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Welcome Back, and Happy New Year! January 13, 2023

The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to look ahead with excitement and reflect on a year of growth. We welcome back more than 50 students to the new bachelor’s degree programs, 65 students to our graduate degree program, over 50 undergraduate interns in Houston and Austin, and 27 professionals in the Certified Public Manager program.

We continue to increase interdisciplinary research, recruit diverse scholars and invest in student success. During the past year, we welcomed new faculty members, a post-doctoral fellow and an inaugural professor of practice from across various disciplines. This spring, political scientist Sarah Munawar joins us as the visiting professor for the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Center on Ethics and Leadership. With new programs, faculty and staff, the Hobby School reinforces its mission of training a new generation of public policy leaders and analysts.

As a reflection of our namesake Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby’s approach to public policy and his vision of public service, the Hobby School’s 11 Hobby Fellows are living and working in Austin during the 88th Texas Legislature. As state lawmakers gather for the biennial session, capitol interns are immersed in the legislative process while paving the way for future careers in government.

We will be growing exponentially in the coming months and years. Our expansion into energy, education, health and sustainability policy prepares Hobby School students to address critical issues and face unique challenges in public and private sector policy arenas. Momentum for the planning of the new Hobby School building is rising. It will serve as a dynamic hub for public policy education and research in the region. Master of Public Policy candidates have the added value of the program’s recent official approval for accreditation from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration through August 2029. Work toward incorporating the Master of Public Administration program in the fall of 2023 under the Hobby School wing is progressing. The integration will introduce a synergistic set of options for University of Houston students seeking to make a difference in the world.

We are also doubling down on our efforts to generate more student scholarships and funding for our experiential learning opportunities so we can provide exceptional students with a clear path to their goals by alleviating financial challenges. And a new building offers exciting opportunities to honor the Hobby family and longtime champions of the school’s mission. As we grow, our culture of collaboration across the school, campus and community will help us continue to provide excellence in education, research and public service.

Never has there been a more crucial time locally, statewide, nationally and internationally to have compassionate, intelligent and sensible policy experts to guide the decisions, laws and processes that govern our communities.

Thank you for joining us on the journey.

Happy New Year!


Jim Granato, PhD
Hobby School of Public Affairs
University of Houston