Some good news from Berkeley

UC Berkeley has been beaten around the head and shoulders in the last few years, partly taking external abuse from politicians and voters who are busy brewing their seed corn into beer and drinking it, but also from our own bad behavior . But really good things happen here as well: at least one of these students, I realize, was in my class last fall.  Yay for them, and yay for us!

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

2 thoughts on “Some good news from Berkeley”

  1. Very good story, and I hope that opportunities like this can be made available (and known to be available) to the prison population. And I sure hope that, after an accomplishment like this, those who have graduated have the same access to careers that they would if they hadn't been imprisoned first.

  2. Recidivism is usually reported as a bad-news story. But given the lack of effort in the US penal system on rehabilitation, we should perhaps be surprised that something like 40% of released convicts are not rearrested. Some of course are still criminals, but cleverer. This cannot be true of all, and many do manage to go straight, with little help. Wikipedia claims the recidivism rate in the UK is 50%. It is most unlikely this is due to less efficient policing, so British prisons and parole officers are doing something better. 50% is still a low bar, but reaching it would mean a large reduction in American crime.

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