University Of Miamis Northsouth Center Undergoes Restructuring
By Leslie Kraft
The Dante B. Fascell North-South Center affiliated with the University of Miami is being restructured, university officials said Tuesday.
The public-policy center created in 1984 to analyze complex global problems with special emphasis on the Western Hemisphere employs about 13 under the direction of lawyer Ambler H. Moss Jr. The center has offices in Coral Gables at 1500 Monza Ave. and in Washington.
The center, involved in programs associated with November’s Free Trade Area of the Americas ministerial meeting in Miami, is considered a national, international and hemispheric resource for information on the region’s trade and economic policy, migration, democratic governance, security, corruption, environment and information technology. A UM spokeswoman said the center would maintain its commitment to at least one of the programs planned during the upcoming ministerial meeting.
The center’s remit is to engage and inform government, business and opinion leaders through its research, training, publications and public-affairs activities – which have included participation in and the organization of numerous conferences, panels and forums.
"We can only confirm that the North-South Center is going through a restructuring. There are no firm plans yet," said Jerry Lewis, vice president of communications for the University of Miami. He declined further comment.
Jerry Haar, director of the center’s inter-American business and labor program, and Katherine Hutter, national linkages program director at the center’s Washington office, also declined comment.
Paul Anderson, an aide to US Sen. Bob Graham, a Democrat from Miami Lakes, said the center is considered a federal program but received only $500,000 of the $2 million it had requested from the federal government for this year. He said Sen. Graham’s office was not familiar with restructuring plans.
"The North-South Center has been a priority of Sen. Graham’s since its creation and remains so now. He is trying to get further funding for it for 2004," he said.
The center has received several prestigious grants, including more than $400,000 in 2001 for research projects in the Caribbean and Mexico from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The Wharton School of Business has worked with the think tank on a partnership to advise multinational firms regarding human-resource management and the business and labor outlook of Latin American markets.