Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, September 18, 2015

Yackee helps shape future of policy schools

La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee

La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee was one of 10 policy school deans chosen to attend the Initiative for Public Service Excellence, a collaboration sponsored by the Volcker Alliance with distinguished universities to build a strong and effective public service.

The recent two-day meeting in New York was designed to bring together leaders willing to work with the Initiative’s goal of enhancing the role of policy schools “as beacons of public service education and research,” says Yackee.

During the meeting, the deans identified key barriers and opportunities to achieve those goals, she says. They also discussed a short list of solutions-oriented projects under each objective and what each school might do to reach those objectives.

“The discussion was robust and challenging,” says Yackee. “We know governments at all levels face big challenges delivering high-quality services to the public and when some of those fail due to inadequate administration the public trust in government is undermined. We know that
schools of public affairs are especially well-situated to support improvements in administrative excellence through education for public service and research.”

Over the coming year the schools agreed, with the support of the Volcker Alliance, to look for ways to:

  • Promote curriculum, courses, and educational opportunities to enhance governments’ capacities to administer and execute effectively
  • Produce high-impact, relevant, and accessible research focused on governments’ biggest implementation challenges
  • Help public affairs students gain better access to employment opportunities within government

“The La Follette School, with its internationally noted faculty and highly ranked public affairs program, is ready to face these challenges and be a major partner in this important initiative,” Yackee says.