NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katherine Fleming today announced the appointment of Jack H. Knott as the new Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Photo of Jack Knott
Jack H. Knott. Photo courtesy of University of Southern California.

NYU President Andrew Hamilton and Provost Katherine Fleming today announced the appointment of Jack H. Knott — a political scientist who is currently the Irwin C. and Ione L. Piper Chair and dean of the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California — as the Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. He will start as Steinhardt's dean on August 1, 2020.

Knott, who was the first in his family to attend college and has been dean at USC since 2005, was selected after a national search. The first school of pedagogy in the U.S., the Steinhardt School's academic programs have evolved to cover a great span of human endeavor and scholarly interests, including education; the performing arts; studio arts; media, culture, and communications; applied psychology; occupational and speech therapy; and food and nutrition studies, to name just a few.

President Hamilton said, “In a very strong field of candidates, Jack Knott truly stood out. A highly accomplished leader with years of experience and success in guiding a complex, interdisciplinary school in a large, private, urban-based university, Jack made a strong positive impression on the Search Committee not only by dint of his credentials, but also because of his unassuming personal style. He has demonstrated a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion, a consideration of the strengths and needs of the whole community, an appreciation for the scholarly work of his faculty colleagues, and an ability to raise resources from a diversity of sources. He clearly has a genuine understanding of and appreciation for the core values, diversity, and breadth and depth of NYU Steinhardt, and for its substantial contributions to the University and our local and global communities.

Photo of Jack Knott wearing a suit

Jack H. Knott. Photo courtesy of University of Southern California.

“We could not be happier about having him join us in the Steinhardt and the NYU community.”

During Jack Knott’s deanship of the Sol Price School of Public Policy, the school grew substantially in resources, academic reputation, and number and quality of students, and he fostered valuable collaborations with other schools at USC, including engineering, medicine, pharmacy, education, social work, business, arts, and communications. Prior to serving as dean at USC, he was a professor of political science and head of two major research institutes, first as the director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research at Michigan State University and then as the director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also was a visiting professor of management at the Institute for Governance and Public Management at the University of Warwick and briefly served as the interim executive director of the Michigan Higher Education Institute. Prior to his posts at Michigan State, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Russell Sage Foundation and a full-time lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.

His area of scholarly interest — which emerged from a summer spent in Poland and the Soviet Union sponsored by the Experiment in International Living — focuses on the interrelationship between governance and policy making, both in the United States and in other countries. In particular, he works on understanding the influence on policy choices of particular governing institutional structures, including the separation of powers, federalism, and the role of private foundations in public problem solving. He is the author of many books and articles, including “The President, Congress, and the Financial Crisis: Ideology and Moral Hazard in Economic Governance,” Presidential Studies Quarterly (Spring, 2012); “When Ambition Checks Ambition: Bureaucratic Trustees and the Separation of Powers,” American Review of Public Administration (Fall, 2008), with Gary Miller; “State Governance Structures and the Performance of Public Universities,” Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (Fall, 2003), with Abigail Payne; and “Who Controls the Bureaucracy? Presidential Power, Congressional Dominance, Legal Constraints, and Bureaucratic Autonomy in a Model of Multi-Institutional Policy Making,” Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (Spring, 1996), with Thomas Hammond. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Public Administration and served as president of the international Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration.

Knott received his BA in history from Calvin College, his MA in international studies from Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced International Studies, and PhD in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

President Hamilton continued, “The recruitment of such a distinguished new dean would not have been possible without the hard work and exceptional discernment of the Search Committee and especially its chair, Elise Cappella, associate professor of applied psychology and director of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change. They took on this task on top of their many existing duties and Provost Fleming and I are grateful.

“We also wish to recognize the outstanding work of Pamela Morris, who has been the interim dean of Steinhardt since September 2019. Her strong leadership during a time of unprecedented challenge has been authentic and compassionate and will be conspicuous for her successful efforts to build communication and collaboration, extend and buttress community partnerships, prioritize faculty development and diversity, and promote transparency at every level. We are deeply thankful to Pamela for her dedicated leadership.”

About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Located in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to expand human capacity through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit steinhardt.nyu.edu.