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Baker Center Task Force Shares Recommendations

In Spring 2022, Chancellor Donde Plowman and Provost John Zomchick commissioned a university-wide task force regarding the conversion of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy into a School of Public Policy and Public Affairs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Based on benchmarking analyses, asset mapping, organizational case studies, financial modeling, as well as extensive discussions, the task force has put forth the following recommendations:

  1. Establish the Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs as a new academic unit at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  2. Leverage existing research assets and opportunities by establishing a school with an interdisciplinary, research-forward mission, and an academic curriculum that is well-integrated with existing expertise and responsive to workforce needs.
  3. Build new academic programs while also considering the opportunities to update the University’s existing degree programs that currently have limited enrollment to be more reflective of trends in other top-ranked, accredited programs, as well as the needs and interests of current and future students.
  4. Convene an Implementation Team to learn from existing peer and aspirational institutions and provide further thought-leadership in the academic, organizational, and administrative design of the school.

The remainder of the white paper provides additional details and analyses regarding each of these recommendations, a timeline for next steps, and an expansive appendix of information that was used to inform the decision making of the Task Force and its advisors.

View the full report.