College Updates

Official Launch of the School of Public Policy

In 1998, Dean John Hird welcomed the first class of students to the Center for Public Policy & Administration as the (then) founding director. This year, we are proud to announce that the CPPA was approved by the UMass Board of Trustees to evolve into the School of Public Policy (SPP) with Charlie Schweik leading the school as Interim Director. As a school, SPP will be introducing a new Public Policy major to the UMass curriculum, expanding it’s influence in educating the future policy analysts, policy administrators, and leaders of the world. Currently, the school offers a growing master’s degree program.

Schweik will be working with SPP and other faculty to design a new undergraduate major in public policy. He also plans to collaborate with other departments and colleges at UMass to continue building SPP’s strong interdisciplinary programs of teaching and research, and to help organize the physical move of SPP from its home in Gordon Hall to another space on campus in 2017.

CPPA has long been an important hub for interdisciplinary research and teaching at UMass. The move to a School will provide even more opportunities for our flagship campus to contribute cutting-edge scholarship in the fields of public policy and administration, and to serve the outreach mission of our land-grant university.


A Focus on Career Development

This year, SBS welcomed Carol Sharick as the new Director of Professional and Career Development. Carol joins us from Amherst College where she worked in the Career Center for 13 years.

In this role, Sharick has been working to develop new strategies and resources to prepare our students for success upon graduation. To name a few accomplishment, she has implemented a new alumni-student job shadowing program, and has been integral in bringing more alumni to campus for networking and educational opportunities for students.

If you are interested in participating in an alumni-student opportunity, please email Carol Sharick.

UMass Rising Campaign a Success

The UMass Rising Campaign brought our university community together like never before. The largest campaign in our history and for public higher education in Massachusetts, UMass Rising mobilized more than 100,000 alumni and friends who participated. We broadened educational opportunities for many more students with $59 million in increased aid. We built on our hallmark strengths as a university and planted the seeds of discovery in new research territories.


Teaching Excellence

This year’s SBS Outstanding Teaching Award goes to Professor Carol E. Heim who has been at UMass Amherst since 1981. Heim has an extensive teaching record in both the Department of Economics and the School of Public Policy (formerly the Center for Public Policy and Administration), and has offered four different undergraduate courses on economic history and macroeconomics as well as two graduate economic history courses. She is also the Director of the Economics Undergraduate Research Assistant (EURA) program.

Embracing the interdisciplinary nature of research and academics within SBS, Heim created a course for the School of Public Policy, Topics in Urban and Housing Policy, which draws upon her research in economic history and her involvement in local and regional planning and community preservation. This course has a wide appeal for students completing masters degrees in both Public Policy and Administration and Regional Planning. Regarding Topics, Heim says she believes that "an understanding of economic history provides an extremely valuable perspective on current developments and possibilities.  It brings an awareness that things haven't always been this way; they also could be different in the future. In all of my courses, I try to focus attention on issues of social justice and equity."


An Updated Look

In September of 2016, SBS launched a newly designed website to better meet the needs of students, faculty, and alumni while aligning more closely with UMass Amherst brand standards. The redesign process was highly collaborative, with input and feedback from faculty, staff, students, and alumni along the way.

Some highlights include a beautiful new academics page that highlights the areas of study within the college, a focus on advising and success - both academically and professionally - for students, and extensive resources to support faculty. It also emphasizes connectivity among alumni, with tools for alumni to connect to one another, news and reports meant to keep alumni apprised of new developments in the college, and opportunities to engage with students on campus. In the coming year, more updates will be made to highlight the people and work to come out of SBS.