Our Ambitions

Through our work as a top public policy school, we will continue to build upon our strong reputation and develop our strengths to achieve even more results in the future.

To help meet the grand challenges of policy, this is where Sanford is headed:​

Our strategic priorities for 2019-2024 are the next steps to propel us toward these goals and our vision to ensure the future of the school and address the grand challenges of public policy.

  • Toward greater scholarly excellence in social policy, health policy, energy and the environment, international development, security, and media and democracy, and the intersection of these areas with technology.
Sanford tower
  • Toward a highly policy-engaged faculty that pushes the boundaries of applied education beyond the classroom, providing our students not just with skills, but with an inspiring and transformative encounter with the major.
  • Toward more competitive professional offerings and more flexible, accessible and affordable graduate education that empowers and equips students for the future of policy.
  • Toward greater engagement with mid-career students and with our alums throughout their lifetimes.
  • Toward greater excellence for greater impact.

Like Terry Sanford before us, we dare to dream big.

Join us

Join us on the journey to achieve these outrageous ambitions. We have already accomplished great things together, and together we have the power to make an impact on the future of Sanford, Duke, public policy and our world.

Terry Sanford

Unrelenting Search for Excellence

The stamp of Duke University and its continuing goal ought to be the unrelenting search for excellence in all of its endeavors. Duke aspires to leave its students with an abiding concern for justice, with a resolve for compassion and concern for others, with minds unfettered by racial and other prejudices, with a dedication to service to society, with an intellectual sharpness, and with an ability to think straight now and throughout life. All of these goals are worthy of outrageous ambitions. —Terry Sanford