Greetings from the Dean - The Briefing, January 2022

January 20, 2022

Dear friends,

Best wishes to you as we start 2022 with great hopes for the coming year, but also with significant uncertainty—a global pandemic, a growing awareness of the urgent need to defend our democracy, and our imperative struggle for racial justice. In the midst of these uncertainties and so many others, I find clarity and hope in the work of our Ford School community.

In this Briefing, we share stories about opportunities for our students, made possible by our generous friends. A new, $5 million gift from Joan and Sandy Weill expands graduate student fellowships, and we celebrate our 10-year partnership with the David Bohnett Foundation, which supports leadership and public service in Detroit.

You can also read about new faculty research, such as Kathy Michelmore’s analysis that provides new evidence for expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Liz Gerber and Arun Agrawal’s research that examines the importance of human and social capital in disaster relief efforts. We are so proud of all of our faculty, many of whom were recognized in 2021 for their academic rigor, policy impact, and teaching.

As we look ahead to this semester, we invite our alumni to engage with the Ford School. Our students want to meet you! Please sign up to help by conducting a mock interview, for example, or becoming a mentor.

We also have a full calendar of streamed public events that emphasize racial justice, democracy, and diplomacy. I’m very excited about this semester’s lineup in the Racial Foundations of Public Policy series, hosted by our Center for Racial Justice, and our North American Colloquium partnership series related to nationalism and extremism. Please watch our events page and our social media for announcements, and tune in.

One day at a time, we’re learning and working and teaching for the public good. I’m grateful to be doing such work in community with all of you.

All my best for a safe and healthy 2022!


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