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Public Administration Graduate
Courses & Syllabi (Spring 2017)

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

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RRPAD 500 Foundations of Public Administration (4)
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the field of public administration including its practice, themes and values, and contemporary challenges. As broadly defined by Woodrow Wilson in 1887, public administration is “government in action.” It includes activities taken directly by government, or indirectly by its partners, to meet the democratically expressed needs of the public. These activities include policy design, implementation, evaluation of outcomes, and re‐design or re‐direction.
 
RRPAD 501 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (4)
The purpose of this course is to develop your knowledge and skills in the management of public financial resources. The readings, video content, weekly topics of study, and course assignments were selected to broaden your understanding of public financial management and to make you a better public administrator. You may not “connect” with each topic, but if you engage yourself in this course, you will increase your ability to achieve policy objectives, overcome administrative challenges, and manage public organizations.
 
RRPAD 503 (PUB 503) Principles of Public Economics (4)

How do markets allocate resources in an economy? How do firms operate in both the short run and the long run? What effect do taxes have on markets? What are the key rationales for governments to intervene in the economy? This class surveys microeconomic theory, with particular emphasis on principles most relevant for government and applications to policy or management. The first part of RRPAD 503 explores markets and their efficiency at allocating resources, under perfect conditions. The second part of RRPAD 503 explores the ways that markets can fail, and possible policies for solving these failures.  Prerequisites: RPAD 501 and familiarity with algebra.

RRPAD 504 (PUB 504) Data, Models, and Decisions I (4)
This course introduces computer-based tools for planning, policy analysis, and decision making. Topics include evaluating the quality of data for decision making, database construction and information management, administrative and policy models in spreadsheets, making decisions with multiple criteria, an introduction to probability and decision trees, and the use of simulation models as testbeds for policy making. Emphasis is placed on summarizing information meaningfully for policy makers and different stakeholders, and using standard spreadsheet programs likely to be encountered in the workplace. Prerequisites: Familiarity with word processing on either IBM or Macintosh platforms.
 
RRPAD 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.

RRPAD 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.

RRPAD 508 Professional Applications II (2)
The purpose of this course is to help prepare students to succeed in internships and your future careers by developing specific skills important to the public and nonprofit work environment. Over the semester we devote attention to three skill sets: 1) writing (and rewriting!) for different audiences, 2) group deliberation, and 4) working with diverse populations. Students will demonstrate mastery of these skills through in-class exercises, homework assignments, peer feedback, and case studies. At the conclusion of the course students should be able to communicate key ideas, in writing and orally, in a well-organized, concise, and persuasive manner. Students will be able to recognize the role of implicit and egocentric biases in management and policy, and to take steps to reduce the role of such biases in their workplace. Students will be able to elicit information from group members in deliberation. Prerequisite: RPAD 507 Professional Applications I.

RRPAD 509 Reflection Capstone
NOTE: this course description applies to students matriculating into the MPA program in the Fall of 2013 or later. Students from earlier cohorts will complete RRPAD 509 under the older rules.
RRPAD 509 is a 1-credit, satisfactory/unsatisfactory course that you take one-on-one with a professor. The course’s main goal is to lead you to reflect in various ways about your experience in the MPA program. Over the course of RRPAD 509, you will complete four assignments. You must earn a satisfactory on each component to earn this grade for the course.

RPAD 517 (RPOS 517) Quantitative Methods (4)
This is the core, required course in quantitative research methods for doctoral students in the Department of Political Science. As such, it is intended to provide you with a basic expertise in statistics for social science so that you can be a literate participant and contributor in the discipline. If you decide you are interested in quantitative methods, this course should provide you with the fundamentals to then decide what other methods might interest you and to capably enter and participate in those courses. If you decide you are not interested in quantitative methods and this may be your last course in this area, then this course should provide you with the basic skills to communicate with and evaluate other colleagues who employ these methods in their work.

RRPAD 526 (RPOS 513) Public Policy Field Seminar (4)
This course introduces students to public policy and the policy process in the United States and in comparative context. In it, we focus on important theories of how policymaking works from pressures on legislators to make policy, adapt policy, implement it, and the effect it has on citizens’ individual lives. We take a broad overview of the classics as well as look at new directions in contemporary policy research. It is a complement to policy analysis (RRPAD 540) and comparative public policy (RPOS 653). This course is recommended for students who are interested American or comparative politics broadly or policy students looking for theoretical background.

