WRI has named Dr. Melanie Bowers, assistant professor of political science and public policy and administration, and Dr. Michael Hayes, assistant professor of public policy and administration, as WRI Faculty Fellows.
Dr. Bowers’ research focuses on urban and minority politics and policy in the United States; her central motivation is to understand the sources and consequences of inequality in the US political system. She teaches Public Policy and American politics. With her Faculty Fellow honor, Dr. Bowers will be researching the availability of population-appropriate housing and related services for the homeless in Southern New Jersey.
Dr. Hayes’ research focuses on public and k-12 education budgeting and finance, summer learning loss, value-added models, and state and local tax policy. He teaches Quantitative Methods, Foundations of Policy Analysis, and Financial Management of Public Programs. With his Faculty Fellow honor, Dr. Hayes is conducting follow up studies to Shauna Shames’ “Is South Jersey Getting its ‘Fair Share’ of Public Goods?” report. Dr. Shames’ study looked at the distribution of State resources to North, Central, and South Jersey counties and found that, controlling for population and other variables, counties in the south receive less support then counties to the north. Dr. Hayes is researching the distribution of State resources directly to municipalities in North, Central, and South Jersey counties (approximately 75% of State funds head to municipalities, bypassing county budgets). He is conducting a second study looking at distribution of State funds to school districts in North, Central, and South Jersey counties.
Both Dr. Bowers’ and Dr. Hayes’ studies will contribute to our understanding of the region and advance WRI’s long-standing commitment to the wellbeing of Southern New Jersey.