As the year comes to a close, we often reflect on challenges and successes. This year has been fraught with significant challenges, and for many in our community and around the world, devastating losses from the global pandemic. Yet as I look back I am heartened by and proud of the many ways the Ford School community has come together over the past year, how we’ve learned together, and engaged together in solving complex policy issues. How we’ve dedicated ourselves to the public good.
In times like these, being able to authentically connect with one another is so important. At the Ford School, we’ve made a tremendous effort to bolster our relationships in new and different ways outside of Weill Hall. And I am tremendously grateful to our alumni and friends of the school who have supported our students in countless ways.
This edition of The Briefing touches on how our community has, and will continue to maintain our mission-driven connections. We’ve revamped what was the annual DC careers trip, for example, to broaden the networking and learning our graduate students can do with our terrific alumni body. You can help, and have some fun, too! I hope many alumni will join a special Ford School trivia and networking event on January 13 as part of the new January Graduate Student Career Expo.
We also share examples in this edition of how our top-notch faculty are engaged in creating policy solutions at the highest levels, including addressing flaws in science, technology, and innovation policy. We hope you will join us for several exciting upcoming Policy Talks events, and re-watch the ones you missed as our faculty and guests break down thorny policy issues.
Next week, our first all-digital version of the State & Hill magazine will be released. It’s full of additional stories about how members of our community are working in this moment in our history and how our community is adapting and staying true to our mission. I hope you’ll check it out.
Thank you for being part of this special community. As we work to fulfill the Ford School’s mission, may we find hope in the next generation of young people who are leading us towards a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.
Michael S. Barr
Joan and Sanford Weill Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Frank Murphy Collegiate Professor of Public Policy
Roy and Jean Humphrey Proffitt Professor of Law
University of Michigan