Welcome to the VIU’s School of Public & International Affairs. (SPIA). I am delighted to welcome all of the students to another exciting year at VIU. I and my colleagues recognize that an education requires a significant investment on the part of all families for this we are grateful to the families of students’ who have faith in our institution.
As the new dean of SPIA I want to welcome you, as well as express how important graduate studies is for your professional and intellectual development. It is a time of personal growth and change, while at the same time being engaged with a rapidly changing world.
There are certainly many drivers of political, economic, social, and technological turbulence, perhaps the most obvious of which is the revolutionary leaps in technology, including the advances in information technology.
Even more profound is witnessing the decentralization of democracy as ordinary people from across the world utilize technology to promote freedom and demand the shift from authoritarian systems toward pluralistic transparent governance. However, at the same time, we see excessive use of violence and conflict by non-state actors. We cannot ignore demographic shifts, climate change, and other structural forces at play.
At SPIA we study public, international, security, and global affairs to be actively engaged with the issues. We want our students to think critically, write well, solve problems, and have the social, historical, and cultural competencies to understand the global community. Thank you, I look forward to meeting each one of you. Have a successful year at VIU.
Qamar-ul Huda, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Public and International Affairs