The O’Neill School was founded on the idea that public sector institutions face unique demands and concerns. The school has a long tradition of recognizing local governments and their community partners as the critical foundation of democracies that most directly affects the everyday life of citizens.
Part of that tradition has grown through partnerships with community decision makers: local governments, nonprofit organizations, special districts, key institutions, businesses, and other stakeholders.
From direct consultation with faculty to finding tomorrow’s leaders among our student body, there are numerous ways in which you can partner with SPEA to help you as you serve your community, evaluate programs, innovate services, and prepare for the future.
Types of partnerships
Partnerships come in many forms at O’Neill—from a traditional consulting arrangement negotiated with individual faculty to making use of ourCapstones , where you bring a complex project to our students as a client while also taking an active mentorship role in developing students’ professional skills.
Partnerships can be found in topic areas including:
O’Neill faculty are globally influential in the development and analysis of tax policy, revenue forecasting, budget processes, and bond market developments. They also are home to leaders in program evaluation and benefit cost analysis.
Examples of partnerships with students and faculty include developing your organization’s first budget, forecast, fiscal impact analysis, and performance based budgeting processes. We also engage in evaluating policy proposals in taxation and debt.
The management of local government and those who deliver its services requires a wide range of knowledge, skills, and experience. Professional managers are responsible for planning, managing and evaluating services, drafting, analyzing, facilitating and implementing policies, managing financial, human, capital and natural resources and developing and implementing programs to enhance the quality of life in local communities.
Examples of partnerships with students and faculty include developing programs and policies to meet the needs of citizens and businesses.
Communities face accelerating challenges from changes in the economy, environment, technology, transportation, communication, and law. They also face issues of public trust in the legitimacy of government. For innovative solutions, collaboration across public, private, and nonprofit sectors is key.
Examples of partnerships with students and faculty include initiatives to help communities practice, design, and evaluate collaborative and participatory governance in areas including public health, budgeting, community and economic development, and strategic, land use, and transportation planning.
O’Neill faculty and students study both the history and practice of community development. Strategies being continuously explored range from engaging the arts and culture community with “creative placemaking” to utilizing social capital in industrial cluster development to enhancing entrepreneurship through private sector partnerships.
Examples of partnerships with students and faculty include the design of strategic economic and community development plans, evaluation of development projects for regional impact, applying for a grant, or providing an analysis of local development resources and potential.
O’Neill’s environmental scientists and environmental managers work in air and water quality, ecotoxicology, energy, watershed management, ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, and bioremediation. We work in urban areas, agricultural systems, working landscapes, and protected areas and deal with science, management, and law.
Examples of partnerships with students and faculty include investigating research options and designing environmental systems, monitoring programs, and management plans related to these areas.
The effective delivery of public services today requires government and third-sector organizations that consistently make good decisions about how to convert scarce resources into desired outcomes for citizens. O’Neill faculty are internationally recognized for their expertise in this focused area and, more generally, in the fields of public and nonprofit management.
Examples of partnership opportunities with students and faculty include strategic planning and management, grant writing and fund development, developing and maintaining collaborations, designing and implementing performance measurement systems, and cultivating numerous other skills that contribute to successful organizations.
Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs resources and social media channels