Public Administration (MP)
The goal of this course is to introduce graduate students to the theory and practice of public management from the administrative perspective. In addition to giving students a general overview of the field of public administration and the history of the public sector, this course addresses key aspects of the American governmental processes, the historical development of the field of public and service management, the role of bureaucracy in the political process, theories of public organizations, bureaucratic discretion and accountability, policy implementation, the changing nature of public administration, understanding organizations within the public and nonprofit sectors, and ethical issues in contemporary government and nonprofit entities. Students also explore the role and competencies of the public service and nonprofit administrator within various contexts as they discuss some of the fundamental debates that have shaped American governance at the federal, state and local levels. This course also covers a range of topics in public policy such as democratic policymaking, tools of policy analysis, and the processes in public policy decision-making, the role of various actors (public, nonprofit and private-sector) in the policy-making process and in shaping policy outcomes.
This course provides students with the tools and processes to develop a basic level of statistical competency that allow them to critically examine research and data on important policy and public administration issues, and decision-making within nonprofit entities. Students learn how to use a statistical software package to analyze and present data in addition to learning about sampling study design, hypothesis testing, time series analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics, and regression analysis. Students are introduced to the concepts and criteria for conducting quantitative research. Emphasis is on practical application of statistics concepts and data analysis used in problem solving within public administration and management, policy analysis, public health and nonprofit fields.
Students in this course prepare for leadership roles in government and nonprofit organizations as they learn how to critically analyze, evaluate and discuss a range of key policy issues, using rigorous analytical tools. Emphasis is placed on public sector economics as students examine the effects of government actions on economic activity. Students also explore the role of the agencies and institutions through which public intervention and regulation of the economy occurs. In addition, students will discuss the economic issues faced by decision-makers in nonprofit organizations. Opportunity cost, marginal analysis, market equilibrium, market failure, and cost- benefit analysis and other tools used in micro-economic analysis are introduced to provide students with the skill set for successful leadership and management of a nonprofit. Students address specific issues of particular concern to nonprofit entities such as: the economics of fundraising, regulatory environments, the impact of competition on nonprofit performance, and interactions among sources of revenue.
This course examines the theory and practice of public budgeting and its relationship to the administrative processes of control, management, and planning in public finance. Students are introduced to the processes and analytical techniques involved in developing and managing public budgets with a focus on service results. Emphasis is on budget processes and politics, the analysis of public revenue sources, and the techniques of budget analysis. Current issues in public budgeting are also be examined. Special emphasis is placed on the social balance question, the kinds and scope of government expenditures, the fiscal role of government in a mixed economy, sources of revenue available to government, administrative, political and institutional aspects of the budget and the budgetary process; and problems and trends in intergovernmental fiscal relations.
Students in this course are introduced to the challenges of implementing complex policies within a multi-cultural context. Emphasis is on developing the management and analytical skills necessary to assume leadership roles in multilateral organizations that obtain their funding from multiple governments to deliver services internationally. A comparative perspective on international development is provided, focusing on the ways in which public and nonprofit organizations must adapt to meet the different cultural, political, and economic circumstances of the communities they serve. Student also explore how public agencies around the globe, faced with similar problems like poverty, illiteracy, and inequality, have addressed those issues differently in different countries. Transnational relations of multinational, non-governmental and trans-governmental relations of sub-national governments and agencies are examined within the context of policy making at a global level.
The goal of this course is to provide public managers with the necessary tools to work with the law to formulate and implement public policies. Students in this course learn how to apply their knowledge of the foundations of public affairs (law, policy, administration, and management) in appropriate contexts and explore the legal foundations of policy and management in the public sector. Students also learn how to apply legal reasoning, legal ideas and tools to advance the public interest. Students who successfully complete this course acquire a basic understanding of how the American public law system operates and what the law requires of a public servant and how to integrate those legal mandates with sound management practices.
This course introduces students to a broad range of topics in policy design, development and analysis. All phases of the policymaking process are presented in addition to the functional activities and approaches to the study and analysis of public policy cycle. Students examine how politics and public interest inform government action through laws, regulations, court rulings and local ordinances. Logistical aspects of policy formation such as majority building, cost-benefit analysis, budgetary processes, and decision-making as well as the role of managers and institutions in the formation and implementation public policy are also explored. Students examine the institutional arrangements for making public policy decisions, the role of various actors-including nonprofit and private-sector professionals-in shaping policy outcomes, and the fundamentals (and limits) of analytic approaches to public policy development and evaluation.
This course introduces students to the methods used in analyzing demographic conditions, land use and housing trends, employment and business changes, and community and neighborhood development. Student also learn how to conduct original social, policy, and planning research within an urban context through a series of applied exercises involving research conceptualization and design, logic models, survey and ethnographic research, urban policy analysis and evaluation. Students learn how to use spreadsheet models and data analysis for local and neighborhood planning. Students also explore alternative approaches and methods to financing and valuing public and private urban development projects and programs. Topics covered are: capital markets; allocation of capital; yield curves and interest rates; bond yields and valuation; sources and formats of municipal borrowing and debt; bond issuance and under- writing; real estate debt sources and underwriting; Infrastructure and redevelopment financing techniques; capital investment financing; structuring public-private partnership deals; project finance in developing countries; and emerging issues in urban development finance.
