Office of the President
Dr. Patrick T. Harker is the 26th president of the University of Delaware. He also serves as professor of business administration in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics and professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering.
School of Public Policy and Administration 50th Anniversary
March 19, 2012
I’m thrilled to be able to wish the School of Public Policy and Administration a happy 50th birthday. When we talk about UD’s service mission—when we talk about “citizen university”—we’re talking about this School. It’s at the heart of service scholarship—research applied to public policy and the public good.
Forty-some years before we unveiled our Path to Prominence, the School of Public Policy and Administration was all about Delaware First, with a mission to serve as a resource for improving Delawareans’ health, wealth, and happiness.
Through programs like Kids Count and How Delaware Compares, we track important childhood, economic, and quality-of-life indicators, providing analysis that frames our biggest strengths and deficits, and galvanizes our public and political will to move from where we are to where we should be. Through Blue Print Communities, we develop community leaders, helping them access the training, money, and support they need to strengthen their own neighborhoods.
The School is Engagement, contributing to some of the greatest public policy issue of our time. And the engagement mission extends from the intensely local to the ponderously global. Look at the Center for Historic Architecture and Design, at once tracing the route of Underground Railroad in Delaware, and working in several small, isolated Tibetan cave temples to preserve rare and deteriorating Ming Dynasty paintings. This is the common human experience that we’re illuminating and celebrating and saving.
The School of Public Policy and Administration is Partnership, the essential bridge between campus and community. A bridge—not an ivory tower. And that’s why tonight’s celebration is as much for our many partners across the state as it is for us. The School’s merit and mission depend on you.
And, of course, the School is Impact—50 years of impact. Everyone in this room is an amazing testament to it. Your impact—from your own neighborhoods to our nation and beyond—is, by far, the most critical measure of our success. The School’s mission is lived through you, and I thank you for what you do every day to make us healthier, happier, safer, more secure, and more fulfilled.
In the 50 years since its launch, the School’s scope has broadened, encompassing all the urgent and persistent challenges we confront as a global community. But at its heart, it’s the same School, dedicated to making a difference—in the cities, towns, villages, and homes that unite us.
Thank you for making this human community stronger, better, more compassionate, and more connected. Congratulations to you all on 50 years. I can’t wait to see what the next 50 bring!