Renaming reflects department’s expansive vision

After a yearlong formal search process, faculty members in the former public administration department unanimously adopted the new name UIC Department of Public Policy, Management and Analytics, effective this fall. As the new name suggests, the department’s vision is far more expansive than its old title could indicate, presenting a more well-rounded image of a department whose identity only continues to grow more complex.

Faculty in the department first began considering changing the name of their department several years ago when it was already experiencing significant changes. Since 2015, the department has added three new degree programs: Master of Science in Civic Analytics, Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Master of Public Policy, as well as three minors in public policy, civic analytics and nonprofit management. These changes, and the added focus areas that they contain, reflect the burgeoning areas of interest for the department’s faculty and students, with a name change catching up to what had already changed.

“We have such a wide range of backgrounds in public policy, and public administration, of course, but also political science, sociology, economics and more,” said Jered Carr, department head. “We’ve always been a broad group, and the name ‘Public Administration’ was too small for us a long time ago, but it became much more pressing in the last few years.”

Professor Michael Siciliano, who chaired the ad-hoc faculty committee tasked with determining a new name, said the name change shows the ways that the department is better equipped today to address the substantive issues of government administration and policymaking. Far more than just a name change, it reflects a deeper-rooted transformation of the department, one that continues to place it at the cutting edge of the many disciplines it represents.

“Modern effective government requires input from many disciplines, and the teaching and research in our department reflects that,” Siciliano said. “Each of our programs is grounded in public sector ethics but moves beyond that and focuses on topics other than government administration to incorporate data science and analytics into how we understand and improve government.”

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