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 September 2011 issue of SPPD News. Each new fall semester, I am reinvigorated by the enormous energy and enthusiasm that our new and returning students bring to our school, and by the dedication and commitment our faculty extend to their classrooms, their research, and their impact in the world.

I invite you to read in this issue about the expert testimony Professor Richard Green delivered to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs that covered the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Also noteworthy are the stories covering the more than 60 SPPD students who took their skills to Brazil, China, Bolivia, and Australia to assist with improving environmental quality in China’s Shenzhen region, to consult for the World Bank on Chinese housing policies, and to explore planning issues surrounding the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, among other efforts; and our students who worked this summer to help reform urban education through their fellowships at Education Pioneers. SPPD also hosted counter-terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross this summer, who examined Osama bin Laden’s legacy as part of our CREATE research center’s lecture series.

Knowledge-in-Action highlights stories on two topical issues: the impact of the housing market on the presidential election, and the recent conference on international disaster risk management held here at USC, which featured several of our faculty members.

I would like to also draw your attention to our Global Reach section that covers the 13th International Public Policy and Management (IPPAM) class that graduated from SPPD this summer. IPPAM is a unique degree program that brings together international students on our campus to study policy development and management. Also, our Center for Sustainable Cities hosted faculty from the Institute of Industrial Economics in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to discuss climate change mitigation research.

Research News features several leading-edge studies and reports by SPPD faculty members, including: a comprehensive analysis of the risk of medical malpractice claims; an analysis of California census data which shows the state’s oldest residents fled the housing market in greater numbers from 2000-10 than in the previous 20 years; a study which found that improving health to raise U.S. life expectancy could save $632 billion in Medicare and Medicaid by 2050; and a research paper released by the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy titled “The Evolution of Research on Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies as an Intellectual Field: An Analysis of Leading Journals.” Also highlighted is research professor Hilda Blanco’s appointment as lead author for a major climate change assessment report.

Please take a moment to read our Alumni Spotlight about Andrea Chinchilla, MPA ’08, and the impact she is making in the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

As always, SPPD Making the News items cited in this newsletter do not fully capture the meaningful contribution faculty make in the media. The link at the end of the section provides a comprehensive listing of our school’s presence across various news outlets.

Finally, we have included a video recording of Dr. Dan Siegel, who recently spoke on “The Human Mind and the Cultivation of Well-Being” for our Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development program. We have also included a link to the SPPD YouTube channel, where you can watch more videos covering our school and our events.

As we begin another outstanding new school year, I look forward to the great accomplishments of students, faculty, and alumni as we continue our work shaping our world for the better


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