Some graduates will become public leaders.
Some will become policy researchers.
Some will become analytic professionals.
But, all first will build a foundation of research, analysis and ethics. The University of Houston System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved creation of the new Hobby School of Public Affairs earlier this year.
The School honors former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby.
“In fact, our School reflects Gov. Hobby’s idea of public policy—one that emphasizes rigorous quantitative analysis, as well as ethics and transparency in how policy is conducted and analyzed,” said Jim Granato, professor and executive director. “Policy schools, by their very nature, introduce an interdisciplinary emphasis not only to serve the community, but to create an entity on college campuses that fosters research and teaching partnerships that expand on traditional siloed academic approaches to teaching and research.”
The Hobby School of Public Affairs plans to build on its existing educational and research opportunities. For example, its interdisciplinary approach to public policy challenges will be emphasized through its Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree. In fall 2016, the Hobby School began offering the MPP as a dual degree option with the Graduate College of Social Work’s Master of Social Work.
“Every successful school in higher education finds its niche. The Hobby School of Public Affairs is poised to find its niche within the dynamic urban laboratory of Houston, training its students in objective statistical analysis with a foundation in ethics,” Hobby said. “Such training will result in a new generation of public service leaders and business professionals who will create effective policies in a pragmatic, cost-efficient manner.”
The Center for Public Policy, founded in 1981, will not be going away. It will be housed in the Hobby School and will continue its research projects, including its polling operations, government internship programs in Houston, Austin and Washington, D.C. and its Certified Public Manager program.
“At the University of Houston, we are always striving to attract a new generation of students and scholars to our campus. By creating the Hobby School of Public Affairs, the University is taking positive steps to create alumni who will address public policy challenges in innovative and effective ways,” said Paula Myrick Short, UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.
Associated faculty already represent a diversity of disciplines, including political science, business, psychology, social work, economics, decision and information sciences and education. The new Hobby School of Public Affairs is poised to train students to become objective and effective policy analysts and well-rounded public servants.
“We talk about Houston’s diversity—the most diverse in the country. It’s a great laboratory for the country on how to move forward. The Hobby School of Public Affairs is well placed to do that type of research,” said State Rep. Garnet Coleman. “The Hobby family has served this city, state and country for more than 100 years. We honor Gov. Hobby and his family with this school.”