Georgetown announces the McCourt School for Public Policy as the University’s newest school
In an email to the Georgetown University community, President Jack DeGioia announced the creation of the McCourt School for Public Policy as the University’s ninth school. Named after Frank H. McCourt (COL ’75), the new school is made possible by McCourt’s $100 million donation, the largest gift in the school’s history. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s $31 million less than his wife received after his divorce.
“With this new school, Georgetown will shape public policy in a new way by taking a dynamic, data-driven, interdisciplinary approach,” DeGioia wrote in an email to the student body. “We seek to respond to the changing landscape of public policy by harnessing and navigating the data that new advances in technology and communications have generated in the past decade.”
DeGioia noted that the new school will add to Georgetown’s legacy of creating policy makers and contributors to civic discourse.
In a media conference call, McCourt explained why he donated such a large amount of money to Georgetown and outlined some of his hopes for the public policy school. “This isn’t just a dream to invent something where no work has been done or no thought has been given to the details and to the possibilities here,” McCourt said. “Georgetown has had the Public Policy Institute for a couple of decades and has done great work in that area. This will enable the university to take that work to a whole other level, and I think by so doing, it takes the university to another level as well.”
Georgetown University Provost Robert Groves went into detail about the school’s academic aspects. Groves identified “interdisciplinary” and “data-driven” as the two big buzzwords for the academic aspects of the McCourt School. “Cura personalis” was already taken by everything else at Georgetown.
“It is clear that the problems facing this country and many other countries in the world don’t come packaged in little boxes that can be solved only by economists and only by political scientists with their knowledge, with their disciplines,” Groves said. “So what we need really are interdisciplinary needs, mixes of economists and political economists and sociologists.”
The data-driven aspects of the School for Public Policy will come from the Massive Data Institute. “The Massive Data Institute will supply these scholars with data resources to motivate and guide their analyses and discovering in regards to what policies are effective and how policies become effective in ways that are really unprecedented,” Groves said.
McCourt is a former member of Georgetown’s Board of Directors, and also owned the Dodgers until late 2011. Under McCourt’s ownership, the Dodgers went into bankruptcy and were eventually sold by McCourt for $2 billion. McCourt was extremely unpopular among Dodgers fans, some of whom even wanted to drive him out of L.A. Let’s hope that the McCourt School doesn’t suffer similar troubles.
Photo: courtesy Georgetown Media Relations