Dean’s Message

Shaping the World

A Message from SPPD Dean Jack H. Knott

Commencement 2009

On behalf of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the Summer 2009 issue of the SPPD e-newsletter. We are pleased that our new electronic format affords us the opportunity to connect with each of you more frequently and pass along SPPD news highlights more quickly.

I want to begin by congratulating SPPD’s 2009 graduates once again. Although these are challenging times for new graduates, I know that SPPD grads are among the best-prepared and the best-connected of any throughout the country. I have the highest confidence in their abilities, and I am certain that they will not only succeed, but make vital contributions in their respective fields.

As you will see in this issue: Three of our recent grads are heading to the William J. Clinton Foundation in New York to serve as fellows; a current SPPD student is interning at the White House this summer; and, SPPD signed a memorandum of understanding that offers Korean government officials an opportunity to study at our school.

Dean Jack Knott

We also feature a story on the efforts of SPPD’s Bedrosian Center and Keston Institute to develop strategies for sustainable growth in the 21st Century. In addition, Senior Fellow Sherry Bebitch Jeffe discusses the California budget on NBC Nightly News in our SPPD Making the News section.

Finally, I’d like to again thank our distinguished commencement speakers this year, real estate developer Steve Soboroff and the Honorable Henry Cisneros. Links to video recordings of their keynote speeches and the full undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies are included in this e-newsletter.

Every year at this time, I find myself anticipating the renewed liveliness in Lewis Hall that each new fall semester brings — from research seminars, to special speakers, to conferences, and of course the activities of SPPD’s 1300-plus students. It is the energy and commitment of all the students, faculty and alumni to shape our world for the better that makes SPPD so distinctive and vibrant.


Jack H. Knott
C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor
USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development

Photos by Tom Queally