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Barr introduces Winter 2019 State & Hill

April 12, 2019

In our rapidly changing world, tomorrow seems hard to predict—let alone the political, economic, and social landscapes we’ll face decades from now. But at the Ford School, we take seriously the responsibility of preparing the next generation of public policy leaders. And that requires us to look to the future and anticipate what skills, values, and knowledge students will need to forge successful careers—to solve our world’s increasingly complex problems.

We’ve spent much of the past several years building the school’s financial strength for the future, joining the University-wide Victors for Michigan campaign. We’ve worked to secure resources to support the most promising students, grow our faculty expertise in key policy areas, and expand our ability to engage with and impact public policy.

Thanks to our outstanding alumni and to many other visionary friends who believe in the work of our students, faculty, and alumni, we’ve knocked our campaign goal out of the park. I’m filled with gratitude for the generosity so many have shown, and filled with optimism about what that generosity will enable us to do.

In this issue, you’ll find stories of gifts and initiatives that will have impact for decades. Through the Weiser Diplomacy Center, the Program for Practical Policy Engagement, the Kohn Professorship for Social Policy and Social Justice, and more, the Ford School has more avenues than ever to engage in the issues facing our world and craft viable policy solutions.

And so yes, we’ll continue to grow and adapt to the changing times. But our alumni will find—now and in the years to come—so much that is familiar and essential about the Ford School.

In my first year as dean I shepherded a community-wide process to define and declare the school’s mission and values. A wide range of community members gave input, from first-year undergraduates to alumni from 50+ years back. Here’s what we came up with:

OUR MISSION The Ford School at the University of Michigan is a community dedicated to the public good. We inspire and prepare diverse leaders grounded in service, conduct transformational research, and collaborate on evidence-based policymaking to take on our communities’ and our world’s most pressing challenges.

OUR VALUES We value community, integrity, respect, service, inclusion, diversity, and equity. We aspire for our work to be excellent, relevant, rigorous, collaborative, engaged, and impactful.

We build—from a proud tradition of excellence and community—for the next fifty years of public policy leadership. I’m proud and grateful to be building alongside each of you.


Michael S. Barr
Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy
Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy
Roy F. and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law

Below is a formatted version of this article from State & Hill, the magazine of the Ford School. View the entire Winter 2019 State & Hill.