Dear Alumni and Friends,
As we start another busy and productive semester at the Ford School, our hearts remain heavy from the loss of Professor Katherine Terrell Svejnar. So many of you have responded to that loss with words of tribute and consolation. We are grateful for your kind thoughts and for the generous contributions that you’ve made to the memorial fund established to honor and extend Kathy’s commitment to international education. Kathy was slated to teach a graduate course this semester on the economics of developing countries. It is a testament to both the importance of Kathy’s teaching and to our community’s spirit that while no single professor could fill her shoes, several faculty quickly stepped forward to co-teach the course.
The outpouring of support and help following Kathy’s death reminds us that our community is defined not by bricks and mortar but by our people – the students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends who share an academic and professional home in the Ford School.
We look to the future by continuing to invest in our community, our people. We are pleased to be actively working to build the size and strength of the Ford School faculty, with searches underway in a broad array of areas, including energy, financial markets, sociology, and applied microeconomics. We expect to have good news to announce soon about new hires in both the junior and senior faculty ranks – hires that will help us fill gaps in our curriculum and explore new initiatives.
As admissions season winds down, we look forward to welcoming new groups of students to our community. January 15 marked the deadline for applications to our MPP program. Our recruitment and admissions staff found themselves both delighted and daunted by the final tally: a record-high 771 applications (20% more than last year). Applications to our PhD program are also on the rise, up 25% from last year. BA applications are not due until February 1, but we expect a strong pool for that program as well.
Our alumni are such an important part of our ongoing work at the Ford School – you support our programs, hire our students, help shape our educational programs, and serve as ambassadors for the school throughout your careers. I look forward to seeing many of you at upcoming events in Washington, DC and in New York City.
No matter where in the world you may be, you can remain involved with much of the public programming that happens at the Ford School via our newly-launched online video library. Videos are generally added within just a day or so after events (including that of our most recent lecture – Harvard education economist Roland Fryer , who spoke to a packed auditorium about the success of the Harlem Children’s Zone.) We plan to convene a public event later this semester that would address some of the many policy challenges facing the Haitian people. I know they are very much on your thoughts these days, as they are in mine. Please look for details soon on our events calendar.
Thank you again for your ongoing commitment to the Ford School community.