Director's Message

Director's Message

Michael Ettlinger


WE CARE because public policy is what weaves our society into a whole. It is the means by which we collectively address problems that we can’t address alone. It is how we take action together when we have ambitions that are only realized through our combined efforts.

Even when the best means for advancing the public good, or addressing a problem, isn’t passing a law, public policy provides the framework within which problems are solved and change occurs. It creates the environment where individuals, businesses, churches, community groups, and movements, large and small, thrive or fail.

Public policy can be good, bad, or indifferent. It can benefit or hurt great numbers. It can charitably help a neglected few or be hijacked by the dominant to serve themselves. Public policy is powerful, attracting both those who would use it for enlightened goals and those who have darker agendas.

At the Carsey School, we care a great deal about public policy as a force for positive change. We believe that, while there is sometimes strong disagreement on the means, there is much agreement about the ends—making society strong and resilient and making people’s lives better. We know, and see, the value of our research in making progress. We are gratified as we bring people together to develop and implement solutions for pressing public issues. We are proud that the students who enroll in our programs emerge well prepared to make change happen in our complicated, confused, and challenging country and world.

- Michael Ettlinger