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First organized in 1979 as the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations, CUPSO supports university-based public service institutes in their efforts to assist state and local governments on a range of contemporary issues and challenges. CUPSO facilitates networking, information exchange, and collaboration among its member institutions.

CUPSO members focus on:

  • Improving policy making by providing credible research and evaluation information.
  • Improving government management practices through research, training and technical assistance.
  • Developing leadership skills among city, county, state and regional government and nonprofit leaders.
  • Providing students with opportunities to learn about and actively participate in addressing public policy challenges.


CUPSO’s 2019-2020 Officers are:

  • President
    Mark Weinberg, Dean
    George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
    Ohio University
  • Vice President/President-Elect
    Dallas Breen, Executive Director
    John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development
    Mississippi State University


Linda Hoke has served as CUPSO director since 1998, when the organization formed a partnership with the Southern Growth Policies Board. She has over three decades of experience in community and economic development research and policy. During a 24-year career at the Southern Growth Policies Board, she played a key role in the writing of each of the organization’s Reports on the Future of the South, concluding with the 2013 report on Re-imagining Workforce Development. In addition to her work with CUPSO, she also managed Southern Growth’s partnership with the Southeast Agriculture and Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER) and created and managed Southern Growth’s public involvement process, known as Listening to the South.