Why Batten

Why Batten?

Because leadership is in our name—and our mission.

The world needs a new kind of policy leader. We focus on how leadership works and what actions lead to tangible results. That's why the Batten experience offers a more extensive skill set. You'll have rapid turn-around projects, field experiences, and simulations created by the policy experts who lead our faculty. And you'll emerge with a deeper understanding of how policy originates from everywhere, how its impact is felt everywhere, and how those who lead it can be found everywhere. 

Because context matters.

In the age of globalization, leadership is highly contextual. There are no hard and fast rules about how leadership translates from setting to setting or even from where it emanates. In such conditions, how are key decisions made? How do ethical leaders mobilize support? We train our students to be agents of change in a world where conventional playbooks don't apply and uncertainty is a given. You'll learn to think on your feet, look beyond boundaries, and uncover new opportunities. You'll gain an advantage (and unique perspective) in understanding how psychology, economics, and other disciplines play a role in decision-making. 

Because we’re small by design, with a wide intersection of talents.

Deliberately small in size, both our faculty and student body have been carefully cultivated, resulting in an exceptionally wide intersection of talents. Batten’s strong sense of community energizes our collaborative projects and encourages a lively exchange of ideas. As a result, the scholars and real-world practitioners who lead our classes can have a direct impact on our dynamic students’ intellectual and professional growth. 

Because the agenda is changing.

Analysis and evaluation aren’t enough.  Don't get us wrong—we believe bulletproof analysis is central to policy formulation and buy-in, and we'll equip you accordingly. But it's only the beginning. Everywhere, citizens are asking new questions about what governments can and should do—what they should regulate and what they should leave to individuals and markets. The issues of the late 20th century—education, health care, housing, and equal opportunity—are still with us. But 21st century policymakers also must wrestle with a host of new problems, all of them clamoring for attention. We prepare leaders who can unleash their abilities to analyze, advocate, mobilize, and persuade, from the first day of their careers. They can make the most of the realities and possibilities of our complex, fluid world. 

Because policy is everywhere—and so are our students.

Policy ideas come from everywhere and policy’s impacts are felt everywhere.  Public policy leaders, then, must be prepared to lead from anywhere. Our first two classes of graduates have landed impressive positions that span the public, private and nonprofit sectors. With one of the University’s highest placement rates, Batten graduates can be found in nearby cities such as Richmond and Washington, DC, and further away in places like Chicago, New Mexico, San Francisco, Cambodia, Malaysia, and China.