Committee report on the future of the Jackson Institute

November 14, 2018

Dear Colleagues,

As one of the world’s great universities, Yale has been a leader in educating students on global affairs and in conducting research relevant to the most pressing issues facing the international community. The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs was founded in 2010, enabled by a generous gift from John Jackson ’67 and Susan Jackson. As we near the tenth anniversary of the institute’s founding, it is time to consider the future of global affairs at Yale.

Last year we convened a faculty committee, chaired by Judy Chevalier, to explore the future focus and scope of the Jackson Institute. In particular, we asked them to consider questions ranging from the ideal size of the Jackson Institute to what fields should be included in its educational and research programs.

Our goal is to ensure that Yale remains the best university for educating global citizens and leaders and a worldwide research leader on matters of global import. The committee solicited feedback from faculty members in relevant areas and schools. Committee members visited peer institutions to learn how they organize education and research in these areas, and they studied the current offerings of the Jackson Institute and met with its students, faculty, and staff.

We are delighted to share the committee’s report with you. The committee has recommended the creation of a School of Global Affairs. They endorse a school that is deliberately small, excellent, and deeply academically grounded; is governed by ladder faculty; is interconnected with the rest of the university; and pursues scholarship that has applications in solving global challenges. The committee envisions a future School of Global Affairs that will stand as one of the world’s leading centers for research and teaching on policy issues of maximum international importance. Many other thoughtful recommendations are offered as well. We encourage you to read the report and share your feedback through this webform.

In the coming months, we will be gathering your perspectives and considering whether to implement the committee’s recommendations. We plan to hold town hall meetings with faculty, staff, and students in January. We anticipate that the board of trustees (the Yale Corporation) will consider this proposal during the first half of 2019.

We are grateful to Judy Chevalier and the other members of the committee for the considerable time and effort they devoted to this important and challenging task. The report offers an exciting blueprint for the future of global affairs at Yale, and we look forward to hearing your views on this important matter.


Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology

Ben Polak
William C. Brainard Professor of Economics