Ohio University created the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs to meet the interdisciplinary needs of the 21st century university and its students, blending entrepreneurial and nonprofit approaches to make a positive impact on the broader region.

Undergraduates can take advantage of the Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars program and the many activities of the Center for Entrepreneurship, or they can earn an Environmental Studies certificate. Graduate students may pursue the Master of Public Administration or the Master of Science in Environmental Studies programs.

The interdisciplinary and applied nature of the School’s educational approach allows students to work with real clients and organizations, creating solutions to the problems facing the region and state. Meanwhile, faculty apply their knowledge to some of the toughest challenges of today.

Since the School’s creation, it has continually expanded its impact. The School has been responsible for nearly $1.8 billion in economic activity since 2012 and the creation or retention of more than 30,000 jobs. The School’s impact has also extended to environmental and energy sustainability projects, as well as research projects designed to find innovative solutions to challenges facing society, and particularly challenges facing the Appalachian region.

Like the late Senator George Voinovich, whose 44 years of public service included terms as mayor of Cleveland, governor of Ohio and U.S. senator, the School that takes his name recognizes that solutions to the world’s toughest problems will be found only by reaching across boundaries, some artificial and some real. The Voinovich School assembles under one umbrella a broad set of capabilities and collaborations in order to find innovative, research-driven, public/private partnership-based solutions to challenges facing communities, the economy and the environment. While we at the Voinovich School recognize that we have accomplished a great deal over the past 10 years, we also look forward to continuing expanding our impact through a future of service focused on our region, state and world.

The Ohio University Board of Trustees created the original organization, the Institute for Local Government Administration and Rural Development (ILGARD). Mark Weinberg was the founder and has served as Director since inception. From 1981 to 2007, the organization was part of the College of Arts and Science.
The Rural Universities Program (RUP) is created by the Ohio General Assembly. This program and its metropolitan companion, the Urban Universities Program, serve as major statewide public service programs for the Ohio Board of Regents. Ohio University directs this to funding to ILGARD.
The Ohio University Board of Trustees creates an umbrella center called the Center for Public and Environmental Affairs (CEPA) to house ILGARD and the Environmental Studies Program.
The George V. Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs is established on December 11 in partnership with the College of Business when the Ohio Board of Trustees votes to rename and expand the existing academic center, including an Executive Leadership program and entrepreneurship program.
The Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars program is established in is original form as a collaboration between the George V. Voinovich Center and the Honors Tutorial College. The program provides paid, applied research opportunities for undergraduates.
Governor Taft, the Ohio Board of Regents, and the Ohio General Assembly recognize the opportunity to use Ohio University to implement a new strategy, the Appalachian New Economy Partnership (ANEP), to strengthen the region’s growth and competitiveness in the current and emerging knowledge-based economy.
The George V. Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs is established on April 20, when the Ohio Board of Trustees votes to rename the center. The School becomes the first multidisciplinary school at Ohio University.TechGROWTH Ohio is also established.
Voinovich School’s first class of Master’s in Environmental Studies students earn their degrees.
In February, Ohio University announces the creation of the Center for Entrepreneurship, a partnership between the Voinovich School and the College of Business, designed to bring entrepreneurial experience to students while supporting the economic growth of the region.On June 10, a group of 25 Master’s in Public Administration students become the first students ever to receive degrees from the Voinovich School of Leadership in Public Affairs.
Mark Weinberg, the director of the Voinovich School since its inception, is appointed Founding Dean of the School.
At the Voinovich School’s 10-year anniversary, the School continues to focus on applied research, leadership development, and service to the region, state, nation and world.