GUEST ROOM | Cornell Needs a Real Public Policy School

Cornell’s lack of a comprehensive public policy school is one of its major Achilles heels. Harvard and Princeton both have world-renowned programs named for influential presidents; Cornell has a messy organization of similar but ununified programs. While this university ranks 17th on US News & World Report’s list of best national universities, it comes in at 35th in respect to public affairs. This puts Cornell behind four Ivies, four schools in the Empire State and 10 land-grant universities. While I have found the MPA program at Cornell to be incredibly rewarding and deserving of a much higher rank, the lack of cohesion amongst its public policy education programs appears to be a detriment to its national stature. In Cornell’s decentralized, fragmented environment, the education of future policy leaders feels to be an afterthought by the University as a whole.