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Public Administration Graduate
Courses & Syllabi (Fall 2013)

Click on the blue course title for a copy of the syllabi.


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Spring 2014

PAD 500 Introduction to Foundations of Public Administration (4)
This course focuses on tensions and trade-offs between important values in public administration and the institutional foundations of the public service in political, bureaucratic, and legal settings. Major topics include dimensions of the public sector, characteristics of institutional settings, history of the field, environmental context, and functions, roles, behaviors, and structures.

PAD 501 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (4)
This course focuses on teaching students how to use financial information to make decisions in public and not-for-profit organizations.  The first half of the course focuses on developing, implementing and controlling agency financial plans.  The course covers an introduction to financial management, the development of operating budgets, tools for short-term decision-making, capital-budgeting decisions, and the analysis of long-term financial options.  The second half of the course focuses on summarizing, reporting on and analyzing an organization's financial position, and the results of its operations

PAD 504 (PUB 504) Data, Models, and Decisions I (4)
Introduction to computer-based tools for planning, policy analysis, and decision making. Topics include administrative and policy models in spreadsheets, dynamic models in difference equations and spreadsheets, making decisions with multiple criteria, resource allocation, probability and decision trees, data bases and information management, and telecommunications in local networks and the Internet. Prerequisites: Familiarity with word processing on either IBM or Macintosh platforms.

PAD 505 (POS 505) Data, Models, and Decisions II (4)
Basic introduction to statistical methods and tests. Specific course topics include measurement, probability, distribution, tables and graphs, estimation and hypothesis testing, and linear models. Emphasis is placed on interpreting and presenting statistical outputs, including reports generated by computer programs. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

PAD 506 Foundations of Public Management (4)
An introduction to the theory and practice of public management. Topics include individual, group level, and organizational issues such as creating productive work environments, working within human resource systems, developing a learning organization, facilitating innovation, and managing across organizational boundaries. Cases and exercises will focus on practical applications of concepts covered. Prerequisite: Institutional Foundations of Public Administration.

PAD 507 (PUB 507) Professional Applications I (2)
This course emphasizes the early development of professional skills, the ability to work in teams, career planning, and an awareness of trade-offs in modern administration. It normally is taken during the fall semester.  Available only for degree-seeking students in Public Administration and Policy.  Prerequisites: This module normally is taken concurrently with PAD 500.  Successful completion of pre-semester masters orientation.

PAD 529 (POS 529) Law and Policy (4)
Examination of the role of the courts in the public policy process and in substantive policy fields; integrates the literature of law and policy and applies it to such areas as mental health care, corrections, human resources, education, and housing policy.

PAD 532 (PUB 532) Performance Measurement and Contracting in Government (4)
This course considers the problem of measuring performance in government, where performance measurement is used for accountability, managerial, and evaluation purposes. As most government services and goods are provided via arm's length transactions with non- or quasi-governmental organizations, a focus of the course is the problem of contracting in the public sector. The course also considers alternative means (e.g., auctions) by which governments allocate use of public assets (e.g. timber rights, bandwidth). Prerequisites: PAD 503 and PAD 505, or their equivalent.

PAD 535 (ACC 535) Fundamentals of Securities Law (3)
This course examines the history, rationales, and structures of securities laws in the United States, focusing mainly on the federal level but touching on issues pertaining to the states. Topics include public requirements governing the issuance of securities; mandatory public disclosures; legal requirements governing corporate mergers and acquisitions; primary and secondary markets for securities; exemptions from full coverage of laws, the reasons for exemptions, and how technology and market changes have affected these exemptions over time; and the basic structure of securities market regulation. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.

PAD 540 Public Policy Analysis (4)
This course is a survey of public policy analysis.  It builds on the statistical and analytic skills that have been developed in students' prior microeconomics and data analysis courses.  The principal objective of this course is to strengthen problem solving, analytic, and professional writing skills that will enhance students' understanding of the policy process, and increase students' ability to identify problems, enumerate solutions, evaluate alternative policies, and communicate results to clients.  Prerequisites:  RPAD 503, RPAD 504 and RPAD 505; or equivalent courses that cover introductory microeconomics, introductory statistics, and Excel proficiency; or permission of the instructor.

PAD 645 Psychological Economics and Policy (4)
Economic analyses are usually rooted in assumptions of perfect rationality, perfect selfishness, and perfect self-control.  Real human beings do not meet these assumptions.  How do real people respond to economic policies?  How can traditional analyses be adapted to use more psychologically realistic assumptions?  How can policy makers use experiments to help design and evaluate programs?  In the past few decades, economists in the fields of Behavioral Economics and Experimental Economics have explored how to draw on the methods and insights of psychologists.  That work has become increasingly relevant in policy circles.  This class surveys the theories, methods, and evidence of these fields and discusses their relevance for designing and implementing public programs.  Readings will consist primarily of professional journal articles.  Prerequisites: PAD 503, PAD 505.

PAD 550 (PUB 550) Foundations of Government
Information Strategy and Management (4)

Introduces the interaction of policy, management, and information technology in the design, operation, and evaluation of government operations and public services. Relies heavily on case studies to illustrate how these domains play out in multiple settings and across sectors-public, private, and not-for-profit. Prerequisites: PAD 500 and PAD 506, and Permission of Instructor.

