Dean’s Message

Shaping the World

Dean Jack Knott

A Message from SPPD Dean Jack H. Knott

On behalf of the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, I welcome you to the November 2011 issue of SPPD News. It is an exceptionally eventful and exciting fall semester at our school, and I am pleased to share with you some highlights. Many SPPD faculty recently traveled to Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, to contribute expertise on issues such as resilient urban environments, the global financial crisis, international terrorism, and global megacities. It was also my distinct pleasure to connect with many world-class scholars in Kansas City at the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration conference, an organization that I am now honored to serve as Vice President and President-elect.

The stories and video recordings featured in this newsletter touch on many of the issues for which SPPD’s expertise is widely known: Governance, including city management, public and nonprofit management, philanthropy, as well as risk management and analysis of terrorist events; Urban Development, including climate change, sustainability, and environmental policy; housing and real estate development; transportation and infrastructure; and economic development; and Social Policy, in particular health care policy, immigration issues, and housing policy, among others

I would like to draw your attention to SPPD Professor Richard Green’s recent testimony before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on homeownership, a story outlining SPPD’s many recent contributions in Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China, and an article covering the Bedrosian Center on Governance panel that dissected case studies of exemplary leadership in fiscal sustainability in local communities.

Global Reach covers a presentation by the World Bank’s Keshav Varma who compared urban dynamics in India and China, and an article on the extraordinary role of social media in the Arab revolutions.

Our Knowledge in Action section features a “Road to the White House” panel discussion on the importance of health care policy to Americans and its place in the upcoming elections; and the National Urban Freight Conference convened by SPPD’s METRANS transportation research center.

In addition, Research News features a timely study by Associate Professor Anthony Bertelli on the ideology of presidential cabinets, as well as Professor Dowell Myers’ report projecting large shifts in U.S. immigrant make-up.

I also invite you to read this month’s Alumni Spotlight highlighting Mike Low, MPA ’80, president of the SPPD Alumni Association and senior managing director of London Pacific & Partners, Inc.

The SPPD Making the News section captures but a few examples of the many SPPD faculty contributions to current issues and public debates in the media, and we’ve included a link to our full media listing.

Last but not least, I invite you to peruse the video recordings included in this newsletter: Local Governments & Climate Change; the Long-Term Impact of Medicare Payment Reductions on Patient Outcomes; Conversations on Philanthropy; and an SPPD Governance Salon on Competing Solutions to the Principal-Agent Model.

These are extraordinary times with extraordinary challenges at all levels, internationally and domestically. But, I am continually reassured by the enormous efforts of SPPD’s faculty, students, and alumni – along with our colleagues in public affairs and urban planning across the country – to shape our world for the better.


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