RRPAD 545 Principles and Practices of Cybersecurity (4)
This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of cybersecurity. Starting from the ground up, the class will examine cybersecurity from different angles to introduce students to and provide insight into the way cybersecurity can impact organizations and employees. Students will be exposed to today’s key concepts and issues through lectures, discussions, and case studies in this continual developing domain.  Prerequisites:  RRPAD 503, RRPAD 504 and RRPAD 505; or equivalent courses that cover introductory microeconomics, introductory statistics, and Excel proficiency; or permission of the instructor.

RPAD 550 (RPUB 550) Foundations of Government Information Strategy and Management (4)
This course focuses on the ways that information strategies and management approaches affect governmental functions, democratic processes, and public programs. It introduces students to the interaction of policy, management, data, and technology in the design, operation, and evaluation of government programs, citizen engagement, and public services. The course draws from the literature and experiences of both public and private sector management to explore organizational, government-wide, societal, and global topics. Case studies illustrate policy, management, data, and technology at work in single organizations and in different kinds of cross-boundary settings.Prerequisites: RPAD 500 and RPAD 506, and Permission of Instructor.

RPAD 554 (RINT 543) Political Violence: Terrorism & Insurgency (4)
This course will explore key theories and methods in the study of political violence with a specific focus on insurgency and terrorism. We will focus on the key why’s how’s and what’s in the study of terrorism and insurgency. The focus in the class is less on a specific geographic area then on learning to think conceptually and theoretically and how to produce analytical research related to political violence. Each week we will apply the theories and material we are reading about to discussions in class and ongoing research by students. Students will be taught how to collect data. The course will also integrate interactive exercises and games which will be used to dig deeper into the theory and practice of political violence.

RRPAD 557 (RPUB 557) Intelligence Analysis for Homeland Security (4)
This course examines intelligence analysis at the Federal and State and local levels. We begin with an overview of the US foreign intelligence community, its mission, history, structure, and capabilities, with special emphasis on its analytic components. We examine how this community’s composition and structure have changed as its mission was fundamentally altered, first with the end of the Cold War and then with the rise of terrorism and cyber. Next, we look at intelligence analysis as it is conducted by federal law enforcement and at the Department of Homeland Security. We will then look briefly at the various models used for conducting analysis by State-level and local homeland security and law enforcement. With this background, and based on the instructors career as an intelligence analyst at the CIA, the remainder of the course will be devoted to the intelligence analysis function.

RRPAD 558 (PUB 557) Intelligence and US National Security Policymaking (4)
This seminar examines the role of intelligence in the formulation and implementation of US foreign policy. Through critical analysis and case studies, students will develop techniques to increase intelligence’s contribution to policy deliberations while ensuring that it does not prescribe policy.

RRPAD 559 Homeland Security: Building Preparedness Capabilities (4)
The short but significant history of the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will serve as the starting point for this course which will provide a comprehensive and functional approach to understanding this department and its role.  The preponderance of time will be spent in developing an understanding of the nation's effort, led by DHS to develop preparedness capabilities to prevent, protect from, respond to, and recover from high consequence events caused by acts of terrorism, natural disasters, and accidents.  The course will rely heavily upon scenario-based activities and case studies to guide the student through the DHS maze and the nation's preparedness efforts at the federal, state, and local levels.

RRPAD 572 Disaster and Crisis Management in the Public, Private and Nonprofit Sectors (4)
The field of disaster and crisis management has evolved greatly over time and this course will examine that evolution and the key issues and challenges facing emergency managers and other crisis management professionals. In addition to the examination of the similarities and differences across the various sectors, we will analyze contemporary trends and common challenges to include risk management, crisis communication, and crisis leadership.

RRPAD 591 Seminar: Preparing for the Professoriate (1)
In this course, you will construct and demonstrate the mindset of a professional academic (i.e., begin thinking of yourself as a future faculty member, not a graduate student); applying this mindset, prepare and revise major documents for an academic job search; recognize and explain the differences between types of higher education institutions; explain the day-to-day work of a professional academic and the processes common to tenure-track academic positions; and make decisions about the kinds of positions you are best suited to apply for and that would best help you reach your professional goals.

RRPAD 641 Basic Governmental Accounting (4)
The course objective is to develop each student's understanding of basic governmental accounting. The skills acquired by all students will allow them to understand the development of governmental accounting, and to work with the fund structures used by governments.

RRPAD 642 Public Budgeting (4)
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to public budgeting and financial management knowledge and skills, and to expose students to the current issues and challenges in this field.

RRPAD 645 Psychological Economics and Policy (4)
This course explores the ways that economists have drawn on psychology to build richer frameworks for human motivation and information processing in markets. We will analyze the actual choices of economic decision‐makers in the lab and in the field. What motivates people to act for the good of the group? How do people form and change their beliefs? How can firms exploit people for fun and profits? How can government protect human brains from such exploitation? How can government agencies steer people into desired behavior?

