Summer (1st Session) 2006 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Management of Nonprofit Organizations in N. America
Instructor(s): David Eaton
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 96230
Day & Time: Mondays, Wednesdays, 6:00 PM - 9:45 PM
Room: SRH 3.109
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information

This course fulfills requirements for the following specialization(s):

Description: The purpose of this course to help students develop knowledge of management and operation principles of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in North America, drawing experience from Canada, Mexico, and the USA. These groups, often called the ?independent sector,? range from churches to foundations, or from community-based groups to large national organizations. This overview course will describe issues, aspirations and realities of the voluntary and not for profit sector of society, as well as leadership of nonprofit organizations. Class topics include: (a) the history and raison d?etre of philanthropies and nonprofit organizations; (b) organization and operating systems of NGOs; and (c) legal and tax rules, organization and funding challenges affecting the sector. The class will be comparative, in that NGO examples will be drawn from the three major nations of North America: Canada, Mexico, and the USA.

Public officials give ?lip service? to the notion that the ?nonprofit sector? can provide a social ?safety net.? Despite that position, over the last twenty years government assistance in to domestic social, health and community welfare programs in North America has been reduced and the ?safety net? role has shifted in part to nonprofit organizations (NGOs). At the same time, governments at all levels are questioning whether tax incentives and exemptions should continue to be granted to NGOs, even though tax advantages are central to such organizations? capacity to generate funds. NGO?s and their managers are being challenged to justify their existence, increase their capacity, operate efficiently and effectively, avoid scandal, document their performance and articulate their contributions to the common good.

Class requirements include required readings of approximately 100 pages per class from a set of course readings. A list of references can be found on reserve in the library and are available in the UT/Austin electronic reserves system (ERES). Each student will be expected to read and report on other readings as part of the class. Optional readings are also listed.

Grading: Grading in the class will reflect an evaluation of a class research paper that will address some issue or topic related to NGOs (40 percent), a class oral presentation (5 percent), class participation (30 percent) and a final exam (25 percent). The paper?s content will be developed jointly by each student with the instructor. At the student?s initiative, a paper may be developed in cooperation with a nonprofit ?client? organization.

There are two key elements of class participation. One element is a series of reports on readings to the class (15 percent), which will be presented in five minutes or less and be written up in two pages or less. A second element is a student?s contributions to as many as seven in-class simulation exercises:

After each role-playing simulation which is based on realistic NGO experiences, each student will be asked to prepare a brief short ?after-action reports? of less than 2 pages to assess lessons have been learned from the exercise (15 percent). Each student will be expected to present his/her paper orally in a professional manner. This presentation will count toward 5 percent of the course grade.

Class will meet each Monday and Wednesday from 6:00 ? 9:45 pm from June 1 ? July 6. Each student will be expected to meet with the instructor in individual meetings 3 times during the term to discuss the student?s paper, on June 6, 15 and 29.

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