Letter from the dean

You are here

I am writing to share an update on the progress of our efforts to redesign the Fels program that have been underway since December.

The School of Arts and Sciences is committed to strengthening the role of Fels in educating and inspiring future public servants. One vital way to do that is to broaden the involvement of the School’s standing faculty more extensively in Fels teaching, in combination with the accomplished practitioners who bring real-world experience and insights to Fels classrooms.

Under the leadership of Professor of Criminology and Fox Faculty Director of Fels John MacDonald, we have had unprecedented success in engaging a vibrant group of faculty from political science, economics, and schools across Penn to teach in the MPA program. These faculty are also bringing in fresh energy and impressive ideas to shape the program’s future, while continuing to take advantage of Fels’ distinctive strengths.

It’s a pleasure to convey my sincere appreciation for Professor MacDonald’s contributions as he completes his three-year term as Fels’ director, and to announce that Professor of Political Science Matthew Levendusky, who has taught in the Fels program for several years, will become the new Penny and Robert A. Fox Director of the Fels Institute of Government. I am also pleased to announce that John Lapinski, Professor of Political Science and Director of Penn’s Program in Opinion Research and Election Studies, will serve as faculty director of the part-time Executive MPA.

Along with changes in the program’s focus and leadership, we have evaluated how our administrative structures may best support the future success of the Fels program. To deepen and diversify its recruitment, registration, and related administrative capacities, Fels will return to its former administrative home within the College of Liberal and Professional Studies, which is the locus of graduate professional education in the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as home to undergraduate and graduate curricular initiatives that will expand the School’s access and outreach mission. Members of the Fels alumni community are also among the LPS senior staff who will be working with Professors Levendusky and Lapinski.

With leadership from Professors Levendusky and Lapinski, and the engagement of distinguished members of the Penn standing faculty, we are excited to see the Fels program thrive and to provide the best possible education and support to current and future Fels students.

Steven J. Fluharty
Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience
School of Arts and Sciences

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube