Perspectives on Public Administration (POLI 770) 

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the study of public administration. The course begins with an examination of the role that government plays in modern society, and the complementary roles assumed by public managers in a democratic political system. Next, classical writings in organizational theory will be studied. These writings lay the foundation for later research in public administration, and also relate directly to the real-world practice of management. Finally, the course will end with a broad discussion of popular ideas concerning how the field should be reformed in order to make it more useful to society. Students will leave the course with a knowledge base that will enable them to better comprehend the more advanced materials studied in later courses in the MPA Program. 

        Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to: 
  • Understand the basic political, legal, and managerial context of public administration
  • Recognize the issues surrounding the role of bureaucracy in a democracy
  • Identify the differences between public and private administration
  • Understand major theories and dilemmas of public management 
  • Understand different schools of thought regarding human motivation in organizational settings 
  • Understand the importance of and implementation of performance management systems 
        Main topics include:
  • An Introduction to Public Administration
  • American Government and Tools of Government
  • The Political Context of Public Administration
  • Administrative Discretion and Representative Bureaucracy   
  • The Economic Theory of Bureaucracy and Public Perception of Bureaucracy
  • Organizational Theory and Bureaucratic Structure
  • Public and Private Management 
  • The Human Side of Government 
  • Decision Making in the Public Sector 
  • Implementation, Networks, and Governance 
  • Evaluations of Government Performance 
  • Administrative Ethics 

Nonprofit Management (POLI 797)