Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

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Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (University of Michigan) Records and Publications

The materials in this Deep Blue collection form part of a larger record group held at the Bentley Historical Library. For a more complete index of content related to the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, please consult the following online finding aids:

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The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (formerly the School of Public Policy) developed out of various institutes at the University of Michigan including the Institute of Social and Public Administration the Institute of Public Administration, and the Institute of Public Policy Studies. The School provides courses and conducts research in areas of public administration and public policy issues. Materials in this online repository include archived versions of the School's Website from 2002-2008.

In 1914, the Department of Political Science established a graduate program which led to a master's degree in municipal administration. Courses were taken from the curricula of various departments, schools and colleges including Economics, Landscape Design, the Law School, and the College of Engineering. By the mid 1930s, a demand had developed for individuals trained to perform various administrative functions in Michigan. In 1936, the Institute of Social and Public Administration was established as part of the graduate school at the university to address this need. A program was developed to satisfy demands for trained administrators who could work in the fields of public administration, land utilization, and social work. In 1938, the Bureau of Government, a center for research on municipal administration, became part of the University Institute of Public and Social Administration.

The Regents of the University of Michigan approved a plan for the establishment of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) on September 28, 1945. A formal announcement of the formation of the new institute was issued in March 1946. The new program had several goals. They included training students in the field of public administration as well as conducting research on matters of public interest such as taxes, employment, etc. Offering services to public officials and legislative bodies was also identified as one of the goals of the program. Finally, the program would cooperate with government offices to offer "in-service training" to advanced students, as well as to offer short courses to public employees. Instruction and research in the fields of law, engineering, public health, and economics, among others, were integrated into the program.

In 1949, the IPA participated in the first of a series of international programs about public policy and administration issues. The IPA was one of six American universities to host Germans who were instructed in American social/political institutions and democratic skills, as well as other subjects. The second international project in which the Institute of Public Administration was involved in the1950s was the establishment of the Institute of Public Administration at the University of the Philippines in 1952. The goal of this project was to train Filipinos for work in public administration and help Philippine government employees improve their effectiveness. The Institute was staffed by professors from the University of Michigan, although over time they were replaced by instructors from the Philippine University. During the 1960s, the Institute worked on another international project entitled the Taiwan Center for Public and Business Administration. The Taiwan Center was a joint effort by the government of the Republic of China, the University of Michigan, and the Agency for International Aid. The Center offered an undergraduate degree in public and business administration, as well as an in-service training program. In addition to the in-service and undergraduate degree programs, the Taiwan Center also developed theChinese Journal of Administration , held seminars for Taiwan's government officials, and sent faculty from Taiwan to the United States for advanced training.

In 1968, the Institute of Public Policy Studies (IPPS) was formed. The new program synthesized the offerings of the Institute of Public Administration with courses in economic analysis, quantitative methods, and other subjects. It was one of the first graduate programs in public policy in the United States. The program at the University of Michigan was modeled on an interdisciplinary approach to public policy issues that used the techniques and tools of the social sciences to address social problems. Links with the schools of Law, Business, Natural Resources, and Public Health allowed the program to expand the areas of expertise that were offered. The mission of IPPS was to research public policy issues and train students for careers in public services. It also recognized the absence of a program in which public officials could enhance and renew their skills. A series of policy seminars for public officials was established to address this need. Over the time of its existence, IPPS also played a leading role in the development of an international curriculum in public policy studies. In 1995, IPPS was established as an independent school within the University of Michigan and was subsequently designated as the School of Public Policy.

In 1999, the School of Public Policy was re-named the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in honor of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1935. Since 2001, the school has offered joint doctoral programs with the departments of economics, political science, and sociology. The school began construction of a new home, Joan and Sanford Weil Hall, in the fall of 2004 and dedicated the building in the fall of 2006.

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Copyright held by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

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