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History and Mission

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy was established by the University of Virginia in 2007 as part of its strategic plan and as an expression of its Jeffersonian heritage. The Batten School is the first new school to be established at the University since the Darden School of Business Administration was created in 1955.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Batten School is to develop leaders and generate new knowledge to solve the world’s toughest public policy challenges. Through training in policy analysis and critical leadership skills, the school and its faculty:

  • develop effective and ethical leaders to promote a better society
  • produce research addressing the most important policy problems
  • serve as a model for transforming public policy education

The School is made possible by a generous gift from the late Frank Batten, Sr., one of the University’s most loyal supporters. Batten was the retired chairman and CEO of Landmark Communications Inc. He was known for his keen interest in the areas of leadership, citizenship and service to the public. In establishing his founding gift, Batten expressed his noble goals for the School and its students and graduates:

"Never has there been a greater need for the University's most important product: enlightened and ethical leaders who leave Grounds prepared for public life--in their communities, in their professions, in the world at large."

The LEED-certified renovation of Garrett Hall was completed in summer 2011. Given its significance and prominent location near Thomas Jefferson’s historic Lawn, it stands as a fittingly impressive home for the Batten School.