Fall 2017 Newsletter Message from the Dean
September 20, 2017—September at the Humphrey School is humming with new energy and renewed commitment to our mission.
As we launch a new academic year, we greet upwards of 200 talented new students from all over the globe and welcome back another 200 returning students who spent their summers applying the concepts and skills they’ve learned at the Humphrey School to the challenges they see in the world. Our faculty return to campus renewed and inspired by summer months spent diving deep into their policy research in places near and far.
As the new dean, I approach this academic year knowing I have the best job in the world. I, along with our new associate dean, Carissa Slotterback, get to amplify and support the groundbreaking work of our colleagues and our students. Carissa and I have been at the Humphrey School for many years, but each of us is new to our role. Now, together, we have the honor—and the responsibility—of leading a School with the audacious goal of advancing hope, opportunity, democracy and civic life in a diverse and complex world.
Among our many initiatives, we are working to bring the world to the Humphrey School and the Humphrey School to the world. We are substantially expanding access to students from all walks of life who are committed to public service. And you will see such examples in our Junior Summer Institute (JSI) for rising college students from diverse backgrounds and our Washington Mandela Fellows program. Participants of both programs spent the summer here at the Humphrey School immersed in coursework on policy and engaged in community experiences, and according to JSI student Gilbert Ramos, the opportunity to train here was "incredible."
Together with our impressive faculty and staff we are leading vitally important work and I am proud to be a part of this committed community of scholars and practitioners.
In our September newsletter, we highlight the work by faculty members Ryan Allen and Fernando Burga to help rural Minnesota better understand economic and population trends; Professor Joe Soss' research on ways cities and municipalities are targeting low-income residents and people of color with fines and fees; and a new training program that focuses on participants' cultural identity as a key to leadership success.
Hubert Humphrey was fond of saying that “Leadership is a prudent and probing concern for the future.” At the Humphrey School, we develop future leaders and instill in them the skills and abilities to lead with confidence, passion, and with heart. We build a vibrant learning community where students work alongside faculty and staff who themselves are daily sharing their own policy leadership with the communities where we live and work.
This September we commemorate 40 years as the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the programs highlighted in our September newsletter illustrate the extent to which we continue to deepen our reputation as leaders and innovators in the field.
I believe our namesake would be proud indeed of our prudent and probing concern for the future.