PAD 554 (POS 554) Political Violence, Insurgency and Terrorism (4)
This course examines the relationships among, and differences between the following activities in the international political system: political violence, insurgency, and terrorism.  The course will include a consideration of the causes of these activities, their effects on national and international politics, and an evaluation of governmental responses to them.

PAD 610 Organizational Theory and Behavior (4)
This course uses social science theories and methods to understand human behavior in organizations.  It explores such important areas as decision-making, perception, communication, group dynamics, and such managerial issues as organizational politics, organizational culture, and organizational change.  Students employ case studies and exercises to develop skills in organizational analysis.

PAD 611 Decision Making in Government and Administration (4)
Rational decision theory and decision-making practice as illustrated by case materials. Topics covered may include: the economic concept of utility and maximization; the analytic problems of modeling and uncertainty; the psychological considerations of individual preferences and risk-taking behavior; the organizational and political context of decisions and its effect on agency choice; and current trends in public decision-making structures.

PAD 613 Issues in Not-for-Profit Management (4)
Examination of a broad range of management issues relevant to not-for-profit organizations. Topics include: differences between public, private, and not-for-profit management; governance and boards of directors; strategic planning and human resource issues in not-for-profits; resource development; sector convergence and competition; and the government/voluntary sector relationship.
 
PAD 614 Managerial Leadership in the Public Sector (4)
This course focuses on managerial leadership in the public sector from both theoretical and practical perspectives. Participants will have opportunities to explore their strengths and weaknesses as managerial leaders and to develop skills in these areas. In addition, several current theories of leadership will be examined as the basis for determining the requisite skills of managerial leaders. Prerequisite: PAD 610.

PAD 616 Nonprofits and Social Transformation (4)
This course addresses the role of nonprofit organizations in creating social change in a democracy. The course will focus primarily on strategies and tactics that nonprofit organizations can and do use to make change at individual, policy, and societal levels. Theoretical and case study readings focus on the challenges, paradoxes and successes of a variety of social change initiatives. While this class will focus on nonprofit organizations, a central aim is to provide students who do/will work in nonprofits, government agencies or any other organization with a public purpose with the opportunity to learn tools of social change. Through class discussions and exercises, students will learn to apply these tools in diverse institutional settings and policy domains. .

PAD 636 Cultural Analysis of Organization (4)
Exploration of the cultural approach to organizational analysis: theory and methods from anthropology, sociology, and history that focus on the subjective experience of organization members. Students complete a study in which these theories and methods are applied to a public, private or non-profit organization. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

PAD 641 Basic Governmental Accounting (4)
Survey of governmental accounting principles and procedures for persons without prior formal instruction in accounting. Included are such topics as account classification, cash and accrual accounting, appropriation and program accounts, cost estimation from accounts, development and analysis of financial statements, and the uses of accounting information for managerial decision making. Prerequisite: PAD 501 or permission of instructor.

PAD 643 Economics of Government Programs (4)
Why does the government exist?  What are the main economic tools of government?  This class examines the key rationales for public spending -- externalities, public goods, social insurance, paternalism, and inequality.  It then looks at major government programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, education, and Social Security, from both a theoretical and empirical point of view.  Emphasis on reading empirical research in public finance.  Prerequisites: PAD 503 (or equivalent familiarity with microeconomics) and PAD 505 (or familiarity with statistical regressions).

PAD 661 Comparative and International Public Management
Do public administrators do the same things all over the world? Are public servants in Singapore, Canada and Brazil motivated by the same incentives? Is organizational performance measured differently in Kenya compared to Cambodia? Does the idea of "global governance" make sense? These rhetorical questions give a flavor of the conceptual and practical issues that are the subject of public management and its reform around the world. The purpose of this course is not to make you a virtual globetrotter or a superficial expert on several vastly different administrative systems. Rather, students will gain a deeper appreciation of the concepts and tools of public administration in countries with different cultures, histories and political regimes.

PAD 688 Statistical Programming Workshop (1)
This workshop introduces students to statistical computer programming skills useful for doctoral research, with special emphasis on how to write code that is automated, easily modified, and readable.  Time permitting, the class may also discuss other programs useful for research, such as EndNote.

PAD 702 (POS 702) Politics and Administration (4)
Comprehensive perspective on the political dimension of public administration in industrial democracies, especially the United States. Relationships between administrative agencies and chief executives, legislative bodies, courts, media, and interest groups examined. Issues raised by federalism and privatization probed. Focus on whether bureaucracy can be kept safe for democracy. Prerequisite: PAD 500 or the equivalent recommended.

PAD 737 Contemporary Organization Theory and Management (4)
This seminar deals with contemporary issues in organization theory.  Students are exposed to the dominant schools of thought through the discussion, analysis, and comparison of representative work.  Among the areas covered are power, conflict, culture, organization/environment relations, and economic theories of organization.  Students will learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each of these diverse schools of thought and to compare their underlying assumptions.  Prerequisites: PAD 708 or another Ph.D. level course in organizational theory.

RPOS 789 – International Security and Conflict
This class will provide an introductory primer on major topics of interest in the subfields of security studies and international conflict. The course will address topics such as security strategy the uses of force in international politics, the causes of international conflict, how they are fought, and how they conclude.