Dear SPIA Friends:

On July 31, 2013 I will retire as Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs and Professor of Public Administration and Policy. At the end of this academic year, I will have been Dean for 11 years, a faculty member at the University of Georgia for 32 years and a faculty member in the University System of Georgia for 38 years (including six years at Georgia State University). My heart whispers that I might continue for a few more years, but my head and the calendar tell me that it is time to leave.

The state of the School is strong. I am proud of what my faculty and staff colleagues and I have accomplished. During the past decade the number of tenure-track faculty members has increased by 60 percent; undergraduate International Affairs and Political Science major enrollments are robust, among the largest at the University of Georgia; and graduate enrollments are strong in all areas and doubled in Public Administration and Policy.

Four of our current faculty members are Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professors, the highest award for teaching excellence bestowed by the University of Georgia. Three of our recent graduates have been selected as Rhodes Scholars.

The School of Public and International Affairs, driven by our Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program, is ranked 4th in the nation among public affairs programs by U.S. News & World Report. Our Ph.D. program in Public Administration and Policy is ranked among the top programs in the nation by the most recent National Research Council (NRC) assessment of doctoral programs.

The School’s Center for International Trade and Security (CITS)  is one of the most highly regarded units in the world working to reduce threats of weapons of mass destruction and receives substantial foundation and government funding to support its research and training. The School’s Center for the Study of Global Issues (GLOBIS) two years ago convened on our campus the “Triad Track-II Seminar on Peace-Building and Reintegration of the Korean Peninsula,” with participants from both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea.

The School of Public and International Affairs offers several study abroad opportunities to its students with programs in China, Oxford, UK, Verona, Italy, Stellenbosch, South Africa, Quito, Ecuador and South Korea.

I have had a great career opportunity with strong support from President Michael Adams and three Provosts, including Provost/President-designate Jere Morehead, to build the School of Public and International Affairs. For their support I am most grateful.

On August 1, 2013, Stefanie A. Lindquist returns to the University of Georgia to become the next Dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. I have known her as a colleague and friend for more than 15 years, have high regard for her accomplishments and talents, and have great expectations for her leadership of our School in the years ahead. It is with great confidence that I transmit the School of Public and International Affairs unto her leadership.

Thank you for your friendship and support during my time as the School’s founding Dean.

Thomas P. Lauth