In Memoriam: Professor Dennis C. Smith
It is with the greatest sadness and regret that we note the passing of Dennis Smith, longtime NYU Wagner faculty member, colleague, and friend.
Dennis, who died July 27 after a lengthy bout with cancer, was a leading, beloved citizen of the Wagner community for more than four decades, devoting himself tirelessly to students, fellow scholars, alumni, and school staff. He was a ready and effective collaborator, and maintained extremely strong ties to his students, long after they had left his classroom and gone on to important roles in public agencies and nonprofit organizations around the world. He offered valued feedback, connections, and encouragement to many.
He himself was influential as a noted criminal justice scholar, and worked alongside the NYPD and its commissioners. In both his own scholarship and in research undertaken for the City and the Police Department, he became a herald for the rigorous use of an agency’s data to shape decisions on how it uses its resources, and showed that performance-based management could be transplanted to other government agencies and nonprofits to improve outcomes in education, public health, and poverty alleviation.
Dennis earned his Ph.D. in political science from Indiana University and began teaching shortly afterward at NYU Wagner. He received tenure in 1980. He taught classes in public policy and management of government and nonprofit agencies to generations of students.
He directed NYU Wagner’s Public Administration program for nine years and served two years as associate dean. He also served as Chair of the NYU Faculty Senators Council during the 1983-’83 academic year.
Through a flourishing partnership with Accenture, he oversaw a well-attended series of management meetings with leading City officials. This “Leading Large-Scale Change” program began during the Bloomberg administration and continues strongly under Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Our mission at NYU Wagner is to give students the skills they need to make a difference and bring about enduring change on issues that matter. Dennis most certainly did meet and exceed that standard for the issues, and people, he so deeply cared about.
NYU Wagner is planning a memorial event later this summer; details will be announced shortly. For now, we extend our heartfelt condolences to Dennis’s wife, his two daughters, and the other members of his family.
In Review: 'Jonas & Kovner's Health Delivery in the United States'
" 'Jonas & Kovner's Health Care Delivery in the United States' is one of the best-known and longest-standing (first edition, 1977) compendiums on the unique problems of US health care policy. And with good reason -- like other grand textbooks such as Harrison's for internal medicine, Guyton's for psychology, or Robbins' for pathology, this text authoritatively demonstrates the breadth and depth of current foundational knowledge of its field."
So begins a complimentary Journal of the American Medical Association online review of the now classic textbook (New York: Springer, 2008, 9th ed.) edited by NYU Wagner Professor Anthony Kovner and Wagner alumnus James R. Knickman. The book has sold has sold more than 300,000 copies since its publication in 1977.
"[D]espite the considerable expertise presented," according to the review written by S. Ryan Greysen, MD, Department of Health Policy, George Washington University, "the text remains approachable for professionals in health care delivery or policy, whether novices or masters in the field."
To read the review, click below.
Inauguration Watch Draws 200 at NYU Wagner
More than 200 NYU Wagner students, faculty, alumni and staff shared in the groundbreaking inauguration of President Barack Obama, collectively taking it in gathered in the school's Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue. Participants enjoyed brunch while sharing their hopes in a "History of the Future" activity. Many offered ideas on what they would like to see accompllished in the President's first 100 days in office.
Influential Chinese Delegation Visits NYU Wagner on U.S. Study Tour
An influential Chinese delegation made NYU Wagner an extended stop on its U.S. study tour on Sept. 25, spending more than two hours at the school and hearing faculty discuss their research world cities, aging populations, and healthcare.
The 20 delegates of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) listened as Professor Victor Rodwin explained his comparative studies focused on the health of older adults in some of the world’s biggest cities. Professor Zhan Guo described his research on the built landscape and walkability in fast-growing Chinese urban areas.
Both research presentations drew a lively question-and-answer period, with some delegates asking about the role of the family in taking care of aging relatives, and taking part in a discussion of cultural differences between cities such as Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York.
The CPPCC delegates left with a host of printed materials about NYU Wagner, and some promised to spread the word about the school’s vital role in educating the next generation of global public service leaders in the nonprofit, governmental, and private sectors.