The University of Massachusetts Amherst

SPP Reorganization Lays Foundation for Growth

Group photo of SPP students, faculty and staff at 2019 orientation

The UMass Amherst School of Public Policy has completed a year-long reorganization that will substantially advance its mission of preparing students for leadership in public service.

"This reorganization provides a solid foundation for future growth," said SPP Director Alasdair Roberts. "School of Public Policy students have the opportunity to work with a talented faculty that is deeply committed to good governance and social change."

The School of Public Policy was established in 2015, when it took over graduate programs from the Center for Public Policy and Administration. Since 1998, these graduate programs have been supported by a faculty with tenure homes in other departments across UMass Amherst.

In December 2019, SPP was given authority to add faculty with tenure homes inside the school. Since then, four new faculty have joined SPP:

In addition, on July 20, the UMass Board of Trustees approved the movement of tenure homes into SPP for four faculty already affiliated with the school as joint faculty: Professor Brenda Bushouse; Distinguished University Professor Jane Fountain; Professor John Hird, dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; and Professor Alasdair Roberts.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Sharrow will also move to the School of Public Policy, with a joint appointment in the Department of History. Professor Elizabeth Schmidt continues as professor of practice within SPP.

SPP's continuing commitment to interdisciplinarity is demonstrated by ten joint appointments:

  • Michael Ash, Professor of Economics and Public Policy
  • Lee Badgett, Professor of Economics
  • Krista Harper, Professor of Anthropology and Public Policy
  • Katie McDermott, Professor of Education and Public Policy and Chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration
  • David Mednicoff, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Public Policy and Chair of the Department of Judaic and Near Eastern Studies
  • Joya Misra, Professor of Sociology and Public Policy
  • Lenore Palladino, Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy
  • Brian Sargent, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy
  • Charlie Schweik, Professor of Public Policy and Environmental Conservation
  • Marta Vicarelli, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics

In coming years, SPP will continue to expand its graduate programs and add an undergraduate major, among other initiatives.

About the School of Public Policy: Established in 2016, the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy prepares students for leadership in public service. The program’s focuses include social change and public policy related to science and technology.

Contact: Maureen Turner, communications manager, School of Public Policy

 

 

 

 

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