Carl Stenberg has done a terrific job as MPA Director, and he will continue advancing the Program through the end of his term—August 31, 2011. I am pleased to announce that I have asked Bill Rivenbark to succeed Carl as the next Director of our MPA Program. He has agreed to serve and he will take over beginning in September 2011.
This is an important position for the School. I received many thoughtful ideas from faculty, staff, students, and alumni about the leadership qualities needed to continue moving our program forward. Many identified Bill as the best qualified person to continue the upward trajectory of the MPA Program. I completely agree and I am thrilled that he is willing and able to accept this new leadership responsibility.
Leadership always is important, but it may be more important now than at any time in recent memory. We will see more cuts to our state budget next fiscal year—and inevitably some of them will trickle down to the MPA Program. Private fundraising will be the margin of excellence in maintaining and improving the Program. Bill’s energy, creativity, and commitment to the Program—and its continuous improvement—will make him effective in fundraising and in the other critical dimensions of leadership. He is incredibly focused and well-organized.
The MPA Program is strong and that is no accident. We have had a tradition of excellent leadership—David Ammons, Steve Allred, and Gordon Whitaker. More recently Carl Stenberg has continued that tradition by providing stability during tough economic times and by finding ways to serve more students. He also has connected us in important ways to the national public administration community—academics and practitioners. His commitment to the current students and our alumni is impressive.
Bill does not take over until next September, and in the meantime he will be working with Carl to insure a smooth transition. I encourage you to congratulate Carl for his good work and Bill for his willingness to serve. The MPA Program is strong because so many people at the School are committed to its success. Thanks to all of you.