Friends, I encourage you to take a few minutes to explore our latest newsletter—when you see all that’s been going on in the department—your department—I know you’ll be glad you did! Let me kick things off with a few notes from the chair…
Program strength. Our MPA and PhD programs continue to produce impressive outcomes. The MPA program is now ranked #47 overall (and #33 among public universities) in the 2020 US News rankings, earning us the “Best Public Affairs Programs” badge. Metrics for our PhD program are likewise impressive. In the past three years, we have graduated 20 PhDs and, all told, our doctoral graduates have published 74 articles in the same time frame. Our graduates have accepted impressive positions in higher education, government and research-related jobs. Our faculty continue to excel and provide valuable contributions to our field’s knowledge base. Since 2017, our faculty’s scholarly research has been cited over 15,000 times according to Google Scholar.
A note on MPA reaccreditation. Last year, many of you participated in our MPA alumni survey as part of our MPA mission review process—thank you! Mission review is key to our program evaluation efforts because everything we do—from recruiting, to curriculum revision, to job placement—centers on achieving our mission and serving our stakeholders. In the next two years, we will be calling on you again as we prepare for our program’s NASPAA reaccreditation: 2019-20 is our Self Study Year, during which we will produce a report on our program’s conformance with accreditation standards, and 2020-21 is our reaccreditation year, during which we will host a site visit in advance of the reaccreditation decision in summer 2021. Please be on the lookout for more information on reaccreditation and how you can be involved.
An invitation. Our annual alumni mixer is fast approaching. New this year will be the announcement of our PA Alumna/Alumnus of the Year during the event. Previous award announcements have occurred during our May commencement ceremony but we hope that the new approach will add even more fun to an event we already eagerly anticipate each year. So, please, make plans to join us to network and celebrate! You can find the Save the Date for the spring event at the end of this newsletter.
Transitions. Finally, I want you to be aware of some changes in PA and SPIA that will take effect this fall. We are in the final stages of hiring a new SPIA executive director—the search drew strong interest from across the country and I am confident we will soon have another talented leader at the helm. Also, this semester marks the last of my 11-year run as PA chair. I am proud of all that PA has achieved during my term, but I am also quick to give the credit for those successes where it rightly belongs—with the talented faculty, staff, students, and alumni who make NC State a public service lodestar. I look forward to serving the public interest alongside you in my new role as a professor.
Finally, a big thanks to each of you for your ongoing commitment to PA. From the generous donations to the MPA scholarship and discretionary funds, to planning annual alumni events, to the reputation benefits we accrue by counting you as alumni, we are so grateful for your support.