“The School of Public Policy is becoming one of the largest and most diverse public policy schools in Europe,” said Julia Buxton, professor of comparative politics and SPP associate dean for academic affairs and programs. Buxton is one of six members of the joint Department of Public Policy (DPP)/School of Public Policy (SPP) Integration Committee that SPP Dean Wolfgang H. Reinicke convened to prepare for DPP faculty, students, and staff to join SPP at the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year. The group (Edward Branagan, SPP associate dean for student affairs, administration and finance; Julia Buxton; Heni Griecs, DPP departmental coordinator; Dan Large, SPP MPA program director; Nick Sitter, DPP professor; and Uwe Puetter, DPP professor) has met several times in recent months to prepare for the transition. “One of our primary goals is to make things as easy as possible for current and prospective students,” said Puetter.
Reinicke emphasized that the changes that are taking place represent a key opportunity to further strengthen public policy education at CEU and to better position SPP’s offerings in the context of an increasingly competitive international environment for public policy programs. It also responds to the expectations of the University’s leadership, the Board of Trustees, and of George Soros, the founder of CEU and of SPP.
One of the first tasks for the Integration Committee was to establish working groups to focus on the pressing technical issues of handbooks and communications. The Handbook Working Group brings together the directors of the three master’s programs (Master of Public Administration, Master of Arts, and the Erasmus Mundus Master of Arts) and respective administrators to harmonize program regulations. The IT and Communications Migration Group is working on the technical aspects of the integration as it relates to websites, newsletters, and brochures among other materials.
“We’re migrating all the content that is on the DPP website now to the SPP website. Thankfully, I’m getting a lot of help from Heni and Kati (Harskuti), DPP assistant, and also from Brandon (Krueger), manager of the CEU Web Unit, and the other members of the CEU Communications team,” said Dorothy Lineer, SPP digital communications manager and web editor. One of the top priorities for the Communications Working Group is to finalize the text of the SPP recruitment brochure, which will include information about all four of the programs (three master’s and one doctoral) that SPP will offer beginning in fall 2015.
“People are working enormously hard. It’s a very exciting time at SPP,” said Buxton.