IP² 2014 Summer Institute: Survey Results

“I … feel very honored to have been part of the program.” “Truly the best such program I have ever attended.” These are among the comments made by participants in the initial session of the Hoover IP2 Summer Teaching Institute on the Economics and Politics of Regulation.

summer-institute-2014-matteo-teachingThe 2014 summer teaching institute was the first organized by the Hoover Institution working group on Intellectual Property, Innovation, and Prosperity (Hoover IP²); hence, participant feedback is important to working group director Stephen Haber as he prepares for the 2015 summer program. Eighteen of the twenty-one participants responded to an anonymous survey on the program and its instructors; Haber was “ecstatic with the response.” He added that “my colleagues and I worked hard to develop a cohesive academic program, and we attracted some of the best teachers from around the country to lecture at the program. The students—who, themselves, were outstanding—confirmed that we pulled it off.” To see comments from the participants, click here.

All respondents answered “yes” to the question “Would you recommend the Summer Teaching Institute to other students or young professionals?” Among other highlights of the survey were overwhelmingly positive responses to questions about the instructors, program content, relevance of the program to the participants’ careers, and the program’s organization.

summer-institute-2014-3_studentsAn important feature of the teaching institute was group presentations by the participants, which required them to self-select into four- or five-person teams to identify and analyze an intellectual property or regulatory problem or controversy and to propose solutions. Subject to peer review and to scrutiny by teaching institute faculty, the participants used the methods of inquiry presented during the program to undertake cross-disciplinary analysis and to craft solutions for problems ranging from net neutrality to software patents. In their future careers, they will spend much time working in teams to attack public policy dilemmas; the group presentations served as an introduction to that process. An international perspective on the issues explored was introduced by the nine participants from Brazil, China, Czech Republic, India, Pakistan, Romania, South Korea, and Venezuela.

The 2014 program’s twenty-one participants have returned to their positions as federal court clerks, practicing attorneys, analysts at the Federal Trade Commission and the US Copyright Office, and graduate students in law schools, public policy schools, and doctoral programs.

The success of the program is best summed up by one participant’s comments: “Although I lack any counterfactual, this will provide me with a framework for thinking through policy decisions in the future.” A teacher couldn’t ask for more.

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