The Center for the Small City, housed in the College of Letters and Science of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, was established in 1979. The center administers an interdisciplinary minor in Small City Analysis. The purpose of the minor is to direct students who are majoring in academic disciplines such as Political Science, Public Administration and Policy Analysis, Sociology, Geography, Economics, and Natural Resources to the concerns of small cities from a cross disciplinary perspective. The minor emphasizes both an understanding of small cities and skills needed for employment in small city governments, agencies, and businesses.
The center also sponsors the biennial National Conference that brings academics, small city elected officials and staff together to discuss the development, needs, and problems affecting small cities. From these national conferences, the center publishes Proceedings: Small City and Regional Community, now available in 14 Volumes. The conference is held at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point every fourth year. In other years, the conference meets at difference locations. In recent years the conference has been held at the University of Louisville, Western Michigan University, and Illinois State. In September 2000 the conference was held in the Memorial Union of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, hosted by the Center for Community Economic Development and in 2006 at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania under the theme of Downtown Development. Each conference has a theme in addition to panels on a wide range of issues important to small cities.