08:08 AM

University trustees establish the John Glenn College of Public Affairs

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees today approved establishment of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs. The change, which will take effect in April, amplifies the former school’s mission to inspire citizenship and develop leadership in the public, nonprofit and private sectors. 

The Glenn College will solidify a hub on campus for integrating education, research and outreach about public sector issues. Going forward, the college will play an important role in the university’s Discovery Theme initiative. Each area of focus – energy and environment, food production and security, and health and wellness – contains important public policy components.

“The establishment of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs underscores Ohio State’s land-grant commitment to public service and its significance to society,” said Ohio State President Michael V. Drake. “This well-deserved achievement recognizes the outstanding scholarship, commitment and leadership demonstrated by the Glenn School and more fully enables the university to live up to its motto of ‘Education for Citizenship.’”

Last year, the Glenn School was ranked 29thamong schools of public affairs in the U.S. News and World Report rankings. Academic Analytics rates the Glenn School 16th in total publications, 14th in citations and 10th in faculty with citations relative to other public affairs programs.

“Status as a college embeds and solidifies the school and its curriculum into the fabric of Ohio State,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Joseph Steinmetz. “It will signal to employers that graduates have the public service professional skills needed to succeed at the local, state, national or international levels. It enhances potential for recruiting preeminent faculty and students, and creates opportunities to connect its programs and activities to public policymakers.”

The college’s namesake, former Sen. John Glenn, told trustees that he and his wife, Annie, heartily endorse the transformation.

“We’re supportive, not just because it’s got our name on it, but because it gives us more opportunity to do an even better job with some of our young people,” Glenn said. “It’s a good step that should help attract the highest level of faculty and students.”

The college began as the John Glenn School of Public Policy in 2006 when the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy merged with the School of Public Policy and Management. Since then, its faculty and student body have grown substantially, with more than 550 students and 21 faculty. It offers undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees as well as an internship program in Washington, D.C., for students from any of Ohio State’s colleges, schools or departments.

The most recent five-year strategic plan aimed for the school to become a college by 2016.

School Director and Professor Trevor Brown says college status raises the visibility of Ohio State as a leader in public affairs education, research and outreach. “The university has decided there is special recognition for this field of study,” Brown said. “This creates a solid platform and a launching pad to move into the next phase of the school’s growth and impact.”