public health policies at the Mexican border, race and cross-border labor politics and Latino public history. He is available to discuss a range of topics relating to the Arizona law and its possible infringement of civil rights.

Martha Menchaca
Professor, Department of Anthropology
College of Liberal Arts

Menchaca’s areas of expertise include immigration and U.S.-Mexican culture. She can share commentary on underserved Latinos in the U.S. and the patterns of adaptation and adjustment of immigrant populations.

Nestor Rodriguez
Professor of Sociology, Population Research Center faculty
College of Liberal Arts

Rodriguez’s research focuses on Guatemalan migration, U.S. deportations to Mexico and Central America, the unauthorized migration of unaccompanied minors, evolving relations between Latinos and African Americans/Asian Americans and ethical and human rights issues of border enforcement.

Emilio Zamora
Professor, Department of History
College of Liberal Arts

Zamora specializes in the history of Mexicans in the United States, U.S. labor history and 20th century Texas history. He has combined these three interests to produce extensive scholarship on Mexican workers in Texas in a transnational setting. Zamora can speak on this topic as well as on oral history, the history of Mexican immigration, Mexico-U.S. relations and selected topics related to the Latino experience in the 20th century.

Chris King
Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

King is an expert on education, workforce development, labor and social policy.  He has performed research for federal, state and local agencies, foundations and international organizations and is currently conducting research projects on education and workforce issues in Central Texas.

Labor and Economics
Sandra Black
Professor of Economics
Please contact through Gary Susswein, College of Liberal Arts

Black’s research examines how family background and early childhood experiences affect people’s lives. A former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, Black teaches labor economics and the economics of gender.

Economic Issues
Michael Brandl
Senior Lecturer, Business, Government and Society Department
McCombs School of Business

Brandl’s research interests include economic growth, financial economics and labor economics. His teaching interests include the application of economic theory to management decision making as well as global financial markets.

Latino Politics
Jason Casellas (available for e-mail interviews only)
Assistant Professor, Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts

Casellas studies Latino politics, public policy and state and local politics. His forthcoming book examines Latino representation in U.S. legislatures and Congress. He is available to speak about immigration reform broadly and how it affects Latino voter mobilization.

Prison Reform
Michele Deitch
Senior Lecturer
The Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

Deitch is an attorney with over 23 years of experience working on criminal justice policy issues with state and local government officials, corrections officials, judges, and advocates. Most of Deitch’s current research focuses on two issues: independent prison oversight, and the management of juvenile offenders.

Public Policy Decision-Making
Bryan Jones
The J. J. “Jake” Pickle Regents Chair in Congressional Studies
College of Liberal Arts

Jones’ research centers on the study of public policy processes, American governing institutions, and the connection between human decision-making and organizational behavior. He is a director of the Policy Agendas Project, which is housed at The University of Texas at Austin. The project is the major resource for examining changes in public policy processes in American national institutions.

Race-Related Public Safety Issues
Leonard Moore
Professor of History
Associate Vice-President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement

Moore studies Modern African American History; black urban history and the intersection of race, sport and hip-hop. He is available to discuss race-related public safety issues.

Texas Courts and Texas Civil Procedure
Alexandra Albright
Senior Lecturer
School of Law

Albright has been a member of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Court Rules since 1993, and played a key role in redrafting the discovery rules that went into effect in January 1999. She is the author of two casebooks, one on pretrial procedure and the other on trial and appellate procedure. She is also co-author of the “Handbook on Texas Discovery Practice,” part of West’s Texas Practice Series.

Texas Criminal Law and Procedure
George Dix
School of Law

Well-known for his articles on criminal procedure, Dix’s teaching and research interests also include criminal law and law and psychiatry. He is the author of a treatise on Texas Criminal Practice.

Tort and Health Care Reform
Ronen Avraham
School of Law

Avraham is the Thomas Shelton Maxey Professor in Law at the School of Law. His primary research interests are the economic analysis of torts and medical malpractice law, specifically how liability reform can influence health care reform. Avraham also writes about contract theory and theories of justice. He is the author of Private Regulation, a new approach to the delivery of health care.

Women in Politics
Pamela Paxton
Professor of Sociology
College of Liberal Arts

Paxton studies women in politics, including their representation in legislatures worldwide.