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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Lori Taylor’s new role

After+serving+as+professor+and+Director+of+the+Robert+A.+Mosbacher+Institute+for+Trade+Lori+Taylor+has+been+appointed+as+the+new+head+of+the+Department+of+Public+Service+and+Administration.
Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

After serving as professor and Director of the Robert A. Mosbacher Institute for Trade Lori Taylor has been appointed as the new head of the Department of Public Service and Administration.

After 15 years at Texas A&M, Lori Taylor has been named the the new head of the Department of Public Service and Administration at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.
Taylor says she has big plans for developing this relatively small department within the university. The Department of Public Service and Administration is a graduate department that deals primarily with the education and training of those who wish to enter life as a public servant or manager of a nonprofit. Taylor is highly qualified for this position given her bachelors in business administration, and bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in economics, on top of her large amount of experience here at A&M.
Though the department is rather small, Taylor desires for the department to grow under her watch in multiple ways.
“We are likely to physically grow, which will allow us to increase the number of students … we are space constrained and it keeps our enrollments down … ” Taylor explained. “I would like to also grow with respect to quality, and increase the visibility of the school within the state and within the scholarly community, and both of those things will allow us to attract even more of the high quality students we currently enjoy.”
Taylor thinks this growth is important because the department itself is extremely important, and because society needs more people trained in public service.
“The government and the nonprofit sectors impact the lives of just about everybody, and they deserve to have principled leaders and well trained managers,” Taylor stated, “They deserve to have decisions made on the best possible evidence. We train our students to be able to contribute in all those areas. It’s about having a non-private sector that performs well, for the betterment of society.”
As a professor, much of Taylor’s research has dealt with the efficiency of education, and discovering ways for schools to deal with the extremely limited budgets given to them, and she said she is going to take the same attitude in managing this department.
“My research interests have to do with developing policies and programs that can help the K-12 education … extract the most return on investment for the state,” Taylor said, “I want to do the same thing for our department, which is to figure out the most effective way to allocate our scarce resources, to bring honor and glory to the university, to the school, and to the state. We have to recognize that we live in a world of budget constraints, but with careful deployment of resources we can still accomplish really good things.”
A big believer in science, Taylor also emphasized the importance of connecting public policy and administration with the “hard” sciences, believing that this is the best, and perhaps the only, way to ensure good governance.
“There are a lot of researchers, scholars, and students who are interested in research questions that have a policy component; they’re interested in hydrology, and desalination, there’s a policy element to that. There’s a policy element to what should we do to prevent the consequences of another hurricane as disastrous as Harvey was …” Taylor explained, “There are angles and connections that we can help a lot researchers focused on main campus make. One of my goals as department head is to get wired in, better integrated with the university as a whole … It’s one thing to develop a cool new device, it’s another to thing to develop the the appropriate regulatory environment to accommodate the growth of that. You have to think about things like what makes people so resistant to genetically modified organisms.”
Taylor said she wants undergraduate students to know that the speaking events that the department puts on are just as much for undergrads as they are for the grad students in the department. For a list of these go to http://bush.tamu.edu/events/.

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