Lt. Gov. Ravitch sizes up state deficit at Rudin Center forum
"Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch's appearance at an NYU forum yesterday was overbooked almost as soon as it was announced, and the audience wasn't disappointed as Gov. Paterson's No. 2 let loose on a variety of subjects." So began a Crain's Insider dispatch on Ravitch's bracing, widely reported discussion Oct. 28, 2009, at NYU Wagner on New York State's huge budget challenges and the implications for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which he formerly headed, the $2 transit fare, and the controversial idea of introducing East River bridge tolls.
Ravitch, a major figure in the development of fiscal practices in the city and state since 1970s, offered his assessments with Wagner's Professor Charles Brecher (moderator) as a guest of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, housed at the school, and the Center's director, Anthony Shorris, who previously headed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "The State of New York," Ravitch said, "has in the remainder of this fiscal year a deficit of $4 billion--$3 or $4; people argue about it," he said, speaking to students and transportation professionals at NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy. "Next year it's between $7 and $8 [billion], assuming revenues level off. The year after that, when the stimulus bill no loner provides any one-shots for the State of New York, the deficit will be between $15 and $18 billion. These are numbers that are unprecedented."
Microfinance and social-justice philanthropy
NYU Wagner Alumna Earns Prestigious Teaching Award
Wagner alum, Dylan Congor, received the 2012 Leslie Whittington Award for Excellence in Teaching presented by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). The award honors those who make outstanding contributions to public service education and demonstrate teaching excellence over a sustained period of time.
Congor earned her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from Wagner in 2004, and is currently the Director of the Masters in Public Policy Program and Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Administration at the Trachtenberg School at George Washington University.
She was presented the award on October 18, 2012 at NASPAA’s annual conference in Austin, Texas. David H. Rosenbloom of American University was also a recipient. The Whittington Award is named in honor of the 2000 recipient, Leslie A. Whittington, who perished in Flight 77 at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
Congor joins Wagner Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy Ingrid Gould Ellen in this honor, as Professor Ellen received the prestigious award in 2009.
NYU Wagner congratulates the Class of 2009, and celebrates Convocation at BAM
In a Convocation speech to Wagner's Class of 2009, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan said he attended the 1977 World Series game when sports commentator Howard Cosell, observing a column of rising smoke in the vicinity of Yankee Stadium, told a national television audience, "Ladies and gentleman, the Bronx is burning." The wave of arson, crime, and abandonment afflicting much of New York City less than two years after the city government had narrowly avoided municipal bankruptcy captured Donovan's attention even then, as an 11 year old baseball enthusiast. And it's probably no accident that as someone who came of age in the 1970s and '80s in New York, he went on to devote his education and distinguished public career to understanding and innovating policy steps that helped rescue and transform New York and many other American cities in the wake of that "urban catastrophe."
Donovan quoted former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton in addressing the proud and excited graduates and their families gathered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on May 15: "Public service is not just a way of life, it is a way to live life fully."
According to Donovan, the rise of New York and the restoration of its once-strained civic bonds show that public-sector work - his own path-has enormous potential value, even though the challenges were amply demonstrated by the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. Citing President Obama's call to service, as well as his recently signed national service bill, Donovan said the mission of public employees and others embarked on public service work of all kinds is to give us "a reason to believe in public service again" in our neighborhoods and across the nation and world.
"Wagner Class of 2009," Donovan said, "we need you to make it possible to believe again!...Together, we can put our shoulder up against the wheel and change the course of history."
Dean Ellen Schall enumerated the impressive accomplishments of the graduating students and faculty members, including Professors of the Year Shanna Rose and Anthony Kovner. She contended that the work of public service requires more than technical and analytical capabilities, as critical as those are, but also "artistry," saying, "Public service is as much about art as about science." Artistry is what is required to find bold new answers to problems that resist technical solutions, whether those are ending poverty, overcoming racism, ensuring equal health outcomes for all, creating public school systems that work, or building cities that are sustainable.
The dean told the graduates that she wrote an essay for the Convocation as if she were applying for admission to the school. She based her thoughts on a photograph she selected from a catalogue of visual images, just as many Wagner applicants are asked to do. The image she selected was that of a person bringing a pot to life on a pottery wheel, as it reminded her of an introduction to pottery class she took last fall.
"I showed up every Monday night from 6-9, much the way you showed up for a class," she told the graduates. "And it was very hard. It was the worst in the class, a fact clear to me and to everyone else. Yet I stayed and kept on trying. I knew there was learning in the trying, in sticking with what didn't come easily. I never actually cracked the code or became a potter. Yet at the end, I have these small little pieces of ‘pottery' in my house and the odd thing is, I display them...and they make me smile when I walk in. They remind me to take myself seriously, but not too seriously, to stretch even in the face of initial resistance, mine or others, to find pleasure in small wins."
She referred to the image on a large screen on the BAM stage.
"This captures a simple visual image that I wish for each of you as you go forth. That you embrace the boldness of seeing yourself as artists, as creators and change makers, as people who bring passion and the fullness of yourselves to the critically important challenges of public service. And that you have the discipline and energy and commitment to keep on going, even if you don't get it right the first time around, that you learn from what works as well as what doesn't, and that you find joy in small things as well as big moves."
Michael C. Alfano, executive vice president of New York University, offered spirited welcoming remarks, while class speaker Tracey Gardner, who earned an MPA in Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy, introduced Donovan, noting, "He's not beaten down, not jaded, and ever on the lookout for policy changes to improve how things are done and make our lives better."
NYU Wagner Ranks in Top 10 According to US News & World Report
The U.S. News & World Report rankings of policy schools, which come out only every three or four years, were released March 28, 2008 -- and out of 269 master's programs across the country, NYU Wagner ranks in the top 10 overall this year!
That's a huge leap forward from Wagner's US News ranking of 17 overall in 2004, and 26 overall in 2001. In addition, NYU Wagner is top-ranked in five of nine specialty areas.
The latest rankings are based on a survey of deans, directors and department chairs of master's programs nationally.
The survey was completed during 2008. These new results are thrilling confirmation that Wagner is indeed on the rise.
NYU Wagner Soars in US News & World Report Rankings
The just-released U.S. News & World Report rankings of 266 public affairs master's programs across the country show NYU Wagner tied for 6th overall this year.
The results are thrilling confirmation of Wagner's upward trajectory. In the previous survey four years ago, Wagner finished in the top 10 for the first time, having risen from 26th in 2001. Additionally, Wagner is top-ranked in six of the specialty categories: #2 in City Management and Urban Policy; #8 in Health Policy and Management; #5 in Nonprofit Management; #8 in Public Finance and Budgeting; #9 in Public Management Administration; and #8 in Social Policy.
Wagner is grateful to the deans, directors and department chairs of master's programs around the country whose votes acknowledge our path of distinction and success.