For decades, the school of public policies is now a reality
University leaders, faculty and staff gathered on September 15 at Martha Van Rensselaer Hall to celebrate the launch of the Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy – “an important moment here at Cornell,” said President Martha E. Pollack.
The school’s opening is the culmination of a four-year faculty review focused on improving excellence in the social sciences, which provost Michael I. Kotlikoff said was preceded by five decades discussions on the potential of a political school.
Now a reality, Pollack said Cornell Brooks School fits perfectly with Ezra Cornell’s founding vision for a university that would create and share knowledge for public purposes.
“The idea, from the very beginning, was that in our heart we were going to be a university that would generate knowledge that would come out of here and make the world a better place,” Pollack said. “Of course, one of the ways in which knowledge can be used to shape a better world – one of the most important ways – is through enlightened policies.”
The Cornell Jeb E. Brooks School of Public Policy advances the university’s mission, Pollack said, by creating a home for policy-oriented faculty to study and teach, and for students to learn, about the effective and thoughtful policy development, analysis and management.
Pollack and Kotlikoff joined the school’s first dean, Colleen Barry, in thanking the many faculty members who participated and led the committees that resulted in the creation and implementation of the announced school. Last year. They thanked Jeb E. Brooks, MBA ’70, and his wife, Cherie Wendelken, as well as the Brooks Family Foundation, for their generous donation in naming and endowing the school.
“Now we move on to the process of building the school, its construction phase,” Kotlikoff said. “I have no doubt that we have obtained the critical leadership which is a necessary condition for the success of the school. “
On her first day as a Cornell faculty member, which she joined after chairing the department of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, Barry said that it was an important day for both academia and politics.
One need only flip through recent headlines, she said, to appreciate the breadth and complexity of global policy challenges and the urgency of the school’s work to help develop solutions.
The creation of the Cornell Brooks School, she said, “creates a foundation to more directly address the critical issues we face, as a country and globally, in a way that is both grounded science-based and solution-oriented, with a mandate to actively improve the quality of people’s lives. lives and reduce suffering in the world.
To this end, the school plans to exploit and develop its strengths in environmental policy and sustainability; health policy; Human security; inequality and social policy; development policy and economics; data science and technology policy; and race, racism and public policy.
Attendees at the opening reception included the original Cornell Brooks School faculty, including those who had been members of the Policy Analysis Department of the College of Human Ecology (CHE) and policy-oriented faculty from the department. government of the College of Arts and Sciences and other departments.
The school’s inaugural students include undergraduate students majoring in policy analysis and management and healthcare policy (retaining CHE affiliation if admitted), and graduate students from the Cornell Institute. for Public Affairs (CIPA) and the Sloan program in health administration.
The school is now also home to the Institute of Politics and Global Affairs and the Cornell Washington and Capital Semester programs. Barry plans to forge strong partnerships with Cornell Tech and Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, as well as Albany, New York and Washington, DC
The school plans to develop a new undergraduate major in public policy and a new master’s degree in public policy that would be the first of its kind in New York State.
“Creating a new school is complex and we really want to do it right,” Barry said. “(I) will work with you so that we can structure the school in a way that will be strong and sustainable.”
Barry referred to the personal importance for her of celebrating the school’s launch during the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – in Jewish tradition the days of awe focused on new beginnings and building a better world.
“So here too,” she said. “I would like to challenge all of us to think about how, through this opportunity given to us to connect with Brooks School, we can work together in new and different ways to make our world a safer, healthier place. and more prosperous for everyone. . “