From Executive Associate Dean Michael McGuire

This is a challenging time to be the nation’s foremost school of public and environmental affairs. Respect for truth and admiration for expertise are being eviscerated by those who revel in fury. A recent survey revealed too many Americans think colleges hurt the country. Prospective students worry if there will be jobs in the public sector. Challenging times, indeed.

SPEA is meeting the challenge head-on. We’re growing in numbers and in impact. We’re thriving in every way that can be measured. And we’re moving aggressively to ensure we’re seen as a source of solutions to the nation’s problems, just as we have since our founding in 1972 during another period of national unrest. Here are examples:

  • Our Paul H. O’Neill Graduate Center is welcoming its first full-year class. The building, as promised, is beautiful and functional. The first wave of students to move in earlier this year quickly made it their home. The commons areas overflow with coffee cups, laptops, good friends, and good ideas. Please stop by and see this wonderful new space.
  • In addition to our prized #1 ranking in the U.S. News and World Report assessment of MPA programs, we have a new ranking to celebrate. SPEA is among the top five schools of public administration in the world, according to the Center for World University Rankings. The ranking is based on the number of research articles in highly respected academic journals, so this is a much-deserved tribute to our faculty.
  • Buildings and rankings aren’t as important as what we do to advance knowledge. We’re preparing to offer new one-year master’s degrees in environmental sustainability and healthcare management to meet growing needs. We’re revising our curriculum for undergraduates to make sure they’re supremely prepared for the workforce or the next step in their academic journey. We’re offering innovative programs to foster understanding of current events. For example, our White House Wednesdays bring together faculty experts, students, and Bloomington residents for conversations in a fury-free zone.

With that as background, I hope you’ll enjoy the magazine and find in it new reasons to deepen your engagement with SPEA. Your support is critical so that we can answer the challenges of this time by continuing to do what we do best: Lead for the Greater Good.