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

What a remarkable time to lead one of the great public affairs institutions in the nation and the world. In the short weeks since arriving in Athens, my excitement about joining SPIA as the school’s new dean has only grown.

It is striking to observe how well-aligned our faculty, centers, and degree programs are with the major public issues of the day. Whether the topic is national security, the rise of extremism and threats to democracy, challenges for non-profit organizations as federal support wavers, obstacles to political office for women, among other burning issues; SPIA has it covered, thanks to the talents of its faculty, the quality of its degree programs, and the valuable outreach it provides to different communities.

In 2017-18, SPIA seeks to recruit new faculty across all three of its departments: Political Science, International Affairs, and Public Administration and Policy. When our new colleagues join us, I can imagine celebrating their arrival in the newly appointed, Baldwin Hall event space, with its unbroken views of historic north campus and beyond.  Please visit this architectural gem! Enjoy the rich, natural light streaming into the atrium and stop by our smart classroom equipped with modular work spaces for teams and multiple projector displays. SPIA’s Survey Research Center, also located in Baldwin, promises to be a significant research hub and a valued resource for public and private organizations and regular citizens. New experimental labs in Baldwin and Candler Hall, designed for sophisticated research in political behavior, political psychology, and other fields, will enhance scholarship for faculty across SPIA’s departments.

I’ve only mentioned a few highlights for what promises to be a busy and impactful year for the school. Please stay tuned for updates by following my Twitter feed, @SPIADean, and make sure to visit our news and events tab at See you at SPIA!


Matthew R. Auer
School of Public and International Affairs