Of special interest to Political Science students is the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Founded in 1997 by former US Senator Paul Simon from Illinois, the PSPPI works directly with elected officials and others to fashion and implement public policy on significant issues impacting the region, the state, the nation, and the world. It is committed to approaches that could bring concrete, positive results in tackling some of the most difficult challenges in the public policy arena. The Political Science Department and the PSPPI regularly consult on joint projects such as public talks by visiting public figures and research collaborations that include Political Science graduate students.
SIU Carbondale’s Morris Library is a major research facility holding memberships in the Association of Research Libraries and the Center of Research Libraries. The general collection numbers 2.8 million volumes, 4.5 million microforms, and over 12,200 current serial subscriptions. It participates in the world’s largest bibliographic network, OCLC (Online Computer Library Center), and ILLINET Online, the state-wide automated catalog, circulation, and interlibrary loan system with records of over 600 libraries. Computing facilities are abundant, impressive, and accessible. SIU Carbondale is among the 180 universities that are working in partnership with industry and government to develop Internet2. A major expansion and renovation of the library building began in 2005.
Of special interest for graduate students in political science are the depository collections of state, federal, and United Nations documents, the Ulysses S. Grant Association's editorial project to publish the complete correspondence of President Grant, and the Special Collections Unit which includes the papers of John Dewey, the archives of the Open Court Press, and materials on First Amendment freedoms. University membership in the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) provides access to one of the major data archives in the United States, as well as summer training programs in data analysis at the University of Michigan.
Opportunities for interdisciplinary activity include the Coal Research Center, for students with interests in environmental and energy policy; the School of Law, for those interested in supplementing our regular departmental offerings; the Center for the Study of Crime and Delinquency, for those pursuing concentrations in criminal justice; and first-rate doctoral programs in anthropology, economics, history, philosophy, and sociology for those pursuing cognate fields. The Mileur Endowment brings noted scholars and policy practitioners to the department for varied periods of time, offering students direct exposure to leading ideas and personalities in their fields of interest.