Spring 2015 - 61050 - PA384C - Public Management

When agencies fail to carry out their missions, when programs fail to operate efficiently, effectively, and fairly, and when agency staff fail to perform at their highest level, then management has failed. Securing and retaining the public’s trust in the work of government rests squarely on the abilities and successful leadership of managers. This is a challenging time to be in leadership roles in public institutions: one must manage under the pressures of fiscal constraints; the public’s expectations of open government; the administrative complexities of contracting out services; the explosion of information technologies; and the often vague and partisan-charged policy directives generating from the legislature.

To prepare for this challenging profession, this course will expose students to the traditional responsibilities of public managers, which include: formulating new and improved policies; implementing complex policy directives; and using data, research and evaluations to oversee program implementation and operations. Students will also learn how to face new and emerging challenges to public management. Increasingly, governments are called upon to be efficient and transparent in their operations and to serve as catalysts for—in addition to actual deliverers, redistributors, or regulators of—goods, services, and opportunities affecting the public. As such, the responsibilities of public managers are shifting increasingly to managing more dynamic, innovative, integrated, and collaborative organizations.

The course will integrate some theories of management with actual experiences of those who have managed to help students develop skills and insights necessary to lead and manage public organizations. Students will learn how to apply common sense and critical problem solving skills when facing management and leadership challenges.