Deans Summit

The Deans Summit propels innovation among schools of public service and the field of public service education writ large.

Deans Summit
Deans Summit meeting 2021


The Deans Summit was founded out of a belief that broadening the reach and impact of public service education requires ingenuity and collaboration. The Deans Summit provides a space for deans and directors of the nation’s schools of public service to shed competitive posture in favor of collective action, and is a powerful vehicle to propel innovation among schools and the field of public service education writ large. 

As a collaborative network, schools of public service have the responsibility and wherewithal to influence the future of public service education. Deans Summit members worked together to identify collective principles that represent our shared values and guide future collaborative endeavors. Read the Statement of Values in full here.

2023 Priorities

The Deans Summit convenes annually to establish a set of collective priorities for the coming year. The following priorities are underway or under consideration for 2022-2023.

Susan Gooden at NASPAA

Addressing Structural Racism

Deans Summit members are exploring specific actions deans and directors can take to address structural racism on campus. This past year, the working group focused largely on understanding the racial makeup of faculty of schools of public service, specifically within leadership positions. Beyond assessing racial disparities within the field’s leadership, the group has sought to implement strategies to diversify the leadership pipeline into schools of public service. Subsequent areas of focus may include creating new networking opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds or establishing innovative antiracist programming. 

Co-chairs: Susan Gooden and David Van Slyke

Dean Defrancesco Soto speaking at podium

Leading Across Difference

At a time of hyper-polarization, political protest, and prevalent online debate, schools of public service are uniquely positioned to respond. This working group is exploring innovative, collaborative ways to leverage courses and programs at schools of public service that teach students to lead across personal and political divides.

Co-chairs: Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and Ramayya Krishnan

Dean Trevor Brown speaks to group of deans at NASPAA

Military Service to Public Service

Military service is a natural pathway into civilian public service and schools of public service stand ready to facilitate the transition. In constructing a military to civilian service pipeline, the field stands to gain a politically, socio-economically, and racially diverse group of students that embody public service values. In this working group, Deans Summit members are considering ways schools of public service can more effectively engage military and military-connected students in graduate and professional degree programs. 

Chair: Trevor Brown

Steering Committee Deans

Meet the Steering Committee

Carissa Slotterback, University of Pittsburgh, Chair

Matthew Auer, University of Georgia

Trevor Brown, The Ohio State University

Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, University of Arkansas

Susan Gooden, Virginia Commonwealth University

Ramayya Krishnan, Carnegie Mellon University

Ian Solomon, University of Virginia

David Van Slyke, Syracuse University

David Wilson, University of California, Berkeley

Deans Summit Active Members

American University

Old Dominion University

University of Central Florida

Arizona State University

Oregon State University 

University of Chicago

Baruch College

Pepperdine University

University of Connecticut

Binghamton University

Rutgers University- Newark

University of Delaware

Boise State University

Syracuse University

University of Houston

Boston University

Texas A&M University System

University of Illinois Chicago

Brandeis University

The Ohio State University

University of Kentucky

Carnegie Mellon University 

The Pennsylvania State University

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Cleveland State University

The University of Arizona

University of Michigan 

Columbia University 

The University of Georgia

University of Minnesota

Cornell University

The University of Kansas

University of Missouri

Duke University 

The University of New Mexico

University of Nebraska Omaha

Florida International University 

The University of Texas at Austin

University of Pittsburgh

George Mason University

The University of Texas at Dallas

University of Southern California

George Washington University

Thomas Edison State University

University of Virginia

Georgetown University

Tulane University

University of Washington

Georgia Institute of Technology 

University of Arkansas

University of Wisconsin- Madison

Indiana University Bloomington

University of Baltimore

Virginia Commonwealth University 

New York University

University of California, Berkley

William & Mary


University of California, Riverside



Deans Summit Initiatives

Through Deans Summit working groups, collaborative efforts and pilots evolve into freestanding spin-off programs. Three such initiatives have already taken shape.