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Our Values & Principles

In keeping with our namesake’s legacy, the Sanford School of Public Policy has outrageous ambitions.

We aspire to be a great school of public policy for the 21st Century and to be recognized in the region, in the nation, and throughout the world as a leader in our field. Our vision for what it means to be a great public policy school derives from our core values -- constants that continue to define who we are and what we strive to be -- and from our mission statement:

“The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University educates tomorrow's leaders and improves the quality of public policymaking through teaching, research, professional training, and policy and community engagement.”


 


Research that matters

The Sanford School produces exemplary research that brings multiple disciplinary perspectives to bear on significant issues facing our local community, our nation, and the world. Our work is held to the highest standards of academic rigor and can be a model for policy-relevant, inter-disciplinary research that has a real and positive impact on the world. 

Teaching that empowers and inspires

Our teaching equips future and current policy leaders with the skills, knowledge and experiences that empower and inspire them to make a positive difference in the world. We aim to be a model for an innovative, engaging and policy-relevant teaching and learning environment. Our commitment to our students extends to creating outstanding learning experiences outside the classroom, providing excellent career and professional development services, and maintaining lifetime connections and opportunities for interaction with our alumni.

Deep engagement with the policy world

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  • Photo of Condi Rice talking with a group of Duke faculty

    Connecting Research and Policy

    Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks with a group of Duke and Sanford School faculty members before her April 10, 2012 talk in Duke University's Page Auditorium. Her visit to campus was sponsored by the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and co-sponsored by the Sanford School of Public Policy, Triangle Institute for Security Studies, the Duke Office of Global Strategy and Programs, and the Alexander Hamilton Society.

We strive to be deeply engaged with the community of public policy makers in governments, international organizations, nonprofits, media organizations and the private sector. Our engagement should be a two-way street, both an avenue for projecting our research into policy and practice and a way for policy makers and practitioners to inform our teaching and research.

Diversity and community

Our vibrant and diverse community of scholars, teachers, administrators and students shares a commitment to the mission of the Sanford School. It is the nature of public policy that we draw strength from our different disciplines, perspectives and personal backgrounds, and we pride ourselves on collaboration and a strong sense of community. Moreover, we live in a diverse world, and to produce great research that matters and to empower and inspire future leaders, we embrace diversity. Learn more about our diversity and inclusion goals.


Sanford's faculty and immigration: a closer look

Recently we wondered, what would our faculty look like without those who were born in another country? How about without those whose parents and grandparents were born in another country? Here's what we found: