On October 20th Dean Hill returned to his old stomping grounds in Washington, D.C.. to meet with an enthusiastic crowd of approximately 150 Josef Korbel School alumni at a gathering held at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Washington.
After giving a speech where he mentioned how much he was enjoying his new job, he opened the floor to questions. The first question revolved around the dean's "story." He noted his background in diplomacy, as an ambassador, and that he had been hired by another (unnamed) school as a scholar-in-residence when he was made aware of the opening at the Josef Korbel School. The combination of the school's excellence and its location appealed to him. Almost a year later he found himself at the helm. He thanked his predecesor, Tom Farer, for his work in bringing the school to its current level of excellence and remarked how much easier his transition has been because of Farer's hard work. The crowd warmly applauded the mention of Farer, who is remembered fondly by many of the alumni in attendance.
Responding to questions relating to changes in the MA programs, Dean Hill said the program remains excellent and he's working on the addition of a "Diplomacy and Security" MA program. This program may be an addition or complement to the current MA in International Security program. He was questioned on the possibility of the school maintaining a part-time presence in Washington, D.C. for undergraduates. He noted the difficulty with that scenario is maintaining the University of Denver's high standards of excellence but that he could see such a program as both feasible and necessary. The dean then mentioned the excellence embodied in Josef Korbel School's PhD program and how PhD students contributed enormously to the reputation of the school through their hard-hitting research and writings.
The dean ended his speech thanking the Josef Korbel School Alumni-in-D.C. Association and the able work of the school's Alumni Relations Office in Denver. Following his speech Alum Adam Matschek (MA, Global Finance, Trade and Economic Integration) said, "Ambassador Hill seemed to have great rapport with the alumni at the reception. His ideas were well expressed and it sounds like he is taking an active role in trying to improve the excellent quality of the school and its reputation around Washington, D.C." Dean Hill then spoke with alumni on a variety of topics, including his time as chief negotiator over North Korea's nuclear program as well has his views on current foreign policy issues, including Iran and Iraq. Melody Reiner (MA, International Studies '10) asked the dean about his experiences in North Korea and said, "it was a great opportunity for alumni to hear Dean Hill's vision for the future of Korbel."
The event was an ideal opportunity for alumni to get to know the new dean, to meet and spend time with each other and the new Korbel graduates in the D.C. area. The Josef Korbel School's active alumni network deserves credit for putting together this event in conjunction with the Josef Korbel School's Office of Alumni Relations. The new dean's energy and his exciting plans for the future were appreciated by every person in attendance. Said Daniel Hartman (MA, International Development, '08), "What stood out to me about Dean Hill's remarks was his vision for making Korbel a school known for preparing students for the foreign service. As a career FSO and a former ambassador, he's uniquely positioned to make this happen, and it will be great for the school."
-Shane Hensinger, MA candidate in International Security
Josef Korbel School of International Studies