Clinton School of Public Service

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University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service
Clinton School of Public Service logo.
Established 2004
Type Public
Dean James Rutherford
Students 68
Location Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Campus Clinton Presidential Center

The Clinton School of Public Service is a branch of the University of Arkansas system and is the newest of the presidential schools. It is located on the grounds of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. The school is housed in a former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad station built in 1899.

Former Senator and Governor David Pryor was named as the school's first dean. He stepped down from his position as dean in February 2006 but retained the title and active position of Founding Dean. James Rutherford, nicknamed "Skip," was appointed to succeed David Pryor (Rutherford's mentor) when he was named dean on April 12, 2006.

Master of Public Service Program[edit]

The Clinton School is a graduate school offering its students a Master of Public Service degree. The program is described as a "two-year graduate program with a 'real world' curriculum." [1] The mission of the school is "to educate and prepare individuals for public service, incorporating a strategic vision, an authentic voice, and a commitment to the common good." The program is unique within the presidential schools for its emphasis on practical courses, which include a practicum, summer internship, and capstone project. The school is further unique for its emphasis on leadership for social change, preparing students to become leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, as well as its emphasis on creating bridges among those sectors. The Clinton School emphasizes equity, as opposed to emphasizing efficiency in public administration schools and effectiveness in public policy schools.

Public Programs and Publications[edit]

The Clinton School of Public Service building

The school has made its public forums with Charles Ogletree, Judge Robert Carter, and John Edwards available to the Arkansas Educational Television Network, or AETN. Other guest speakers in the Clinton School's notably bipartisan and frequently apolitical speaker series have included Henry Kissinger, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis, Senator John Danforth, famed Republican strategist Benjamin Ginsberg, Karl Rove, Levy Mwanawasa, Alan Keyes, and Susan Ivey among others. President Bill Clinton makes regular appearances at the school during which he meets with students in a roundtable format.

The Clinton School also releases a biannual publication called Frank: Academics for the Real World. The fall/winter 2007 inaugural issue of Frank was entitled “Has the Dream Arrived?” and focused on race relations in America. It included pieces by David Eisenhower, President Bill Clinton, Carlotta Walls Lanier, Karl Rove, The Rev. Jesse Jackson, Richard Dawkins, Simon Cowell, Eboo Patel, Aneesh Raman, Antonio Villaraigosa, Walter Pincus, and President Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

In the summer of 2007, the Clinton School teamed with the William J. Clinton Foundation and the Kumpuris family to establish a distinguished lecture series. The Kumpuris Lecture Series inaugural address on August 7, 2007 was given by President Clinton. Other guest lecturers include James Baker, Sam Waterston, and Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai.


The Clinton School admitted 16 students from around the globe in its inaugural class in 2005. Now in its seventh year, the school has increased admission to 38 students and has a current enrollment of 70 students. The enrollment pattern is in keeping with the two other presidential schools that are coupled with presidential libraries. By comparison, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs started in 1970 with 18 students and now has 312; the George Bush School of Government and Public Service began in 1997 with 19 students and now has 125. Students who are enrolled in the Clinton School are encouraged to continue public service acts throughout the world. Many participants come from public service backgrounds and already have experience in the field. Some programs Clinton School students come from include the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and some have military and medical backgrounds.[2]

Building the Center[edit]

Architects James Polshek and Richard Olcott were commissioned by President Bill Clinton to bring his vision of "a symbol of our heritage, a record of our past, and a jumping-off point for the future," to life.[3] Built on the Arkansas River, the Center overlooks a scenic view of the river and has a bridge-like feel in the architecture. With aesthetics in mind, the builders put purpose and functionality first when it came to building the Center. One of the main purposes of the Center is as a branch of the National Archives. Therefore, the library and museum sections of The Clinton Center have an obligation, according to Congress, to protect artifacts and documents found and created during the Clinton administration.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°44′47″N 92°15′30″W / 34.746433°N 92.258463°W / 34.746433; -92.258463