UK to offer new undergraduate degree in public policy


LEXINGTON, Ky. (September 5, 2019) – Beginning in fall 2020, the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky will position students for useful leadership roles with a new undergraduate degree in public policy.

“This comes at an important time, as the need for public servants with critical thinking and leadership skills has grown increasingly important,” said Ron Zimmer, Principal of the Martin School. “The degree responds to critical societal concerns and examines solutions to public policy problems across the country.”

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy will be part of a long tradition, as the Martin School has been providing high quality education to graduate students since 1976. The Master of Public Administration was the first degree program offered by the Martin School. In 1988, the doctorate in public administration was introduced. Today, graduate students can also earn a master’s degree in public policy and public finance management.

Martin School is consistently ranked among the top 25 public policy and administration programs in the country. “However, we also realize that the skill set required to be a public servant is constantly evolving, as we have to adapt to those needs, which we will be doing in this undergraduate program,” Zimmer explained.

Additionally, the Martin School will be awarding scholarships to eligible undergraduates, which is made possible through a $ 50,000 donation from Michael and Margaret Ruehling.

Ruehling is a longtime supporter of the Martin School. After a successful career as a speechwriter for the late US Senator Wendell Ford and later as head of government relations at CSX Corp, Ruehling became a member of the Martin School Visitors Council. He has also actively recruited renowned speakers for the Wendell Ford Lecture Series. The annual event, organized by the Martin School, brought together the alumni of the Senses. Tom Daschle and Bill Bradley, and writer and biographer Jon Meacham.

“Mike is a very dear friend of the Martin School. He cares deeply about the next generation of public servants, ”Zimmer said. “We are honored that he has entrusted us with this generous gift.

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy program began accepting applications this fall to build the first cohort by fall 2020.

For more information, you can contact Brooke Kuerzi.


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