SPPD Celebrates $1 Million Fundraising Milestone

By Scott Steele

Chet Newland Celebration Chester A. Newland speaks at a reception in Sacramento celebrating the establishment of a professorship in his name.
Photo by Frederick Romero

The USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development celebrated the completion of a $1 million fundraising campaign to establish the Chester A. Newland Professorship at a Feb. 25 gala held at the university’s State Capital Center in Sacramento.

More than 130 alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends gathered to recognize Newland, the Duggan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration at SPPD, as well as the donors who endowed the fund.

“Throughout his career, he has been an exemplary scholar and educator,” said Jack H. Knott, the C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean of SPPD. “He has shown a remarkable commitment to his students, to the school and to improving our communities. For that and more, Chet is one of the most renowned and respected figures nationally and internationally in public administration – a true icon in the field.”

The evening’s keynote address was given by USC University Professor Kevin Starr, who commented on the significance of the professorship and its importance as a legacy to Newland.

“Now this chair in his name, anchored in his decades of scholarship and service, will project into the future to forthcoming members of the Trojan Family,” Starr said.

In his remarks, Newland discussed the importance of benefactors to the university and specifically thanked the Morris S. Smith Foundation, as well as students who also have become benefactors.

He also spoke about his role as a teacher, noting, “I facilitate the accomplishments of others, helping students become great.”

Newland joined USC in 1966 and has taught at the State Capital Center since 1984. His research and teaching focus on public executives, federal and local government management, the American presidency, public law, business and governments, human resources and labor management relations.

Throughout his career, Newland has worked internationally in countries undergoing challenging transitions. Last summer, he was in Iraq, serving as a senior adviser focusing on national and provincial civil service institutions, and on human capital management in ministries and other agencies. He previously had worked in Bahrain, the Czech and Slovak republics, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Poland, Taiwan and Mexico.

More than 134 donors contributed to the endowment, including Sterling and Larry Franklin – sons of the late Carl Franklin, USC vice president emeritus – who made a $600,000 matching pledge through the Morris S. Smith Foundation to begin the fundraising campaign. Both are longtime supporters of SPPD and the State Capital Center’s academic programs.

“We are pleased to be able to honor Chet Newland and his long history of advancing public service with his work at the local, state, federal and international levels,” said Sterling Franklin ’76.

The holder of the Newland Professorship will work primarily out of the State Capital Center, which educates students pursuing master’s degrees in public administration and health administration, including full-time working professionals from state and local government agencies.