School of Public Affairs

School of Public Affairs

A Passion for Education Reform

"I am passionate about educational reform and aspire to lead a large agency where I can influence educational discourse and policy. SPA’s MPA is helping me develop my leadership skills and pursue my profession of purpose." Learn more about the MPA program.

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Six months after graduation,

% of Graduates are now Working, Grad School, or Both

Top Employers
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Results of Graduation Census as of six months after graduation for May graduates from 2014—2016.


Early Childcare Policy Explainer

SPA Assistant Professor Taryn Morrissey's work centers on examining and improving public policies for vulnerable children. Ongoing research examines the social determinants of food insecurity and obesity, and the impacts of neighborhood poverty and family instability on children's development. She is one of the authors of the book, Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality.

SPA Policy Explainer Home

17 books published by SPA faculty in 2015-16

100 published academic journal articles written by SPA faculty in 2015-16

5,000 plus SPA media mentions in 2015-16

American family


New Study Shows That Fluctuating Household Income Affects Child Health and Nutrition

Changing jobs can be rough on families with young children — especially in homes with low income and few resources. According to new research by SPA Associate Professor Taryn Morrissey, income and employment instability can be harmful to a child’s health.

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student protesting


Free Speech: How Far Can We Go?

Should university officials invite speakers with extremist views to campus? What kind of protest should be allowed? Should students who threaten speakers face consequences? This was the topic of discussion at a recent SPA event.

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Kevin and elementary school students participating in the Alliance for Working Together (AWT) Summer Manufacturing Institute pose for a group photo after taking a tour of Conn-Selmer, a local musical instrument manufacturer.

Alumni ·

Alumnus Exemplifies AU Values Through Commitment to Public Service

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AU School of Public Affairs in the Media

  • Jennifer Lawless, SPA Women & Politics Institute director, spoke to SFGate on new political accountability following the #MeToo movement.

  • Capri Cafaro, Executive in Residence at SPA, wrote in The Conversation about the GOP tax plan, state and local tax deductions - and you.

  • David Barker, SPA professor of Government, explains in The Conversation why it may not matter much to Republicans that their tax plan is unpopular.