This course introduces students to the different systems, functions, and processes involved in budgeting, strategic program planning and analysis, and evaluation within a nonprofit organization. Students learn how an operating budget is created, how capital budgets are created and used, the importance of a cash flow budget, and how the budget process can be managed to achieve optimal results. In addition, students have the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills in program planning and evaluation processes. Students discuss, analyze, and distinguish between selected approaches to program evaluation and the implications these approaches have for evaluation design and implementation different types of program evaluation, including needs assessment, formative research, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis. Students gain practical experience through a series of exercises involving the design of a conceptual framework, development of indicators, and development of an evaluation plan to measure impact. The fundamentals of fund accounting and capital project funds for nonprofit entities are also covered.
Students in this course learn about the management and leadership skills and tools required to meet the unique needs of mission-based organizations in international or community nonprofits, foundations, institutions of higher education, healthcare, and the arts. Students gain a deeper understanding of the skills and knowledge needed to solve problems, contribute ideas, and offer solutions for nonprofit entities, mission statement definition, managerial and financial controls, organizational capacity, fundraising and revenue generation, marketing, volunteer management, governance and board of directors, operations, and sustainability. Leadership Issues and challenging that are especially important in the nonprofit environment as well as the leadership qualities that important for success in the nonprofit sector are also discussed. Examples of topics covered are: leveraging fundraising principles and practices, grant writing, prospect research, development of organizational structure, donor motivations, communications, capital campaigns, and gift planning. Students also examine the governance environment through analysis and exploration of the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors and how the board members add positive value, and how they engage in activities that maximize nonprofit organization effectiveness. Students analyze and recommend ways that nonprofit boards and the volunteers that sit on them can add positive value to nonprofit organizations.
The primary objective of this course is to introduce students to the financial management principles related to decision-making in nonprofit organizations with a focus on how this information is communicated to and used by nonfinancial managers. Students learn about the types of financial statements that are used by nonprofit organizations, and how they differ from for-profit financial reporting. Students also learn how to interpret the information found in financial accounting statements that are used by nonprofit organizations. Topics covered are: use of accounting information in assessing financial performance and decision-making for nonprofit organizations; use of financial statement analysis and ratio analysis for nonprofit organizations with emphasis on planning and budgeting, how resources are allocated to both short-term and long-term objectives, monitoring performance, and adjusting plans and expectations. In addition, fraud issues and concerns, and IRS and state regulatory issues are discussed. A review of the accounting and transaction recording process, the presentation of accounting information, terminology, and the ways this data can be used to provide meaningful conclusions about the financial position and performance of a nonprofit operation and its programs are provided.
This course introduces students to fundraising as one of the central activities of a nonprofit organization and nonprofit management. Students compare and contrast fundraising through corporate donations versus foundation grants as a way to finance annual operating budgets, special projects and improvements to facilities for nonprofit entities. Key topics related to nonprofit fundraising, such as donor relations, annual campaigns and the phases of conducting a capital campaign-evaluation, feasibility study, organization, solicitation, and post-campaign activities are explained. Students learn about how nonprofit funds can be raised through direct mail and telemarketing, and various internet and social media platforms. An overview of strategic grant writing, a critical part of gaining funding for any nonprofit organization's mission is also introduced. Application to practical cases and situations are used to introduce student to theories and concepts of fundraising. Through class discussions and small group projects, students review profiles of donors and recipients, the psychology of giving, feasibility studies, and the roles of the executive director and the board in fundraising all are discussed. This course also covers skills in major donor solicitations, methods of ongoing fundraising, corporate and foundation fundraising, deferred giving, ethics, and special campaigns. Finally, students work in teams to development plan for a nonprofit organization using the concepts and tools introduced in this course.
Using a team-based approach, the culminating experience in the MPA program provides a "living laboratory " designed to give students the opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge to reinvigorate and rebuild communities locally and abroad. This culminating experience gives students the opportunity to apply what they've learned in the MPA course to a research or an applied project. Students will apply the knowledge skills, and competencies gained by conducting an analytical research project or by engaging in real-world situations involving problem-solving situations in public management, policy development, program assessment, or nonprofit management. Students are expected to demonstrate the ability to analyze, think critically, evaluate, solve problems and make decisions in the public interest while incorporating professional codes of ethics. Students are also expected to demonstrate proficiency in oral and written expression, and to demonstrate the ability to apply research skills using an appropriate method of inquiry. An open 'Requests for Proposals' process will be established to solicit client- based capstone projects each semester. To prepare students for the capstone project, this course also uses a case study-approach comprised of written, audio and visual case readings on contemporary problems combined with a scholarly perspective. Since this compulsory capstone project is a group effort, students work in supervised teams to carry out their analysis and research. Each student team is closely supervised by a member of the MPA faculty who provides guidance and advice, and who monitors the team's progress. With the assistance of the faculty supervisor, students manage the division of work among themselves and the final project earns a collective grade. Each team's project proposal is reviewed and approved by a committee consisting of the capstone instructor and members of the MPA faculty. Each student (team member) also submits a reflection paper about their learning experience in the MPA program.