Mission & History

The Batten Approach

At UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, we’re committed to solving the world’s toughest policy challenges. We know the complex issues of our time demand innovative, collaborative, cross-sector relationships within our walls and beyond. Our multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving and emphasis on ethics reinforce our focus on how leadership works, why context matters in decision-making and which actions lead to tangible results.

Students at graduation

Our Mission

The mission of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy is to develop leaders and generate new knowledge to solve the world’s toughest public policy challenges. Through training in policy analysis and critical leadership skills, the school and its faculty:

  • Develop effective and ethical leaders to promote a better society
  • Produce research addressing the most important policy problems
  • Serve as a model for transforming public policy education
Frank Batten, Sr.

Our Founder

In 2007 Frank Batten, Sr., chairman and CEO of Landmark Communications, Inc., founder of The Weather Channel, dedicated $100 million for the creation of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.

Batten, a forward-thinking philanthropist committed to supporting educational initiatives and serving the public good, saw an urgent need for a new generation of leaders who could affect transformational change. He emphasized leadership as one of the key skills required for success in the field of public policy.

“Never has there been a greater need for the University’s most important product: enlightened and ethical leaders who leave Grounds prepared for public life—in their communities, in their professions, in the world at large.”

Frank Batten, Sr.
Founder of the Batten School
Garrett Hall

Batten Today

Of the 250-plus schools of public policy and administration in the United States, the Batten School has the distinction of being the only one explicitly committed to teaching leadership — how it works, why context matters in decision-making and which actions lead to tangible results. The School’s programs inspire students to act vigorously, effectively and ethically on behalf of the common good.

Students emerge from the Batten School understanding social responsibility and equipped with specific skills to work collaboratively and successfully in real-world environments to achieve a shared mission and accomplish common goals.

The School’s innovative approach has attracted leading scholar-practitioners in political science, social psychology, policy history, economics, and law from around the globe. Their areas of focus reflect the drive and research of some of the sharpest minds at work in policy and leadership today. Batten faculty also lead the School’s seven research centers, which focus on the areas of health policy; social entrepreneurship; education policy; global policy; leadership and simulation; legislative effectiveness; and national security policy.

student standing at a graduation ceremony
Bright Planning. Brighter Future.

2018 – 2023 Strategic Plan