Dear Students, Parents, Alumni, Friends, and Visitors,

By 2028, Millennials and Generation Z will compose the majority of the U.S. electorate. Now is a good time to prepare for that moment, including by educating young voters about the fragility of democracy, the rule of law, and the role of government. It is difficult to name a more essential set of duties for our own School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA). We are the University of Georgia’s principal training ground for good citizenship. That work is so important that SPIA offers a course completed by the great majority of UGA undergraduates, regardless of their major course of study: Introduction to American Government. What a weighty obligation to get this work right. And what an exciting time to be a student of public and international affairs.

Science and reasoning are starting points for our School. Even more fundamentally, we’re concerned about democracy, a thriving republic, and how to prevent both from unraveling. This brings me back to the first point: Millennials and Generation Z are inheriting the world. We’re training two generations of leaders who, if we get it right, will preserve and strengthen our democracy. They will be guided by many of the best scholars and instructors in the nation and the world.

I am honored, and delighted, to lead a school with such important aims to fulfill.


Matthew R. Auer
Dean and Arch Professor of Public and International Affairs