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Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration

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This post was written by Hatchet reporter Zunara Naeem

Americans’ trust in federal employees is the lowest it has ever been, according to a nationwide poll released by GW this week.

The poll found more than a third of the voters expressed little to no confidence in federal workers – a sharp increase from 23 percent in 2011. Tarrance Group, a Republican strategic firm and polling group, surveyed 800 randomly selected voters this month in a poll backed by the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.

The largest slice of voters, 41 percent, said they had some confidence in federal workers, while a fifth said they had a lot of confidence in them.

The Trachtenberg School has conducted the poll annually since 2009.

William Adams and Donna Lind Infeld, professors of public policy and administration, examined the data and said in a release that National Security Agency and Internal Revenue Service scandals and controversies that have plagued federal workers this year have “damaged their reputation.”

“Workers who do their jobs effectively and equitably do not make headlines. But embarrassing, alarming and proscribed behavior does,” they wrote in an online analysis.

More than 2.7 million people work for the federal government, according to U.S. Office of Personnel Management data from last September. About 18 percent of GW’s Class of 2012 graduates went on to work in the public sector.

Adams and Infel said the declining confidence in federal employees erodes the trust necessary for citizens to follow laws.

“Essential compliance with laws and regulations is built on trust in the fair, responsible implementation of those laws and regulations,” they said in the report.

This post was updated Sept. 26 at 12:31 p.m. to reflect the following corrections:

The Hatchet incorrectly spelled the name of Donna Lind Infeld and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration. We regret these errors.

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The GW Law School held its No. 20 spot in the U.S. News & World Report rankings in the first year of Paul Schiff Berman's deanship. | Hatchet File Photo

The GW Law School held its No. 20 position while business and education graduate programs fell in the U.S. News & World Report’s coveted rankings released Tuesday.

The law school secured the No. 20 spot for the third year in a row, a sign of steadiness after it dropped to No. 28 in 2009.

The law school edged just behind Georgetown University as second-best for part-time students, a one-spot improvement from a year ago. Its specialty programs in international law and intellectual property law were among the nation’s top six for the third and seventh consecutive year, respectively.

New rules for law schools reporting graduates’ employment data, which were finalized in December by the American Bar Association, were not collected in time for this year’s ranking, according to U.S. News’s website.

After assuming the law school deanship, Paul Schiff Berman said last June that aiming for a high ranking became a “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“I, like everyone in academia, think that the rankings do not measure well the relative qualities of law schools,” Berman said. “And yet I know that I need to pay attention to them if only because students pay attention to them.”

The graduate programs in the GW School of Business slipped to No. 57 in Doug Guthrie’s second year as dean. The part-time master of business administration program also fell 11 spots to No. 47 in the past year.

The drop comes in spite of the school reporting slightly better employment numbers for its graduates – one of the most heavily weighted factors in business school rankings – than the year before.

The Graduate School of Education and Human Development also fell seven spots to No. 42, the first time the school has fallen out of the top 35 since 1995. The school climbed to No. 19 in 2003.

The School of Engineering and Applied Science, which has tried to rapidly build its faculty and research credentials in preparation for the 2015 opening of the Science and Engineering Hall, jumped nine spots to No. 93.

The rankings for medical research saw the School of Medicine and Health Sciences move up five spots to No. 55.

The public affairs programs in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration garnered a No. 12 ranking. The School of Public Health and Health Services also earned a No. 16 nod.

This post was updated on March 14, 2012 to reflect the following:
Because of reporting errors, The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration was ranked No. 14 this year. In fact, it was ranked No. 12. The Hatchet also misreported the ranking of the business school as No. 37. The Hatchet also incorrectly reported the name of the The Graduate School of Education and Human Development as the The Graduate School of Human Development. We regret these errors.

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This post was written by Hatchet Staff Writer Justin Kits

GW alumnus and former commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Thad Allen highlighted his experiences as the head of the federal government’s response teams for Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill Friday afternoon at the Jack Morton Auditorium.

GW alumnus Thad Allen, who lead the clean up efforts in the Gulf following the BP oil spill, spoke about his experience Friday afternoon at the Jack Morton Auditorium. Anne Wernikoff | Photo Editor

Allen – who led the Gulf cleanup efforts following the BP oil spill this summer – stressed the need to learn from past crises, and adapt to situations as they unfold.

“We need to understand you need to be adaptable, you need to be flexible, and you need to engage in life long learning and keep yourself as open to new ideas as you can,” Allen said. “And be able to adapt and learn during a situation.”

Allen added that when reacting to an unprecedented event, a leader needs to understand their mission and what they are trying to achieve.

“If there is a way you can do it through cooperation, and create unity of effort in the federal government, you need to do that moving forward,” Allen said.

At the event, University President Steven Knapp presented Allen with the Colin Powell Public Service Award. The award is given to a GW student, alumnus, faculty member or member of the community that has made an “outstanding contribution to public service that honors the University,” according to a University release. The award is named after GW alumnus and retired Gen. Colin Powell.

Knapp honored Allen by saying that he has “distinguished himself as a leader in some of the most challenging crisis our country has faced.”

“It’s been particularly rewarding that I would receive an award in [Colin Powell’s] name from the place that we both graduated from,” Allen said, adding that Powell is a friend and mentor of his.

Allen received his master’s in public administration from GW in 1986. He said his time at GW taught him “how to be bureaucratically multi-lingual.”

Allen will also teach a class in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration in the spring semester, the University announced earlier this month.

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GW alumnus and former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen – the government official who took the lead on the clean up of the BP oil spill this summer – will speak at GW later this month, the University announced Thursday.

Former Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen will speak in the Jack Morton Auditorium Sept. 24 about his experiences leading the BP oil spill cleanup. Official Coast Guard photo

Allen will speak in the Jack Morton Auditorium Sept. 24 about his experiences as the national incident commander for the BP oil spill. According to the University, this will be the first time Allen will speak about the oil spill on a college campus.

The University also announced that Allen will teach a course at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration in the spring semester.

”As a lifelong public servant, I value the importance of giving back to our nation,” Allen said in a news release. “I look forward to participating in a discussion regarding the challenges our nation faces in confronting new and complex events and the many risks and responsibilities involved.”

University President Steven Knapp will also present Allen with the University’s Colin Powell Public Service Award, which “recognizes outstanding contributions by members of the GW community to public service.”

Powell – also a GW alumnus – presented the first annual award last year to GW alumna and Undersecretary for Veterans Affairs Tammy Duckworth.

Allen received his master’s of public administration from GW in 1986.

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The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration received 52 percent more applications this year than last, director Kathryn Newcomer said this week.

According to a Chronicle of Higher Education article, 82 percent of the schools that responded to a National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration poll last month said they received more applications for fall of 2009 and a fourth of the institutions that reported an increase said applications were up by 20 percent or more.

The Hatchet wrote about an increased interest in public service careers in April.

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