Dean Allan Stam's Note to Alumni in the Inaugural BAAB Newsletter

Dear Batten Alumni,

Thank you to the Batten Alumni Board for the opportunity to address you all. I regularly talk about the fact that the Batten community is for life, and your connection to the Batten school is just as important today as it was when you were here on Grounds.

Last Wednesday August, 23 we kicked off the semester with our first “Batten Hour” of the year. I took this opportunity to speak to all of the new and returning students about the current state of the school, and where we are heading. I would like to provide you all with some of the same thoughts and information.

First of all, I would be remiss in not mentioning the horrible events that took place both on Grounds, and in Charlottesville the weekend of August 11-13. I stand firmly behind President Sullivan in her persistent rejection of violence and bigotry. Racism and intolerance have no place here; we in the Batten community stand as one in their rejection.

As I reflect on all that happened that weekend, I think toward the important work being done here at Batten. When our community is under stress, it is incumbent upon all of us to lead, both in action and in our words. In times of crisis, what is in greatest demand and shortest supply is rational deliberative thought. I truly believe that your decision (and the decision of our current students) to have pursued studies in leadership and public policy is remarkably timely. It is hard to imagine more important work than this. Please continue to apply yourself with vigor and make the most of the opportunities to lead that you will continually encounter.

All that being said, the Batten school continues to deliver on our promise of building the best school of leadership and policy analysis in the country. We have added both students, and faculty of tremendous caliber, and have become one of the most competitive schools at the University. We currently offer over 60 courses annually, and are beginning the final stages of a multi-year curriculum review and renovation which will ensure we remain on the cutting edge of scholarship and research.

As we strive for greatness, we must also look to grow. The Batten school is small by design, and will continue to remain so. The growth we need comes in the form of physical space. Garrett Hall has been a wonderful home for our school for a decade now, but we have outgrown its physical constraints. Fortunately we are well underway on our quest to build a brand new building! We have our sights set on some highly desirable real estate, and a vision to take our current 14,000 SQFT and grow to over 60,000 SQFT. The creation of this new building will advance what we can offer to both students and faculty exponentially. The addition of first rate classroom, lab, and office spaces will provide us with what we need to fulfill our promise.

The future of Batten is a bright one. I couldn’t be more proud of how far we’ve come in such a short period of time, meanwhile I can’t wait to get to work on the next chapter. Thank you for all that you continue to do for this great school – I look forward to partnering on the journey forward.

Sincerely,

Dean Allan Stam