Dean Nye Says KSG Must Cut Costs

HARD TIMES
David R. Fields

Kennedy School Dean Joseph S. Nye announces that the School of Government has a budget deficit.

Dean of the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) Joseph S. Nye told a crowd of Kennedy School faculty and students that the school faces a $3 million deficit in its operating budget and must take steps to cut costs.

The deficit accounts for 3 percent of the KSG’s operating costs, Nye revealed in a “State of the School” address at the ARCO Forum last night, and Nye warned that a tuition hike and cost-cutting measures will be instituted in order to balance the budget.

Although specific cuts will be carefully considered, some programs will suffer due to the lack of funding, and Nye acknowledged that the deficit might prevent initiating new courses at KSG.

Despite the necessity of cost-saving measures, Nye emphasized that the Kennedy School’s core missions would not be affected, and that the school would continue “to train public leaders,” and, more broadly, “to make the world a better place.”

In addition to discussing the financial situation facing KSG, Nye focused on the need for student input regarding the school’s many degree programs and the general policy and atmosphere of the institution. Nye specifically mentioned student input on class and curriculum requirements, drawing laughs from the audience with his request to “keep the gripes coming, it actually helps.”

The beginning of Nye’s address focused on the positive developments that have occurred at KSG over the last five years.

“The Kennedy School is better positioned now than at any time in its history to accomplish its mission,” Nye said.

Nye cited the fact that the size of the faculty of the Kennedy School has increased by 40 percent over the last half-decade, and the number of academic citations awarded to faculty members has ballooned by more than 200 percent in the same time period.

Nye also applauded the hiring of more politically conservative faculty members, which he said contributes to his goal of creating an institution that is hospitable to a diverse set of viewpoints and ideologies.

Nye emphasized the KSG’s expansion in academic breadth, through the addition of several new specialized centers, including the Carr Center for Human Rights, the Center of International Development and the Program on Women and Public Policy.

Nye devoted some attention to the fates of Kennedy School graduates, and emphasized the importance of public service to the institution.

Although the percentage of graduates entering the public sector since the 1980s has steadily declined, Nye expressed optimism that the trend was reversing in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, citing a four-fold increase in applications to the Kennedy School relative to last year at this time and a surging national patriotism and interest in public service.