Spring 2018 - 60865 - PA 388L – Advanced Topics in Management
Issues in Urban Management
This course is intended to address core functions and contemporary issues in local government; provide practical experience from subject experts; discuss policy and administrative considerations and public input; create forum for open discussion to explore various perspectives of issues, as well as alternate solutions in order develop professional and leadership skills. The course focuses on the council-manager form of government in building and maintaining a community, the challenges faced in today’s environment and the virtues of public service. Topics include effective city manager-city council relationships, public (citizen) engagement and input, relationship between state and local government, labor relations and central municipal functions and services such as public safety, planning and land use, economic development, utilities management, and infrastructure and transportation. Each class is a mixture of lecture and classroom discussion of a contemporary issue and related policies; student-led discussion on current events related to local government services, management or policies; subject matter experts sharing leadership lessons and perspectives on current challenges; and/or small group exercises to enhance problem-solving and leadership-building.
Requirements and Expectations: Students are expected to come to class prepared and with assignments completed, keep up with local current events that impact municipalities and participate in class discussions. Student progress will be evaluated on the basis of: (1) 4 one-page business/case study memos; (2) small group presentation; (3) 10-12 page final paper; (4) attendance at a city council meeting and summarizing memo; (5) class participation.
Readings: (1) Students are expected to subscribe to Texas Municipal League Connect News service and remain abreast of current municipal issues, particularly in the Austin-metro area. (2) Each student will be assigned a topic and will be responsible for identifying a reading for the entire class to discuss on the assigned day. (3) Additional case studies will be reviewed either in class and as assigned, as well as various readings related to the class topic. (4) Books include: Good to Great in the Social Services and Six Thinking Hats.