Skip to main content

Welcome Message May 1, 2020

Today’s my first day as the Founding Dean of the Hobby School of Public Affairs.  And it doesn’t feel at all like anyone imagined.

The world is a different place since I decided to leave my seat in the Texas Senate and take on this wonderful new challenge.  The novel coronavirus has transformed every aspect of American life.  More than an unprecedented event, the COVID-19 pandemic creates a new condition affecting every level of society. It’s changed how we work, learn, worship, get and stay healthy, and spend time with each other.

It also has changed — it must change — how we make public policy. 

I look forward to working with you as we envision, design and build a world class, modern public policy school to train future generations of policymakers who will govern through this new condition, and to be a resource for current generations who are wrestling with it today.

Dr. Jim Granato, Senior Director Renee Cross, the faculty, staff and our Advisory Board have done tremendous work laying a foundation of excellence, while President Khator and Provost Short have provided great vision and leadership for our institution.  I’m proud to be a part of this team. 

Today, I’m also making my first official announcement of what is my first official action:  I’m appointing Dr. Granato as the Hobby School of Public Affairs’ inaugural Associate Dean.  Jim deserves our congratulations and deep thanks.

I always want to know what you’re thinking.  Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. Share your thoughts, ideas and views. I need you.

I’m a brand new Dean starting in a brand new era.  I couldn’t be more enthusiastic.

Thanks for your advice, help and support.

Please stay safe, happy and healthy.

Kirk Watson
Founding Dean, Hobby School of Public Affairs