Executive Summary – College of Public Affairs and Administration
The College of Public Affairs & Administration is dedicated to the belief that effective public affairs education, significant public affairs scholarship and active service to the community will improve government and public policy in Illinois, the nation and our wider global community. We have a long history of interdisciplinary public affairs education, scholarship and public service. Departments in the College meet the needs of a wide range of students from their first semester of undergraduate education through their doctorate. We offer opportunities to faculty and students that simply cannot be found elsewhere in Illinois.
Our faculty members are engaged with their practitioner colleagues in government and support agencies. Our proximity to the State Capital, the headquarters of state agencies and associations and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library offers our students, staff and faculty educational and co-curricular opportunities designed to encourage life-long civic engagement and a dedication to public service. A significant number of political and public policy leaders in Illinois have been our students, teach as adjunct faculty, work with our faculty and seek our expertise on public affairs issues.
The College of Public Affairs & Administration is at the forefront of the UIS mission to provide an intellectually rich, collaborative and intimate learning environment for students, faculty and staff, while serving local, regional, state, national and international communities. Our College faculty and staff hope to provide an integrated package of curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular initiatives that will guide our students to develop a strong sense of civic engagement, a commitment to social responsibility and an understanding of democratic values.
Within five years, the College of Public Affairs & Administration will be a place where:
- Graduate and undergraduate students select our programs because we give them a unique opportunity to learn in the classroom and in the halls of government from innovative teachers who care about student success and well-being,
- Our faculty members are recognized nationally as innovative teachers who foster student engagement through active learning,
- Our College is recognized nationally as a leader in an interconnected college of public affairs that blends disciplinary expertise with the flexibility of interdisciplinary curricula,
- Faculty members are recognized nationally for their leading-edge scholarship,
- State and regional public policy makers seek assistance from our faculty, staff and students because our high quality research and service anticipate and respond to emerging public policy needs and advance public discourse on major public affairs issues,
- Distinguished national and international scholars and practitioners come to our College to share their expertise in the classroom and in projects with students and faculty and
- Our graduates become active and engaged members of our alumni community.
The College of Public Affairs & Administration is a leader in public affairs engaged in excellent teaching, leading-edge scholarship and public service to advance public discourse, improve government and enhance public policy in Illinois, the nation and our wider global community.
Statement of Strategic Intent
The College of Public Affairs & Administration will be central to the efforts of UIS to achieve the goal of being recognized as one of the top five small public liberal arts universities in the US. Our pursuit of excellence in teaching and scholarship will advance the overall reputation of the University. Since its inception, the College of Public Affairs & Administration has been dedicated to providing a broad liberal arts foundation for graduate and undergraduate students seeking an excellent public affairs education. The faculty, staff and students of the College of Public Affairs & Administration will make a unique positive contribution to our community through the application of expertise to significant issues of public policy and by nurturing the desire for civic engagement to achieve positive social change from the local to the global levels.
Our Strategic Initiatives
Strategic Initiative #1- Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Public Affairs:
The primary goal of the College of Public Affairs & Administration is to maximize student learning through excellence in teaching. Excellence in teaching in public affairs disciplines involves the integration of traditional scholarly approaches with an appreciation for the practitioners’ needs for professional development. The College will strive to recruit, enroll, retain and graduate a larger number of high quality graduate and undergraduate students.
Strategic Initiative #2- Excellence in the Scholarship of Public Affairs:
The College of Public Affairs & Administration affirms its commitment to the idea that excellence in teaching and a strong commitment to scholarship are inextricable. Our departments have a strong history of performance in scholarship where those forms of scholarship shape and improve public affairs policies and practices. We seek to exemplify the model of teacher/scholar to encourage our students to recognize that life-long learning involves the engagement with a discipline through scholarly activity.
Strategic Initiative #3- Public Affairs Engagement through Education, Scholarship & Service:
The College of Public Affairs & Administration will promote an enjoyable and supportive learning community that produces engaged and informed citizens. Our public affairs initiatives will make a positive contribution to our community through the application of expertise to significant issues of public policy and by nurturing the desire for civic engagement to achieve positive social change. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and outside partners will have opportunities to enhance their personal growth, social capital, support networks, networking opportunities and extracurricular programming.
Strategic Initiative #4 – Developing Local to Global Awareness & Involvement:
The College of Public Affairs & Administration encourages open dialogue on public affairs issues in an inclusive atmosphere. Providing our students with skills needed to encourage life-long learning requires involving those students in vigorous discussion of public affairs issues of concern locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Students, faculty, staff and external constituents will be exposed to a multicultural learning community representing diverse viewpoints in public affairs.
Stretching Our Horizons
- Expand graduate & undergraduate majors, minors and certificates
- Partnerships in the areas of community and environmental health
- Establish Distinguished Chair of Public Affairs
- Speakers’ series focused on significant policy controversies and civic engagement
- Develop a distinguished practitioner-in-residence program