RRPAD 655 Information and Public Policy (4)
Analysis and evaluation of public policies affecting the production, dissemination, and access to information at the national and international levels, in order to better understand their rationale, effectiveness, and appropriateness with regard to their intended role in society. Topics may include concepts of intellectual freedom, the public's right to be informed, freedom of information and privacy legislation, policies on dissemination of information in non‐print formats, open government, national security classification, privatizing of government information, issues of equity, and related policy matters.

RRPAD 659 Managing Public Service Organization Finances (4)
This course focuses on the tools and techniques of managing government and non-profit budgets and financial decision-making within public service organizations.  Topics include payroll projection and management, purchasing and procurement, contracting for services, budget analysis and planning, budget management and reporting, fund and revenue management, and the importance of internal controls and financial control systems.  Prerequisite: RPAD 501.

RRPAD 661 International and Comparative 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.

RPAD 672 Information Technology Innovation and Change Management in the Public Sector (4)
The course will build on the Master of Public Administration core curriculum by preparing individuals for a career in public service whether that is the public, private, or non-profit sectors. It introduces students to the dynamic relationship between IT innovation and broader public policy goals by focusing on the interaction between the organizational, operational, fiscal, and technical components necessary to manage change in the public sector. The course will examine innovations and change experiences through case studies from both the public and private sector to compare and contrast the process and outcomes. This approach will offer students an opportunity to embrace the complexities of driving IT innovations and develop the tools necessary to manage change in the public sector.

RPAD 675 Topics in Women’s Leadership (4)
What does it mean to be an effective leader? Are there particular skills/competencies one needs to be an effective leader? What does empirical research say about differences between women’s and men’s leadership, e.g., are there areas where women have greater strengths, are there areas where women have greater difficulty? Do people evaluate women’s and men’s leadership using different criteria? What challenges do women face in attempting to achieve leadership positions? How do these challenges differ across women with different backgrounds and/or in different leadership positions (e.g., across levels of organizational hierarchy, different types of organizations, etc.)? This course addresses each of these questions, and is designed to enable participants to gain a better understanding of issues and controversies associated with women as public service leaders. The course will examine non-gendered theories of leadership as well as theories and research related to women’s leadership and why women’s leadership matters.

RRPAD 699 (PUB 699) Understanding Energy Policy and Climate Change: A Federal, State and Local Government Perspective (4)
The study of energy policy reflects an intricate interplay of economic, legal, regulatory, technological environmental, geopolitical and ethical dimensions. This course will explore these dimensions encouraging class discussion of critical energy policy issues and the analysis of approaches to a clean, secure and equitable energy future.

RPAD 703 Principles in Public Economics (4)
Economists assert enormous influence within the policy world. An economics professor serves as chair of the Federal Reserve Board. An economics professor is the senior economic policy adviser to the President. Economics professors make up the Council of Economic Advisers. Economists have maneuvered themselves into the center of the policy making process, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. The goal of RPAD 703 is to equip you with the tools to understand the public sector through an economist lens, and to integrate economic reasoning and approaches into your own research.

RPAD 704 Research Design (4)
This course prepares doctoral students to design and conduct research studies using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Topics include: different research orientations; how to articulate research questions and testable hypotheses; steps in the research process; basic features of various methodologies including surveys, interviews, experiments, and using secondary data; strengths and limitations of different research methods; and how to develop research proposals. Prerequisite: RPAD 705 or equivalent graduate-level course on applied statistics.

RPAD 709 Foundations of Public Administration (4)
This seminar is a required course in the doctoral program in public administration and policy, and is the only required course devoted exclusively to the study of public administration. As a result, this course is designed to provide an intellectual history of public administration, and lay the foundations for understanding the contemporary study of the field. This exploration will include critical analysis of the claims, assumptions, definitions, and values underpinning these key ideas. Finally, this course is built on the assumption that every student pursuing doctoral studies in public administration, regardless of area of specialization, should be knowledgeable about the intellectual history of the field, including the ideas, theories, practices, and debates fundamental to the evolution of the field from its inception to the present.

RPAD 882/884 Seminar on PhD Research and Professional Development (1)
The PAD 881–884 seminar series introduces public affairs students to the principles, practices, and professional skills required for success in graduate studies and academia. As such, the series addresses three overarching goals: (1) to familiarize students with the basic norms and customs of graduate studies and the academy; (2) to help students learn what success in graduate studies and academia typically entails; and (3) to acquaint students with various strategies and skills fundamental in the transition from student to independent scholar.