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Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs has tied for 68th on the U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top public affairs graduate schools for 2020, advancing from 77th in 2019.

Jason Jolley, associate professor and MPA director at the Voinovich School, said the School’s recent improvement demonstrates the public affairs field’s growing recognition of the importance of engagement and as well as scholarly research.

“The Voinovich School’s increased rank is demonstrative of our emergence as one of the nationally recognized schools focused on engaged scholarship,” Jolley said. “Our faculty and professional staff are developing and implementing innovative public and private partnerships to spur entrepreneurship and innovative leadership, diversify rural economies, prevent substance abuse, promote quality of life for children and families, and improve the environment. It is refreshing to see that the Voinovich School, an emerging college with an engagement mission, is competitive with established programs such as Claremont Graduate University and The New School, which also ranked 68th.”

The Voinovich School’s founding dean, Mark Weinberg, attributed the School’s success to its focus on engaged scholarship, involving students in applied, multidisciplinary research to develop real-world solutions.  This is consistent with the purpose of the School, named after Senator George V. Voinovich.

“The Voinovich School’s elevation in rankings is an important recognition by our peer institutions as we continue to gain national prominence for our best practices in engagement, innovation and entrepreneurship. We are addressing important issues for the citizens of our state and region in substance abuse prevention, children and family wellbeing, water quality, and job and business opportunities,”  Weinberg said. “Our advancement is also a great acknowledgement of the hard work and dedication of our faculty and professionals, who join together with our students to make a real difference in the region, state and nation.” 

The Voinovich School has a strong reputation as a catalyst for economic growth and opportunity, social impact and sustainability, and leadership and community building. Partnerships with nonprofit organizations, government and the private sector create public value by leveraging the expertise of engaged faculty members and professional staff working to provide applied researched-based solutions to challenges facing communities, the economy and the environment. 

“The Voinovich School’s smart, practical approach to problem solving results in actionable answers to complex public policy questions.  It all happens with students learning at the side of top-notch professionals and sophisticated, highly skilled faculty members.  All in all, this student and community centered philosophy represents a new, more vibrant and innovative future for higher education,” Greg Browning, Voinovich School executive-in-residence and president of Capital Partners, said.

Graduate programs include the Master of Science in Environmental Studies and the Master of Public Administration, provided in three formats including an Executive MPA designed for working professionals offered at OHIO’s Dublin Center, an exclusively online MPA, and a traditional campus-based MPA.

Undergraduates also benefit from the Voinovich School through participation in the Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars program, which provides high-performing students the opportunity to participate in applied research and work directly with the Voinovich School’s faculty and professionals.

The Voinovich School was not the only OHIO program featured in the U.S. News and World Reports Best Graduate School rankings this year; several other OHIO programs in a wide variety of fields were also recognized. According to Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, this reflects the University’s reputation for success.

“It’s an honor to have so many of Ohio University’s colleges and programs included in the U.S. News rankings once again,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “Our efforts to educate students whether on our campuses or online continue to evolve and enhance our ability to teach students to grow and succeed in an ever-changing world, and the latest rankings only serve to enhance that reputation for success.”