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Public Administration Undergraduate
Courses & Syllabi (Spring 2017)

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RPAD 140 (RPOS 140) Introduction to Public Policy
This class is intended to familiarize you with the basics of Public Policy theory and practice. You will know what public policy is, how it is written, and how we know all this weird stuff about it. There is plenty of theory to talk about, and many real-world situations to discuss. Our goal is to give you the tools you need to dig deeper, as well as the information you will need to contextualize your future study.

RPAD 204 Computer Modeling for Decision Support
Making tough decisions—can computers help? Students will learn to use Internet technologies as well as techniques in computer modeling for critical thinking, policy analysis and decision support. Topics include a review of quantitative methods for strategic analysis, tools for making tough decisions, and a survey of formal modeling techniques.

RPAD 302 Understanding Public Organizations
This course focuses on the management of public organizations and their employees. Particular attention is devoted to exploring how politics, organizational structures and processes, people, and resources shape the performance of public organizations and their employees. To this end, the course will expose students to several key theories and management concepts applicable to all organizations—public, private, and nonprofit—as well as those seemingly unique to public organizations.

RPAD 303 Public Administration and Management
This course is designed to provide students an introduction to the field of public administration, including its practice, themes and values, and contemporary challenges. Public administration is government in action, as broadly defined by Woodrow Wilson in 1887. Public administration 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.

RPAD 305 Public Administration and Information Technologies
This class examines the sources and varieties of leadership behavior within and among organizations. The readings cover the organizational context of politics and the nature of power and politics in organizations, including how we might manage these dynamics in our careers. This is a writing‐intensive course with an assignment due most weeks. If other obligations would prevent you from completing these frequent assignments, it would be best if you didn’t take this course.

RPAD 316 (RPOS 316) Methodology Tools for Public Policy
This course introduces basic statistics in public sector research and public policy decisionmaking. The emphasis is on exploration of data processing techniques as they relate to statistical analysis and on understanding the proper application of statistics. The objective of this course is to empower students with the capability to critically analyze and understand statistical information. Students will learn how to design a quantitative research, how to do descriptive statistics, and how to conduct inferences based on given data. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to think critically about data, to use graphical and numerical summaries, to apply standard statistical inference procedures, and to draw conclusions from analyses.

RPAD 325 (RPOS 325) The Government and Politics of New York State
This course provides an introduction to the institutions and processes through which the people of New York State govern themselves. The major topics to be covered include:
a. The federal and state constitutional frameworks within which New York’s governmental and political institutions operate.
b. The types of local governments that exist in New York State and the powers and duties that have been assigned to them.
c. The structure, roles and functions of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the New York State government and their major component institutions.
d. The workings of New York’s unusual multi-party system.

RPAD 329Z (RPOS 329) Adminstrative Leadership
This class examines the sources and varieties of leadership behavior within and among organizations. The readings cover the organizational context of politics and the nature of power and politics in organizations, including how we might manage these dynamics in our careers.

RPAD 399 (RPOS 399) Public Spending and Fiscal Policy
This course focuses on the politics of public finances. It explores the social conflicts surrounding taxation, public spending, and public debt, the role played by different political actors and institutions in fiscal policy choices, and the influence of nongovernmental and supra-national organizations (like rating agencies or the International Monetary Fund) on national public finance. It seeks to answer questions like ‘Why do different countries spend and tax so differently?’ ‘Why do some countries get dangerously indebted?’ ‘How do others keep their budgets in balance?’ The course relies on independent study, class discussion and student projects. The last three weeks are set aside for team-projects analyzing the significant problems of several countries in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis.

RPAD 445 (RPAD 545) Principles and Practices of Cybersecurity
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.

RPAD 472 (RPAD 572) Disaster and Crisis Management in the Public, Private and Nonprofit Sectors
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.

RPAD 490Z (RPOS 495Z) Research & Writing in Washington
The overarching theme of the course is the process and structure of policymaking: how the policy apparatus is structured, what different government departments (or elsewhere, government ministries) and other policy-relevant agencies and organizations do, what key issues and organizations characterize specific policy domains, and how the scope and character of agendas and governance in those policy domains has changed over time. While our primary case study will be the US government, given our placement in Washington, DC, our actual ambit is global.

RPAD 498 (RPOS 390) Internships in Political Science and Public Policy
This course offers students the opportunity to integrate theoretical concepts related to politics, public administration, and organizations with practical experience in political, public sector and administrative institutions. This course seeks both to enhance the education value of the internship and to make it a springboard for a successful career.

RPAD 499 Policy Capstone
This course asks students to integrate the various theories, concepts and issues raised throughout their academic work in the field of public policy. This course seeks to deepen students' understanding of public policy and the various contexts through which public policy issues are framed in contemporary America. The course will afford students the opportunity to reflect upon their curricular and co‐curricular experiences as public policy majors that have contributed and informed their understanding of public policy.