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UW-Madison ranks 4th for public administration research

July 14, 2014 By Karen Faster

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is ranked fourth worldwide for public administration research in a new study published by the Journal of Public Affairs Education.

“We are thrilled to have this recognition of the quality of the public affairs research taking place on campus and here at the La Follette School,” says La Follette School of Public Affairs director Susan Yackee, whose research focuses on the U.S. policymaking process.

Photo: Susan Yacke

Susan Yackee

When the overall index is broken down, UW–Madison ranked third for quality, fourth for impact and sixth for productivity. UW–Madison is ranked consistently higher than public affairs rivals such as Harvard University (Kennedy School of Government), the University of Michigan (Ford School of Public Policy) and the University of California, Berkeley (Goldman School of Public Policy).

Yackee agrees with the view that high-quality research is a critical component of high-quality teaching, a tenet the JPAE article notes. “La Follette School faculty regularly weave their cutting-edge research into the courses they teach, whether that research is on performance management or the macroeconomic effects of current account balances,” she says. “Our students benefit from our research findings every time they step into a classroom or interact with our faculty.”

The journal article’s authors used data from the Thomson-Reuters Journal Citation Reports to determine productivity, quality and overall institutional impact. They then created an index to show which universities published in top public administration journals from 2006 to 2010. Journal Citation Reports provides data about academic journals in the sciences and social sciences, including annual information to identify which scholarly articles are cited most frequently.

Only the University of Georgia, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Cardiff University ranked ahead of UW–Madison.

The 40 journals analyzed to create the ranking are those that Thomson Reuters determines are the most influential in the field of public administration. They include Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Journal of Public Administration Research & Theory, and Public Administration Review, in which several La Follette School faculty publish frequently.

Read the JPAE article.