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From the Vice President

New School of Public Service, WIIFM?

This month, Boise State announced the new School of Public Service (SPS) and its inaugural dean, Corey Cook. Current students as well as alumni, public servants and leaders are all touched by this change in some way. Also, supporters and alumni affiliated with the College of Social Science and Public affairs may wonder what this means to them. Why the change? What’s changing and what’s staying the same?

When there’s big change like this, people want to know, “What, exactly, does it mean to me?”

So what does the new School of Public Service mean to us? It means Boise State is deepening its commitment to the community with the goal to be an engine driving the Idaho economy and providing significant return on public investment. Basically, it’s our job as a public university to enhance the community in meaningful ways. This is manifest in creating this innovative and outward-focused school, building philanthropic opportunities to support it, and involving alumni and friends in the public service mission of the university.

As a supporter of Boise State, you can expect that changes like this are the result of the university’s strategy to stay nimbly relevant in ways that have real impact. This is good for students, faculty and the organizations we partner with in fields such as political and military science, public policy and administration and criminal justice. It’s also an opportunity to refresh the focus of our centers and institutes supporting these fields.

This change brings new dean Corey Cook, who joins us from the University of San Francisco, where for the past six years he has been the director of the Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good Cook says he envisions Boise State’s new school as a training ground for future public servants across sectors—in government at all levels, in private businesses, and in nonprofits and philanthropies.

A new organizational structure will support the school’s vision. The College of Social Science and Public affairs will be dissolved. Most of its departments and centers will be migrated into the School of Public Service. Some others, mainly those disciplines traditionally and previously located in the College of Arts and Sciences, will move to that college.

As a donor, you can expect the gifts you’ve made to support departments and programs will stay with those departments and programs. If, perhaps, you’ve created a permanent gift fund to support a program that may no longer exist, you can expect a call from a Director of Development to discuss your wishes. As an alumnus/a, the degree you already have achieved does not change.

The new school is made up of rich and diverse academic programs that will prepare students, public servants and leaders to think both regionally and globally in an interdependent world. As is inherent in its name, it is a partnership – one that requires your engagement and support. There’s something in it for all of us. We look forward to the new opportunities.

See the School of Public Service Viewbook.

Laura C. Simic is vice president for advancement at Boise State University.

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