- Associated Press - Thursday, September 3, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The University of Utah is opening a new public policy institute and celebrated the launch with its namesake in attendance.

Named for a prominent local businessman who was the project’s top donor, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute will look for solutions to issues in education, employment, health care and transportation.

About 100 state leaders as well as former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney attended the Wednesday celebration.

Gardner said he believes the institute will improve the lives of residents.

Romney said the state needs to focus on pollution and all levels of education.

Natalie Gochnour will direct the institute and says its first tasks will be gathering data and providing information to voters on issues like education, infrastructure investment and tax policy.

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