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UT leaders, dignitaries and representatives dedicate the Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs 

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, marked a momentous occasion on Friday, April 12, by dedicating the Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. This event signifies the school’s transformation from the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

The Baker School, the first of its kind across Tennessee’s public universities, prepares future generations for roles in government, public policy and public service, following in the footsteps of its namesake — the late Senator Howard H. Baker Jr.

“Tennessee has been home to some of America’s greatest statesmen and women,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “At a time when our country needs more thoughtful and collaborative leaders, the Baker School will be the training ground for Volunteers who carry on the legacy of Howard Baker and become the next generation of public servants.”

Marianne Wanamaker, dean of the Baker School, emphasized not only the school’s mission but also underscored the significant impact education has on cultivating leaders who are capable of navigating tomorrow’s challenges.

“The establishment of this school is an expression of confidence in America’s future and in Tennessee’s. Our mission is to produce skilled public problem solvers, grounded in the legacy of Howard Baker, and prepare them to take public leadership roles in their communities,” said Wanamaker. “We’re launching this school with tremendous institutional and public support because the world needs the skilled leaders we will develop now more than ever.”

The ribbon-cutting was performed by distinguished representatives including Plowman; Randy Boyd, UT System president; Wanamaker; John Scheb, interim associate dean for academic affairs at the Baker School; Cynthia “Cissy” Baker and Darek Baker, Senator Baker’s daughter and son — alongside James A. Haslam II, chairman of the Baker School Board of Directors; former Governor Bill Haslam; and Jackson Scott, a graduate teaching assistant and first year student in the Master of Public Policy and Administration program, representing students from the school.

Earlier this week, the school announced Susan Hubbard, deputy for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as a member of the Baker School Board of Directors.

“We are so fortunate to have Dr. Hubbard joining the Baker School Board of Directors,” said Wanamaker. “As the school develops new research and academic programs in focus areas of mutual interest, our partnership with ORNL is deepening. Dr. Hubbard brings needed insights on how the school can best serve the research and workforce needs of the state of Tennessee and the country at large.”

The Baker School partners with ORNL on cutting-edge research and education in the areas of energy policy, transportation policy, environmental policy and nuclear security.

About the Baker School of Public Policy and Public Affairs

The Baker School’s mission is to graduate skilled public problem solvers who are prepared to take leadership roles as public servants, public administrators, policy analysts, policy entrepreneurs and candidates for public office. It currently offers a master’s degree in public policy and administration which provides networking opportunities and firsthand experiences in the world of public service. The school teaches students to embrace the competition of ideas as a way of reaching more durable solutions and offers standout student experiences such as the Baker Scholars, the Washington Fellows and the Japan Ambassadors.

Beyond its educational offerings, the Baker School also encompasses notable research entities including the Institute of American Civics as well as two specialized centers inaugurated last September — the Center for Energy, Transportation and Environmental Policy along with the Center for National Security and Foreign Affairs.

Media Contact:

Cindi King (865-974-0937,

Kate Reagan, (865-974-0942,