Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Monday, February 27, 2017

Weimer selected for Hilldale Award in Social Studies

Weimer selected for Hilldale Award in Social Studies

4 faculty honored

Four La Follette School faculty members received major awards from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2017.

Recipients were: Director Don Moynihan, Kellett Mid-Career Award; Professor Jason Fletcher, H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship; Professor Dave Weimer, Hilldale Award for the Social Studies; and Associate Professor Mark Copelovitch, Vilas Associates Award.

“It’s unusual for a department to win one of these awards, and a wonderful achievement to win four,” said Moynihan.

La Follette faculty members J. Michael Collins and Greg Nemet coordinated the nomination process for the Kellett, Romnes and Vilas awards – all from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.

The Kellett Award recognizes and supports mid-career faculty, seven to 20 years past their first promotion to a tenured position.

The Romnes Fellowship is designed to bridge the gap between research support for new faculty and the Kellett Mid-Career Award. 

The Hilldale Awards recognize distinguished contributions to teaching, research and service. One faculty member is honored in each of four divisions: Social Studies, Biological Sciences, Arts & Humanities, and Physical Sciences.

The Vilas Associates award recognizes new and ongoing research of the highest quality and significance. 

La Follette School Professor David Weimer will receive the prestigious Hilldale Award in the Social Studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Faculty Senate meeting April 3. The honor recognizes excellence in teaching, research, and service in four divisions: biological sciences, physical sciences, arts and humanities, and social studies.

Given annually since 1986–1987, the Hilldale Awards recognize faculty members for their achievements and contributions during their careers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Emeritus Professor John Witte is the only other La Follette School faculty member to receive the award; he was honored in 2011–2012.

“Dave is a giant in our field,” said La Follette School Director Don Moynihan. “Almost anyone who has received a professional degree in public policy or administration in recent decades has been influenced by how he has conceptualized policy analysis and cost-benefit analysis.

“Generations of public servants around the globe see the world differently because of Dave’s work. And numerous organizations in Wisconsin and elsewhere have benefited directly from Dave and his students providing pro-bono in-depth analyses of the costs and benefits of public policies.”

Weimer, the Edwin E. Witte Professor of Political Economy, joined UW–Madison in 2000 after a nearly 20-year career at the University of Rochester. He received his doctorate in public policy from the University of California–Berkeley.

Weimer’s research focuses broadly on policy craft and institutional design. Although most of his recent research has addressed health policy issues, he has done policy-relevant research in energy security, national resource policy, education, criminal justice, and research methods.

His research often tackles the structural elements of health care, from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network to report cards that provide data on health-care providers’ outcomes.

“Dave’s collaborative spirit and commitment to improving people’s health and well-being extends far and wide, including his leadership with UW–Madison’s Neuroscience and Public Policy Program,” Moynihan said about Weimer, the fourth La Follette School faculty member to receive a major university award in 2017.

A member of the Department of Political Science faculty, Weimer also is well-known in the academy, in the classroom, and around Wisconsin for his expertise with cost-benefit analysis. An elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, he served as president of the Society for Benefit-Cost Analysis in 2013 and as president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) in 2006.

From 1985–1989, Weimer served as editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, published by APPAM, the country’s foremost policy analysis organization. He is the author of the textbook Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice and numerous other publications.