The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, part of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, prepares economic, demographic, and public policy research that helps Utah prosper. The Gardner Institute is Utah’s preeminent public policy institute and a vital gathering place for policy leadership and thoughtful discourse.

 Our Vision: Be Utah’s preeminent public policy institute and a vital gathering place for policy leadership and thoughtful discourse that helps our community prosper.

Our Mission: Develop and share economic, demographic, and public policy research that sheds light and helps people make INFORMED DECISIONS™.

Report to the Community

In September 2020, the Gardner Institute released its 2020 Report to the Community, a collection of research highlights, testimonials, student experiences, and community events that celebrate the five-year history of the Institute.

1000 Day Strategic Plan

The Gardner Institute 1000-Day Plan serves as a tool to guide our work in helping people make informed decisions. The plan includes our vision, mission, values, strategic objectives, action steps, and key performance indicators to guide the daily and long-term direction of the Institute.

Our Core Values

The Gardner Institute subscribes to five committable core values. We call them committable values because we make serious personnel and project decisions based on these values. We call them core because we integrate them into everything we do. They are internal values, but are reflected externally in the products and services we provide to the community. Taken together, our committable core values define who we are, how we conduct ourselves, and what comprises our work culture.

  • Responsibility to the community
  • Research integrity and relevance
  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Positive and passionate

Our History

It all started with a banana cream pie and a plane ride to Stanford University. Cognizant of the significance of the moment and the boldness of the vision, community visionary and business leader Clark Ivory brought a homemade pie with us to share on the plane. And then it was wheels up as a handful of university and community leaders traveled to another Pac-12 university to solidify the plan. We would create a premier public policy institute at the University of Utah and help our state thrive.

Many years have now passed, and the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute stands as a treasured asset and leading voice on public policies impacting the Beehive State. We are an honest broker of informed research, which guides informed decisions, and leads to INFORMED DECISIONS.

The success of the Gardner Institute stems from a dedicated staff, the support from Utah’s flagship university, dozens of committed community partners, and the backing of a prominent advisory board.

By design, the Gardner Institute woks at the intersection of academic, business, and civic life. Our major partners reflect that connection. The state of Utah, Salt Lake County, and Salt Lake City serve as our public partners and major private partners include the Gardner Company, the Boyer Company, Clyde Companies, Dominion Energy, Intermountain Healthcare, the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, KSL and Deseret News, Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation, Mountain America Credit Union, the Salt Lake Chamber, WCF Insurance, and Zions Bank.

The Gardner Institute is located in the Thomas S. Monson Center on South Temple.  Thanks to a generous gift from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other community donors, the university restored this magnificent facility to its original form. The building provides a world class venue for the Gardner Institute, university functions, and community events.

Banana cream pie took the nation by storm in the 1880’s because of improved transportation and the delicious combination of bananas, sugar, cream, flour, and eggs. Looking forward, the Gardner Institute with its talented staff, supportive college, generous namesake, prominent advisory board, partners in the community, world-class facilities, and commitment to Utah has just the right ingredients for many more years of success.

Kem. C. Gardner

Raised on a Wyoming farm, the son of a school teacher, Kem became one of the Intermountain West’s prominent real estate developers. During his 43 years of community building, Kem, along with his partners and associates, has developed over 33 million square feet of commercial real estate.  Utahns recognize Kem as the person who can make great things happen in the community and are grateful for his generous spirit and great love for Utah. The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute builds upon Kem’s legacy by working at the intersection of business and civic life. The institute helps elected officials, community leaders, and the public make informed decisions that improve Utah’s economy and life quality. In addition to preparing valuable research and analysis, the institute serves as a prestigious gathering place for thought leadership. Housed on South Temple Street in the iconic Wall Mansion, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute transforms Kem’s great love for Utah into a center for independent economic, demographic, and public policy data and research that serves the people of Utah.