LBJ faculty talk future of public policy at 2019 NASPAA Conference | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin
LBJ Professors Jenny Knowles Morrison, Sherri Greenberg, Varun Rai, Dean Angela Evans, Kate Weaver, Don Kettl, Bill Shute and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto
The LBJ faculty who will lead conversations at NASPAA (left to right): Jenny Knowles Morrison, Sherri Greenberg, Varun
Rai, Dean Angela Evans, Kate Weaver, Don Kettl, Bill Shute and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto


Several professors from the LBJ School of Public Affairs will lead conversations on innovations in public policy and emerging challenges involved in training students to build sustainable and inclusive democracies at the 2019 Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA) Annual Conference. The conference, "Reconstructing Governance for the Next 50 Years," will take place in Los Angeles Oct. 16-19, 2019.

LBJ School faculty sessions include:

Innovations in Experiential International Education: Embedding and Embodying to Extend Learning
Thursday, Oct. 17, 4–5 p.m.
Public policy education was cast almost 50 years ago, long before a varied and growing series of disruptions in the public sphere came to challenge the conventional typologies of public affairs education. Comprehensive public affairs schools are particularly challenged as to how to teach targeted critical thinking and analysis skills within international education initiatives. Such programs are also confronted with preparing graduates to be agile and adaptable, prepared to take on grand policy challenges of a global scope. Each panelist will share unique programming initiatives to accomplish such goals.

  • Jenny K. Morrison, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Carissa Slotterback, University of Minnesota
  • Jonathan Koppell, Arizona State University
  • Matthew R. Auer, The University of Georgia
  • Neil Kleiman, New York University

Policy Issues Committee Meeting
Thursday, Oct. 17, 4–5 p.m.
Donald F. Kettl, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin

Artificial Intelligence and Big Data: An Agenda for Public Affairs Research and Education
Friday, Oct. 18, 9:15–10:15 a.m.
Technical and organizational innovations such as Big Data, the Internet of Things and Smart Government have fueled renewed interest in policy analysis in the public sector. Beyond statistical modeling, this renewed vision of analytics incorporates other computational approaches such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning into public management and public policy analysis. We will discuss in this panel key capabilities that need to be included in the public affairs curriculum as well as alternative ways of incorporating such capabilities. Topics discussed in the panel include Data Management and Governance, Ethical, Policy, regulatory and other technical implications.

  • Michael Ahn, University of Massachusetts at Boston
  • Jesse Lecy, Arizona State University
  • Luis Luna-Reyes, University at Albany, SUNY
  • J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, University at Albany, SUNY
  • Sherri Greenberg, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Yu-Che Chen, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Stuart Bretschneider, Arizona State University

Reinventing Public Service Education: Reflections and Innovation
Friday, Oct. 18, 9:15–10:15 a.m.
The future success of public service education rests squarely on the willingness of faculty and university leadership to frankly discuss shortcomings and to tackle them head-on. For several years a group of deans have been discussing the challenges and opportunities universities face and have formed a task force to determine how to address them. The Task Force to Reinvent Public Service Education will present their best ideas on the most urgent reform needs and share insights from their collective development of a "Blueprint for the Future of Public Service Education." Come ready to critique and participate in this interactive session.

  • Sara Mogulescu, The Volcker Alliance
  • Angela Evans, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Trevor Brown, The Ohio State University
  • Matthew R. Auer, The University of Georgia,/li>
  • Kathryn Newcomer, The George Washington University

Hitting the Ground Running: Embedding Students in Government
Friday, Oct. 18, 10:30–11:30 a.m.
Embedding students in real policy contexts is the best way to bridge the gap between the classroom and the professional world. Whether it’s full-time work in a policy office or hands-on projects with government clients, experiential learning has become an essential aspect of public policy education. Join leaders from several schools that have established successful experiential learning programs in Washington, DC, as they share lessons learned and talk about the impact of these experiences on their students.

  • Marie Coleman, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Amanda Girth, The Ohio State University
  • Ryan Williams, Syracuse University
  • Bill Shute, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin

Fostering Diversity in Public Policy Schools—Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together
Friday, Oct. 18, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
The advancement of Diversity & Inclusion in our public policy schools is one that requires a holistic process — diversifying faculty and staff, recruiting and retaining a diverse student body, implementing strategies for classroom inclusion, expanding curriculum to be more representative of our diverse communities, and at the broadest level ensuring a supportive cultural context within our institutions. This panel will dive into each of these component pieces — highlighting best practices from faculty on the front lines of each of these endeavors. The panel as a whole will then take a step back to discuss/consider how these pieces work together.

  • Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Carla Koppell, Georgetown University
  • Carmen Mezzera, APSIA
  • Catherine Weaver, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • LaVonna Blair Lewis, University of Southern California
  • Julieta Marotta, Maastricht University
  • Lutz Krebs, Maastricht University

Entrepreneurial Education to Move Ideas to Impacts
Friday, Oct. 18, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
This session presents three new approaches to integrating entrepreneurialism into public affairs curricula. These approaches emerged from faculty participation in an NSF EAGER Grant charged with moving Innovation Corps methodologies into the public and nonprofit space. Members of the NSF-funded Curriculum Development Team from the University of Texas, Arizona State University, and Texas A&M University will overview their experimental pilots, lessons learned, and discuss the opportunities for enhancing entrepreneurial approaches in schools of public affairs and policy nationwide. The lessons highlight challenges presented by traditional semester constraints, faculty expertise, and the importance of students engaging stakeholders outside the classroom.

  • Angela Evans, The University of Texas at Austin
  • David Swindell, Arizona State University
  • Jenny K. Morrison, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Kathryn Semcow, Miracle Consulting
  • William Brown, Texas A&M University

Big Data for the Public Good
Friday, Oct. 18, 2:45–3:45 p.m.
Panelists will present work that has brought big data into the classroom and/or public-sector related research and technical assistance arenas. A discussion of the sources and uses of these data will be the focus of the panel and include discussions related to accessibility, privacy/identification, and partnerships with public sector partners in the use of unique big data.

  • Sally Wallace, Georgia State University
  • Varun Rai, LBJ School at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Jackie Speedy, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Henry Brady, University of California, Berkeley
  • Neil Kleiman, New York University

The LBJ School is a platinum sponsor of the NASPAA annual conference.

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