Emanating from the college’s land-grant mission, PAM’s overarching focus is to connect research to topics of significant public concern and to prepare students to make a difference in both public and private policymaking.

by Rosemary Avery

In my teaching and advising roles, I often challenge students to ponder the ubiquitous reach of public policy in their lives. Regulation influences every minute of their day: the enjoyment of a morning cup of coffee, their commute to campus, the safety of the food and products they consume, their built environments, and of course their bank accounts.  

The fact that public policy touches almost every aspect of our lives highlights the importance of understanding its impact on society through empirical investigation. In the Department of Policy Analysis and Management (PAM), our social scientists tackle innumerable problems rooted in complex social, economic, and environmental systems. Their rigorous analysis of the impacts of health, social, and regulatory policy on individuals and families translates into recommendations to guide not only federal and state policies but also industry solutions. 

Emanating from the college’s land-grant mission, PAM’s overarching focus is to connect research to topics of significant public concern and to prepare students to make a difference in both public and private policymaking. To better inform the public about policy ramifications, PAM faculty members are widely sought after as experts by the U.S. Congress, national think tanks, and the news media to share their expertise on health, social, and regulatory policy. In the past year alone, they’ve been featured in the news media discussing Social Security and federal disability insurance reform, demographic changes behind income and health disparities, education policy, U.S. Postal Service budget woes, and other pertinent issues.  

At the same time, they are engaging students in every aspect of their research. We see the rewards pay off in our strong alumni network made up of former students who are now leaders in health care, law, policy, government, and higher education.  

Adding to PAM faculty strengths are two highly regarded professional master’s programs: the Sloan Program in Health Administration within PAM and the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) under college leadership. The combined strengths of these programs make the college a natural hub for Cornell’s expanding public policy focus. In order to support deeper connections between public policy research and practice at the university, faculty members in PAM are working with the CIPA program to explore the possible development of new master’s-level teaching programs. This exciting new direction has great potential to bring together experts across Cornell to collaborate in expanding our role in training future leaders in the public realm.  

Rosemary Avery is a Weiss Presidential Fellow and Professor of the Department of Policy Analysis and Management.

My time as an Undergraduate Researcher has provided me the capability to advance myself academically, technically and professionally. Thanks to Professor Rosemary Avery and the rest of the PhADS research team, I greatly look forward to continuing my research into my senior year.

Brendan Welch
Policy Analysis and Management
student doing research at desk