Greetings from the Dean

January 24, 2012

Dear Alumni and Friends:

Later this week we'll bring over thirty MPP students toWashington DC for our annual careers trip. Many of you have volunteered to serve on career panels or to host a panel in your offices. Your commitment to supporting the career exploration of current students is inspiring. You remind me yet again that although our alumni base is small in number, our graduates are highly engaged and they represent our most important ambassadors. Thank you!

A highlight of the annual DC trip is the student/alumni networking reception, which will be held again this year in the beautiful event space at 1777 F Street, N.W. We’ve put together a timely policy event to precede the reception, and I do hope to see many of you there. Our own associate professor Susan Dynarski—a noted education economist—will be joined by Brookings Senior Fellow Gary Burtless for a conversation on the growing gaps in American incomes, educational attainment, and more.

Back in Ann Arbor, we’ve just received 779 applications for our masters programs—tying our all-time record. Undergraduate applications aren’t due until February, but we anticipate getting a record number of BA applicants as well. And our PhD program—which just celebrated its 10th anniversary—attracted 168 applications. We’re delighted with both the quality and the quantity of our prospective students.

This edition of ‘the Ford School feed’ features two stories that showcase the opportunities our masters students have to gain practical, hands-on policy experience while in school. Here’s a story about our expanded Applied Policy Seminar, including a slideshow of photos from client presentations.

And this piece—featuring a nifty video feature—wraps up the 2012 Integrated Policy Exercise. Professor Ann Lin developed a fascinating scenario for the 2012 edition of the annual all-school decision-making exercise. Ann found a way to turn a law enforcement decision on the U.S.-Mexico border into a scenario that incorporated an enormous range of policy domains, including immigration, intergovernmental relations, trade, environmentalism, and public health. Students dove into their roles and by all accounts, learned a great deal.

Finally, our outstanding faculty continue to deepen public understanding of a wide range policy issues. In this edition of ‘the feed’ we feature new research from the National Poverty Center’s study of the Great Recession’s impact, commentary on fiscal challenges facing Michigan’s cities, and analysis of Secretary Clinton’s recent visit to Myanmar.

Please stay in touch. I thank you for your continued engagement with the Ford School.


Susan M. Collins
Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy