The University of Arizona has announced the creation of a new school – the School of Government and Public Policy, in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The new school, which is a joint initiative of the Eller College of Management and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, was approved by the Arizona Board of Regents on April 30, 2009.
The School of Government and Public Policy will join faculty and staff from the School of Public Administration and Policy, or SPAP, and the UA Department of Political Science as well as their degree programs.
All undergraduate and graduate degrees and students will automatically transfer to the new school. The degree programs will be revamped to account for curricular and scholarly synergies within the school's faculty, which will greatly benefit the students, the University and the state of Arizona.
William Dixon, UA's political science department head, will serve as founding director. SPAP associate dean and director Brint Milward will serve as executive director.
"The new school will significantly enhance the traditional political science curriculum by introducing new internship opportunities, career counseling services and professional training in areas such as environmental policy, foreign service and public law," Dixon said.
"Clearly this is an exciting time for Arizona undergraduates interested in government, politics and public policy," he added.
Milward said the schools will allow the UA "to focus its research and teaching on many of the most critical public policy problems our country faces – environmental sustainability, crime, and reforming the healthcare system."
Government is a growth sector of the Southern Arizona economy.
The school will provide new opportunities to UA students and create a focal point for workforce development in the public and nonprofit sectors, especially in the high-demand areas of environmental policy, foreign service, criminal justice and health and human services.
It also creates an opportunity to develop and expand interdisciplinary treatment of public law and environmental policy at the undergraduate level. No other unit on campus offers this combination of policy-oriented undergraduate courses.
Also, the new tracks support the work of other units on campus devoted to environmental policy, law and globalization. The established programs of study in political science and other areas in public policy, public administration, criminal justice and health and human services will remain focal points for the new school.
To increase accessibility to a larger population in the state of Arizona, the nationally-ranked Master's in Public Administration will move to an evening and weekend schedule beginning in the fall.
The creation of the new school greatly benefits students with new areas of engagement in public affairs in the state, nationally and globally.