Woodrow Wilson School Self-Study and Strategic Review Committee

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from Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School Cecilia Rouse

Timed to coincide with the University's strategic review, this year the Woodrow Wilson School will undertake a self-study/strategic review that will culminate in an external review in 2015. The purpose of this self-study is to identify issues and priorities that will help guide the continued development of the WWS over the next decade. In addition to identifying the strengths of the School (in terms of structure, curriculum and coverage of policy areas), the self-study and strategic review should also identify policy, curricular issues and faculty support that will be important to help it remain a premier policy school. Further, while this study will not serve as a comprehensive review of our academic programs, the committee should consider whether our programs are aligned and well positioned relative to trends in public policy research and education more generally.

The committee will meet regularly this fall and the faculty will be kept apprised of its progress through reports to the Faculty Council as well as faculty meetings. I am aiming for a final report to be completed the first week of April 2015, with the external review occurring in late April or early May. 

The committee is charged with addressing the following broad issues:

  1. Overall Assessment of the Strengths and Weaknesses of the School
    What is the central purpose of the WWS? What are our current strengths, in terms of faculty research, curriculum and experience of the students while they are here? What are our current weaknesses?
  2. Coverage of Important Areas of Public Policy
    What are important emerging areas in public policy, both nationally and internationally? Does our faculty research address these areas? Does our curriculum cover them? If not, should the curriculum be revised to accommodate them?
  3. Faculty Roles
    What are the most important roles and activities of the faculty at the WWS? What are the roles of practitioners and faculty visitors at the WWS? Should we be more creative in public policy education, for example by encouraging more team-teaching (e.g., by matching tenured faculty with practitioners or teams of multidisciplinary faculty) or by hosting a summer program for policy leaders or journalists? 
  4. Community
    Is there a strong sense of community between and among WWS faculty, students and staff? If not, how should we foster a better sense of community at the School? Are there specific initiatives that the School can undertake?
  5. External Relationships
    What is the School’s relationship with the "policy" community? Should the WWS facilitate further collaboration with other academic and non-academic institutions in the U.S. and abroad to improve the diversity of faculty research?  

In addition to the issues addressed above, the report will also contain a description of the recent reform to our undergraduate curriculum, an update on implementation, and potentially an assessment of the new curriculum’s impact on the distribution of faculty effort and other resources in the WWS. It will also include an evaluation of whether we have the right level and kind of staff and IT support for our faculty and classrooms. Finally, as we consider the future of WWS, we are cognizant of our resources and have already taken important steps to strengthen our budget through strategic realignments and reductions; the report will contain an account of these efforts. All of these sections will be written by those faculty and staff most closely associated with each respective area or activity.



  • Cecilia Rouse, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education; Professor of Economics and Public Affairs

Faculty members

  • Brandice Canes-Wrone, Donald E. Stokes Professor in Public and International Affairs; Professor of Politics and Public Affairs
  • Miguel Centeno, Musgrave Professor of Sociology; Professor of Sociology and International Affairs; Chair, Department of Sociology
  • Jan de Loecker, Associate Professor of Economics and International Affairs
  • Susan Fiske, Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology; Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs
  • Gene Grossman, Jacob Viner Professor of International Economics; Professor of Economics and International Affairs; Director, International Economics Section
  • John Ikenberry, Albert G. Milbank Professor of Politics and International Affairs
  • Peter Jaffe, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Associate Director for Research, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
  • Harold Shapiro, President of the University, Emeritus; Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School
  • Keith Wailoo, Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs; Vice Dean, Woodrow Wilson School

Staff members

  • Todd Bristol, Associate Dean for Administration, Finance and Planning, Woodrow Wilson School
  • Christine Gage, Special Assistant to the Dean, Woodrow Wilson School