More than half the medical treatments that Americans receive lack evidence of their effectiveness. When the government attempts to learn what treatments work best, critics complain about "rationing." How can we implement evidence-based medicine in a way that physicians and patients can embrace?
"The widespread use of expensive medical services of unclear benefit is one reason why the U.S. spends 18 percent of GDP on health care—double the average of other rich democracies—yet it has fewer doctors per capita and lags behind many other nations on population health indicators "
How is climate change like a noisy dorm? Environmental problems arise from broken ownership and control of important resources. If we can design solutions that mimic markets, we can lower the cost of protecting the planet by making it profitable to be green.
Leaders have to provide structures to direct behavior while establishing conditions that prompt people to find the process rewarding. How can leaders simultaneously motivate and regulate? What are the organizational, social, and psychological forces that regulate individual and group behavior?
In an increasingly globalized world, in which more than 30 million people have been displaced by violent conflict, many public policy problems can no longer be solved within the confines of a single country. How do governments and civil society coordinate their efforts without adding to the chaos?
"With no votes, no money, and almost no power, how can international advocates get the plight of people on the frontlines into the headlines? That’s what my students are ultimately charged with answering."
Policymakers and practitioners operate under constraints. How do we evaluate programs and policies to provide the strongest evidence for making decisions? In particular, how can social science research inform policy approaches to addressing early childhood disadvantage?
"Doing rigorous policy analysis—evaluating programs and policies well—is the critical foundation in deciding which interventions and social programs are worth the investment"
We choose, initiate, and pursue goals in a social world. How and when do social relationships facilitate, or hinder, our pursuit of important goals? And how do cooperation and competition affect these relationships?
"Social psychology is at the core of the Batten School approach. It drives us to ask scientifically rigorous questions about decision making, leadership, motivation, and organizational dynamics."
How can we reduce racial disparities when so many Americans profess not to notice or even see race? Understanding people’s concerns about appearing prejudiced and their fears about social status can help us find new ways to combat racial inequalities.
"To improve the life outcomes of stigmatized group members, we also must understand how people thrive in diverse environments."
Good health does not just happen. It is "produced" by a combination of genetics, lifestyle and medical care. A major challenge for the United States, and other countries, is to choose policies that promote good health while maintaining freedom of choice and financial viability of government budgets and the health care system.
"Economic concepts central to the formulation of effective public policies include a fundamental understanding of responses to incentives, opportunity costs, and the pervasiveness of tradeoffs."
Why are some members of Congress more effective lawmakers than others? How important is political party affiliation? A new model argues that ideology, not affiliation, drives compromise or gridlock
"Within American federalism, states and localities can serve as policy laboratories, but we don’t really know exactly how it works. How does policy spread or diffuse from one state to the next? There’s a lot of learning going on"
As state support for public higher education declines, tuitions increase more rapidly than family incomes and affordability is threatened for many families and students. How do we preserve access, maintain quality, and keep costs under control?
"Higher education, normally a very stable part of the economy, appears to be at a tipping point where the traditional business model is becoming unsustainable. How we reshape the financing of this vital social enterprise will be a key challenge facing society in this decade."
Professor Chris Ruhm's research suggests economic downturns actually improve public health. ... read more »
Sheridan Fuller (College '13, Batten '14), is passionate about education policy - will spend summer interning with Connecticut’s Council for Education Reform ... read more »
Batten student (Heather Berg, BA '15) sparks dialogue about social class on Grounds ... read more »
A World UNESCO Heritage Site, UVa's Central Grounds were designed by Thomas Jefferson. The Batten School's newly remodeled Garrett Hall is located near the heart of this architectural masterpiece.
Batten graduates gain entry to one of the world's most loyal, supportive, and accomplished alumni networks. In addition to the UVa alumni network, Batten alumni are already working in an impressive array of public and private organizations.
Founded by Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia is the standard bearer of his still-revolutionary ideas on civic leadership and “useful knowledge.” The Batten School is the latest embodiment of this vision.
Historic, sophisticated Charlottesville is UVa's home. It's routinely named one of the best places to live in America for its locally sourced restaurants, vibrant music scene, and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Student governance is a hallmark of UVa. Whether through editorial positions on theVirginia Policy Review or executive leadership on the Batten Council, student engagement is at the heart of the Batten School culture.
“The Corner” is the hub of student life at the University. It's a seven-block collection of student shops, bookstores, cafes, and night spots stretching along University Avenue.
As America's leading “public ivy,” UVa has never been ranked lower than No. 2. in U.S. News listings of the top 50 public universities. For Batten students, this means connections to the full complement of University resources.
The Batten School, the newest of the nation's schools devoted to public policy, makes its home in one of America's most renowned universities: The University of Virginia.
Fighting for the Rights of the Displaced, from the Frontlines to the Headlines
The wide-spread famine caused by droughts in southern Africa has left thousands of Somalians fleeing to nearby Kenya and Ethiopia. What impact do these movements have on the host nations?
Batten School professor Christine Mahoney has been on the frontlines of global development and rights of the displaced. Far from home, in an unfamiliar country and society, how can these individuals adapt to their new environments? How can their new host countries adapt to the influx of refugees?See Christine’s field work on the largest protracted displacement crises in locations such as Somalia and Uganda.