Summer (1st Session) 2006 Course Description

Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Section Title: Working with Boards, Committees & Community Volunteers
Instructor(s): Sarah Rehnborg
Course: P A 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy
(previously Seminar in Topics in Public Policy)
Unique Number: 96235
Day & Time: Tuesdays, Thursdays, 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: With a focus on the practical tools needed for one?s professional career, this course examines the multi-faceted role of the volunteer in directing, serving and advocating for critical issues in US society. This course will investigate the role and functioning of a nonprofit board of directors with particular attention given to the stages of board development, board composition, policymaking functions of the board, and the involvement of the board in fund development. Policy and governance work is only one of many tasks performed by volunteers, however. Through lectures, course readings and guest speakers, students will examine the multiple roles performed by volunteers and the management systems needed to effectively engage volunteers in mission critical tasks. Attention will be given to attracting citizens to service, as well as the topics of training, orientation, retention, supervision, evaluation and volunteer recognition. Through role-plays students will learn to interview volunteers, explore the significance of motivation to a nonsalaried workforce, and will tackle some of the problems inherent in volunteer supervision and volunteer/staff relationships. Students will develop assignment guides and look at the use of the assignment guide in facilitating the work of committees, the involvement of board members, and the supervision of direct service and advocacy volunteers. As a result of this class students will gain skills in working with volunteers and in serving more effectively as a direct service volunteer, an advocate, or a board member dedicated to building a stronger, more caring community.

This LBJ course is cross-listed with the School of Social Work and counts as one of the core courses in the Portfolio in Nonprofit and Philanthropic Studies.

Contact either Steven Smith at, Portfolio Coordinator, Peggy Randow, Faculty Assistant at, or Professor Sarah Jane Rehnborg,, with questions or concerns.

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