In Defense of Wilder School 

I can appreciate the disdain with which you write about Virginia Commonwealth University President Eugene P. Trani (“A Cloudy Legacy,” Cover Story, Aug. 20). The recent developments with the tobacco industry and the [former Police Chief Rodney] Monroe debacle have certainly given me reason to pause

However, I do not appreciate the cavalier way your article can so quickly dismiss the legitimacy of the Wilder School graduate programs with professor Deirdre Condit's closing remarks. Since she posed the question, “Are you really educating them?” I'll gladly answer. Yes, you are.

I entered the master's of public administration program at the Wilder School almost three years ago as a part-time student, and since then have amassed a wealth of insight, depth and knowledge about public administration and the practical and theoretical application of its principles. I have been taught by excellent faculty in small classes and have learned from both the faculty and my peers.

I will graduate this spring with both the foundation of knowledge and skills to successfully navigate the immense field of public administration. To argue that “it's always about the numbers” belittles the education that hundreds of students, myself included, receive in the graduate programs at the Wilder School. 

Francesca D. Jones
VCU MPA '09 Candidate



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