In response to Kathleen Burke’s resignation as CPS dean
I enjoyed my time as a Graduate School of Political Management student. The networking was fruitful, the classes had real-world applications and the faculty were engaging, though some more than others.
In fact, I learned a lot about political management. But nothing has been has been more educational about the problems of management than the ongoing showdown between former College of Professional Studies Dean Kathleen Burke and GSPM alumni, students and faculty.
Admittedly, I have been a bystander in this debate. This isn’t because I wasn’t interested in the program I had invested so much of myself into, but because there was never an opportunity to participate.
The consequences, nonetheless, have been very real. Many of GSPM’s resources have been minimized or squandered, one of which was Chuck Cushman, associate dean for academic excellence.
GSPM has so much to offer: a dynamic faculty, a top-notch location and an accomplished alumni network. Yet its benefits have been overturned by misguided management.
Luckily for me these are not lessons I will forget. In fact, these are thoughts I will revisit each month for the next 20 years when I make a student loan payment and each time someone contacts me for an alumni donation.
Lesley Lopez graduated from the GSPM in 2011
I am disturbed that Kathleen Burke has such an incredibly rosy view of her tenure as dean of the College of Professional Studies.
I can assure you that her reputation among Graduate School of Political Management alumni has left many of us feeling disenfranchised and alienated from our graduate program, and we are delighted with the news of her departure. Tension was and is very present.
She points to successes at the GSPM among her achievements, but fails to mention the toll her progress has cost the program in alumni support and talented faculty and staff. It is the view of many alumni that Burke’s failure to comprehend the GSPM and its potential as a program has had serious negative effects on the school that are potentially irreversible. As one of the program’s biggest champions over the past decade, this deeply saddens me.
Her repeated attacks on the GSPM community in this very publication, coupled with the way she has repelled donors, top caliber professors and even potential students leads me to be happy that she has finally been removed from her role as dean. She did not exhibit behavior befitting a college dean at GW and her policies did far more harm than good.
Lindsay Marsh graduated from the GSPM in 2003 and is a former president of the GSPM Alumni Association