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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Commitment Statement

The Martin School is committed to diversity through our classes, programs, and by creating a general culture of inclusiveness, where a wide array of viewpoints and lived experiences are heard and respected. Diversity, equity, and inclusiveness are particularly important for a school of public policy and administration as we must educate future public servants who understand the value of diversity and have the tools to confront inequity in its many forms. Both historical and current policies may create or perpetuate inequity through institutional and structural racism, income inequality, gender bias, and more. As policy experts and scholars, we understand that policy is an important tool to combat discrimination against marginalized groups, and the Martin School can help our students and alumni confront inequity as we train them in their coursework and as we support them in their careers. Therefore, the Martin School is committed to making diversity and equity a central tenet of our curriculum, extracurricular programming, and recruitment plans. We will ask for feedback from current students, alumni, and other Martin School stakeholders along the way and make adjustments as often as needed to ensure our actions reflect our stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

Meet the DEI Committee

Ron Zimmer Director, Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Meet the Board of Visitors

Our Board of Visitors connects our students to the greater public policy community. They also very generously provide their time, guidance, and support for our most important events including the Alumni and Friends Banquet where we honor our Distinguished Alumni and induct Kentucky greats into the Public Service Hall of Fame. They are the driving force behind the Wendell H. Ford Lecture every year. 

Distinguished Alumni

2023 Distinguished Alumna Brigitte Blom is the latest to join this prestigious group.

Kentucky Public Service Hall of Fame

The Kentucky Public Service Hall of Fame was established in 2012 by the University of Kentucky's Martin School of Public Policy and Administration to recognize leaders who have demonstrated extraordinary public service to their communities and state.

Our History

Learn more about the origin of the institution.

Academics at The Martin School

At A Glance

Graduation Rates

Below is a breakdown of time to graduation for the 5-year MPA cohort starting in 2015-2016:

Graduation Rates MPA Cohort (2015-2016)

  • Initially enrolled: 19
  • Graduated within 2 years: 13
  • Graduated within 3 years: 17
  • Graduated within 4 years: 18

*Full-time students generally complete the degree in two years, while part-time students (less than 9 credit hours per semester) can take at least twice as long, depending on the various courseloads. Dual degree students (PharmD/MPA or JD/MPA) generally complete both programs in four years.

Job Placements

About half of 2020 graduates found work in the nonprofit sector, with four working in public university systems. A little less than half found work in city, state, or federal government offices. One student is employed in the private sector and one student is still pursuing employment.

Job Placements for 2019-2020 MPA Graduates using NASPAA Categories: 15 Students Total

  • US Government: 2
  • State Government: 2
  • U.S. Local Government: 2
  • International Quasi-Government or Government All Levels: 0
  • Nonprofit (domestic-oriented): 7*
  • Nonprofit (international): 0
  • Private Sector (research/consulting): 0
  • Private Sector (not research/consulting): 1
  • Obtaining Further Education: 0
  • Military Service: 0
  • Unemployed (not seeking employment): 0
  • Unemployed (seeking employment): 1
  • Status Unknown: 0

*Includes four students employed in higher education administration at public university

Due to the Pharm.D./MPA dual degree program, we typically have a high number of placements in the Health Care Sector, including Health Administration. The Nonprofit area of specialization is one of the most popular, and typically a high percentage of graduates remain in this field. Due to the number of University employees in our program, we typically have a high number of placements in Higher Education Administration. 

Pre-2019 Organization Chart

Organization Chart


The Martin School's MPA program is accredited by the NASPAA (Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration) Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation and listed on the Annual Roster of Accredited Programs in conformity with NASPAA standards.

NASPAA, the global standard in public service education, is the premier specialized accreditor of graduate programs in the area of public affairs. Only 173 institutions are currently accredited.

The most recent reaccreditation cycle was completed in 2021, and is valid through 2028.

Center of Excellence

The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration was designated a "Center of Excellence" by the University of Kentucky in 1985 and received additional funding for program enhancement. Program enhancement activities included the introduction of the Ph.D. program as well as increased interaction with service units in the community and state.

In addition to the doctoral program, research and service programs have been developed in conjunction with the Council of State Governments that is located in Lexington, Kentucky. While many individuals and units of the University of Kentucky have worked closely with the Council in the past, the designation of the Martin School as a Center of Excellence enhances opportunities for mutually beneficial exchanges and joint education, research and public service programs between the Martin School and the Council.

William E. Lyons Award for Outstanding Service

This award was given annually to an individual associated with the university who has given outstanding service to the University of Kentucky, the community, or the Commonwealth. It is named in honor of Dr. William E. Lyons (1935-1994), Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, Director of the Martin School, Chair of the Political Science Department, Chair of the Lexington-Fayette County Merger Commission, member of the Urban County Council, and chair or member of various other university and government committees.

2020 - Bill and Mary Witt

2019 - Anne-Frances Miller

2018 - Paul Eakin

2017 - D. Stephen Voss

2016 - Allison Connelly

2015 - Eugenia F. Toma

2014 - Kenneth R. Troske

2013 - M. Scott Smith

2012 - TK Logan and Carol Jordan

2011 - Patrick P. Deluca 

2010 - Ernest Yanarella

2009 - Hatim Omar

2008 - Merl Hackbart

2007 - Joseph L. Fink, III

2006 - Ellen K. Hahn

2005 - Penny M. Miller

2004 - Wimberly C. Royster

2003 - Jack C. Blanton

2002 - Thomas S. Foster

2001 - Daniel R. Reedy

2000 - Lauretta F. Byars

1999 - Donald C. Haney

1998 - Ronald D. Eller

1997 - Joseph P. Straley

1996 - Carolyn S. Bratt

1995 - Gilbert Friedell

Martin School Mission Statement

The Martin School of Public Policy and Administration excels in research, education, and service by applying our intellectual and other resources to public policy and management issues.

We accomplish our unique purpose by:

  • Engaging in cutting-edge, policy analytic research.
  • Preparing students in our programs to be future leaders able to bridge the gap between analysis and action.
  • Providing service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, nation, and international communities.
  • Providing an innovative environment reflective of commitment, strategic thinking, and integrity in public service.

MPA Mission Statement

The Martin School's Master of Public Administration program prepares future public and nonprofit leaders who are committed to integrity and excellence in public policy, public financial analysis, and public management.

To accomplish our mission we:

  • Foster commitment to public service and excellence in public policy and administration.
  • Prepare both pre-service and in-service students to provide professional leadership in public policy and administration at all levels of government, in not-for-profit organizations, and in the public service-related activities of profit-seeking enterprises.
  • Enhance the knowledge and problem solving capabilities of our students by focusing on policy analytic and public financial management skills so they can function effectively as analysts, managers, and leaders.