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Improving communities through good government

The UNC School of Government is improving the lives of North Carolinians by working directly with public officials to improve government.

For nearly 90 years, the UNC School of Government has been a unique and trusted resource for North Carolina. Through countless changes in the state’s history, the School of Government has steadfastly supported public service leaders responsible for making North Carolina a great place to live, learn, work, raise a family, grow a business and retire.

Our mission is to improve the lives of North Carolinians by working directly with public officials to improve government. They depend on the School of Government because our faculty understands the challenges and opportunities facing North Carolina. Drawing on first-class scholarship, our faculty provides practical, timely guidance through courses, publications and direct advising.

Public officials trust the school because we give them access to information and real-time support to accomplish their goals — not our goals. We work effectively to facilitate the work of all North Carolina officials regardless of their political party or ideology.

TheUNC School of Government is unique in the country. We are the largest university-based local government training, advisory and research organization in the United States. For some, we are UNC-Chapel Hill’s best, most visible public service presence. For others, especially in rural communities, we may be UNC-Chapel Hill’s only presence.

By improving government, we are improving communities. This is embodied by all who work here, all who are students here, all who pass through our doors — on campus, online or out across North Carolina.

Each year, more than 200 graduate students and more than 12,000 local and state elected and appointed officials learn from the School of Government in their journeys as leaders in their communities. Their commitment to public service in North Carolina is inspirational. Their interests inform our research and publications, they test and use our web tools and apps, and we design our courses around their emerging needs. In other words, we are responsive.

The School of Government’s mission is as important today as it was when we were founded by Albert Coates in 1931. That mission will not change. What will continue to change, however, is how we carry out that mission in new ways to meet the evolving needs of public officials.

Whether a judge trying to administer the right criminal sentence, a budget official planning for their county, an elected official trying to develop their struggling downtown, a public health official grappling with the opioid epidemic or an MPA student learning about natural disaster recovery, we have the expertise and resources to help.

Our online Master of Public Administration guarantees students don’t need to leave their jobs to advance their careers. Our blogs deliver timely and accessible explanations of complicated subjects to thousands of officials every week. And our specialized centers and institutes are always seeking to scale their work, their data, in more effective ways to reach more people.

We will continue supporting all public officials — local, state, legislative, judicial, rural and urban — as true partners by giving them the information and cutting-edge tools they need to strengthen their communities. We will continue preparing them to deal with unpredictable futures. And we will continue to learn as much from them about the field of public administration, about public service, as they learn from us.

With lux, libertas — light and liberty, the University’s founding principles — we look forward to responding to those needs in partnership with all North Carolina officials over the next 225 years.