BARBARA JORDAN-MICKEY LELAND SPA WELCOMES NEW DEAN
Dr. Michael O. Adams*
We are excited to announce that the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs has just named a new Dean, Dr. Robert Bullard. Dr. Bullard has been a pioneer and leader in the area of environmental research and its effects on minority communities. Notably, he has looked at the sad reality that many low income and minority communities have seen there homes and lives put in danger by the location of environmentally sensitive facilities near them. Generally regarded as the father of the Environmental Justice movement, his expertise is no stranger to Houston—having led efforts to stop the placement of waste treatment plant in the middle of a neighborhood. Moreover, his focus on the environment and minority communities was revolutionary in a movement that had previously been dominated by Anglo leaders and had been largely ignored by minority leaders. His emphasis on environmental justice has led to a greater emphasis of environmental awareness in general within the minority community. Recycling efforts, water quality improvements, and the development of sustainable communities in low-income areas are all issues that owe a debt of gratitude to the work of Dr. Bullard.
In a City like Houston, his arrival and expertise couldn’t come at a more critical time. In a city with no land use regulations and a history of placing sensitive facilities in low-income communities, the temptation to cut environmental regulations in the name of expanding economic opportunities is great. With refineries and treatment plants in the area poised for expansion—it is critical that policy makers to be vigilant in maintaining and preserving environmental standards.
We join the entire community in welcoming a new leader to our institution who will bring a strong vision and perspective to our community.
*Dr. Michael O. Adams is a professor of political science and public administration in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. He also serves as director of the Barbara Jordan Institute for Policy Research at TSU.