Message from the Dean

Read the Dean’s Message on Diversity at the Bloustein School, June 2, 2020

Dean’s Message to New and Returning Students on Fall 2020 Campus Status, July 6, 2020

Welcome to the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. We are a unique academic community comprising world-class faculty, a highly-dedicated support staff, diverse and talented students, high-level professionals and researchers, and active alumni. The mission of the Bloustein School is to create just, socially inclusive, environmentally sustainable and healthy local, national and global communities. We seek to expand innovation in teaching, research, and service for public good in the local, national and global contexts.

The school fosters a highly-collaborative academic, scholarly and professional environment, where the disciplines of urban planning, public policy, health administration, urban and public informatics, urban studies and design, public health, and medical ethics and health policy closely converge.

Our core value to foster public good translates to working with agencies, communities, businesses and individuals for inclusive urban design, social safety nets, and worker rights; access to healthy food, affordable housing and transportation; and for improving coastal resilience, and the quality of the air we breathe. It translates to designing better smart and socially-just cities and information systems, and urban and civic technology and telemedicine systems that does not discriminate, and does not violate our privacy and cybersecurity.

Our approach asks our students to think about big-picture “blue-sky” “what-if” strategy questions about what can be done to make society better, as well as to have the detailed, operational and procedural knowledge to make a difference in the towns, think-thanks, government agencies, healthcare firms, and other organizations where our many alums work.

The convergence of synergistic disciplines provide students at the Bloustein School with the opportunity to understand the important role of planning and community design in health and the role of health in planning and policymaking processes. The broader development of healthy living and preventative programs now considers such issues as urban growth, sprawl, and transportation habits; livability and the environment; economic competitiveness and workforce development; and society and community.

The Bloustein School is continually striving to expand our relevance in critical areas and meet the needs of our students and the community at large. The growing demand for innovative solutions in health care and data-driven systems has motivated us to develop master’s programs in health administration and public informatics. These areas of focus will bring new opportunities for our students, faculty and stakeholders to succeed, grow, and thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Our students are a diverse group of undergraduates and graduates representing different backgrounds and life experiences. Each student is entering the Bloustein School with a demonstrated commitment to improving quality of life. Bloustein students are prepared to become agents of positive change, equipped with the tools to face the challenges of an uncharted twenty-first century global economy and the capacity to confront these issues confidently.

Studying through the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic and the unprecedented economic and social crisis surrounding this period of time is throwing unparalleled challenges at you; yet, it is also a time to find new opportunities in all the many ways we can “give back” to society and do public good. The Bloustein School pledges to stay with you and provide its students with state-of-the art learning environments and an extraordinarily rewarding educational experience during this difficult time —one that will enable them to meet these new-world challenges while directly addressing critical policy issues through the highest-level scholarship, involvement in cutting-edge research initiatives, and extensive public policy service through community engagement.

Piyushimita “Vonu” Thakuriah,
Distinguished Professor and Dean