Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation

CSII's mission and staff support programs on campus, in the community and across the region.
In this Section

CSII logoThe Center for the Study of Institutions and Innovation (CSII) mission is to promote the study and discussion of civil liberties and related institutions (governmental, civic, business, social, scientific, religious, etc.) and innovations through scholarly inquiry, educational activities and community outreach. 

CSII is housed in the College of Arts, Communication, Humanities and Social Science, and subject to UW-System, UW-Stout, and Stout Foundation policies and procedures. 

A Board of Advisors composed of UW-Stout shared governance representatives, participating institutions representatives, and others provides guidance to the CSII Director.

Speakers debate impact of corporate influence in society

Corporations sometimes act much like toddlers, said Jeffrey Lockwood, the author of a book critical of political censorship.
Continue Reading

Free Speech Week Fall 2017 Events

October 16: Campus Free Speech
October 17: Creative Freedom & Campus Controversy
October 18: Free Speech in the Classroom & Daryl Davis Meets the KKK
October 19: Confederate Controversy
October 21: High School First Amendment W

Learn more about Free Speech Week

Behind the Carbon Curtain: The Energy Industry, Political Censorship, and Free Speech / UW-Stout
African Americans and Civil Liberty / UW-Stout

CSII Programs & Participating Institutions

CSII's mission and staff support the following programs on campus, in the community and across the region.

Student Research

CSII provides $1000 awards (up to $2500 for exceptional proposals) to students to support research and scholarship on civil liberties and their relationship to institutions and innovation. Only students, undergraduate or graduate, enrolled full time at institutions participating in the CSII campus network are eligible. Applicants are encouraged to contact the CSII Director about potential proposals. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Speaker Grants

CSII provides grants to support public discussion of civil liberties or the relationship of civil liberties to relevant institutions or innovation. Proposals may be submitted by individuals or organizations. Organizational proposals must identify one individual as the lead proposer. Applicants are encouraged to contact the CSII Director about potential proposals. Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. Preference is given to proposals that involve presentation of multiple points of view, for example, a speaker with a responding panel, a dialogue / debate between two or more speakers, or a speaker series. Preference also is given to proposals that are co-sponsored by additional campus or community organizations. CSII funded events should be open to the public and provide opportunity for audience involvement. 

Participating Institutions

To support its mission, CSII provides funds to other public and private universities and colleges in Wisconsin to promote the study and discussion of civil liberties and their relationships to institutions and innovation. In 2017-2018, there are eighteen participating institutions: UW-Eau Claire, UW-Green Bay, UW-La Crosse, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Whitewater, Alverno College, Lawrence University, Marian University, Marquette University, Ripon College, St. Norbert College, Viterbo University. 

Participating institutions receive funds to conduct programming supporting CSII mission and designate a campus coordinator to organize the programming. Programming can include speakers, debates or panels; book groups; faculty-supervised student research; workshops; and more. All programming is expected to include multiple points of view. 

Faculty and students at participating institutions are eligible to apply for the Faculty and Student Research Awards and Speaker Grants.

CSII Funding

CSII is funded by a four-year $1.7 million award from the Charles Koch Foundation.  The agreement protects the academic freedom of the center and its staff, provides transparency to the public, and gives control of the center to the university.  A copy of the agreement between the university and Charles Koch Foundation is available from the Stout University Foundation. 

 UW-Stout and the Charles Koch Foundation both recognized a significant need for increased education and discussion—guided by civil and rational debate reflecting a diversity of perspectives—regarding civil liberties and their relationship to institutions and innovations. 

CSII Funding

CSII is funded by a four-year $1.7 million award from the Charles Koch Foundation.  The agreement protects the academic freedom of the center and its staff, provides transparency to the public, and gives control of the center to the university.  A copy of the agreement between the university and Charles Koch Foundation is available from the Stout University Foundation. 

 UW-Stout and the Charles Koch Foundation both recognized a significant need for increased education and discussion—guided by civil and rational debate reflecting a diversity of perspectives—regarding civil liberties and their relationship to institutions and innovations.