LAWRENCE – The University of Kansas has named an alumnus who is a nationally recognized public administrator as the new director of its School of Public Affairs and Administration.
Reggie Robinson, who has held numerous leadership and advisory posts at the state and federal level, was selected to lead the top-ranked school after a nationwide search. As director, Robinson will return to the institution where he earned his law degree in 1987.
“I’m pleased to appoint an experienced administrator and dedicated public servant,” said Danny Anderson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Reggie captivated those he met with his strategic view and knowledge of the public sector. KU is fortunate to attract a person with administrative talent and distinction in the field as a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.”
Most recently, Robinson has been professor of law and director for the Center of Law and Government at Washburn University. He has also served as the president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents and chief of staff to the KU chancellor. He has served the federal government beginning as a White House fellow in 1993 and in a number of senior positions with the Department of Justice, including service as deputy associate attorney general of the United States. Robinson also served active duty in the Army.
“I am thoroughly pleased about this exciting opportunity to lead one of my alma mater's truly outstanding academic units,” Robinson said. “I am deeply grateful to the leadership of the university and the College for this opportunity. I can't wait to work with the distinguished set of colleagues – both faculty and staff – that await in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.”
Robinson has a strong record of public service focused on civil rights, juvenile justice and higher education policy. Throughout his career and volunteer experiences he has encouraged people with leadership capacity to step outside their own assumptions and perspectives, bridge different points of view, see common ground and help others see it as well.
“Reggie understands government and public service from the inside out. He knows how to move policy and institutions forward, often turning obstacles into opportunities. The school welcomes this experienced, perceptive and caring leader as our new director, and together we look forward to advancing teaching and research in the public service,” said Steven Maynard-Moody, professor in the school and chair of the search committee.
Robinson replaces Marilu Goodyear, who will step down after nine years as director. Goodyear has been appointed as the assistant vice chancellor for academic program development for the Edwards Campus and will continue to teach in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.
The School of Public Affairs and Administration is consistently ranked as the best graduate school in the nation in city management and urban policy, and it is among the top five graduate schools in the nation in public management administration (2013 U.S. News & World Report Best Graduate Schools).
The distinction reflects the school’s commitment to providing a top-notch master’s degree in public administration education to those who seek to manage at the local, city, county, state, national or international levels, or in the nonprofit sector. The MPA degree is offered at the Edwards and Lawrence campuses and in Topeka. The school is also currently celebrating the 10th anniversary of its undergraduate degree, which is available through the Edwards Campus. In addition, many of the school’s doctoral graduates are now professors at universities with renowned public administration departments.
Through its Public Management Center, the school provides award-winning professional development programs to the state and regional workforce: Kansas Certified Public Manager Program, Emerging Leaders Academy, Law Enforcement Leadership Academy, Supervisory Leadership Training, along with custom courses and annual training events, including the Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference, National Forum for Black Public Administrators Executive Leadership Institute and the Kansas City / County Management Conference.