At my agency, we will be working with the Denver University’s School of Business and its experiential learning program to have MBA candidates research projects that we either do not have time to do or do not have the skill sets. We are also looking into ways of partnering with a local university to analyze data produced by our office and thus add value to the information we collect.
In Law School, I participated in a consortium project run by the Minnesota Justice Foundation that had law students research legal issues for attorneys in the legal aide community, public defenders office, and other public sector attorneys. The idea is the law students have the time and resources to research marco legal questions that a practicing attorney can’t and still serve clients. See more information at the Legal Scholarship for Equal Justice program Web site. In Colorado, the University of Colorado’s Law School has a similar effort that allows law student to do research for practice attorneys.
Finally, I am my Division’s coordinator for my agency’s fellowship program . We are working on making our program a project based fellowship where a student is given a project to manage and complete. A project that needs to be completed. These fellows will work with my unit that supports the operational units. So there is nothing stopping us from working with a professor or university to give the project to a class to solve.