POLS 331:† Intro to Public Administration
Professor:†††††† ††††††††††† Curt Wood
Class Times:† ††††††††††† Monday and Wednesday: 2:00-3:15 PM in DuSable 246 (Section 1)
Office Hours: ††††††††††† Monday and Wednesday: 3:30-4:30 PM or by appointment
Office Room No.††††††††††† 213 IASBO Building†††††††††††
Email:†††††††††††† ††††††††††† email@example.com
Office Phone: ††††††††††† (815) 753-6144
This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the major public administration theories influencing the discipline, the role of the public bureaucracy in American society, and the interplay of politics and public administration at the national, state, and local levels.
This course serves as an introduction to public administration. During the semester we will review topics generally associated with its study and practice such as ethics, social equity, organization theory and behavior, public policy formation, public management, administrative reform, performance management, intergovernmental relations, leadership, human resources, and public finance.† Through class discussion, group work, lecture, reading, and current event assignments students will become familiar with the primary issues and challenges facing public administrators today at the local, state, and national levels.
Shafritz, Jay M. and Russell, E.W. 2005. Introducing Public Administration. Fourth Edition. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
It is my goal to train students to think critically about the major theories of public administration and to link theory with practice through case studies and current events. I will challenge students to think actively by taking responsibility for and becoming involved in their own learning inside and outside the classroom.
Students must write a review of either one book or two journal articles found at the back of any chapter in Introducing Public Administration by Shafritz and Hyde or other books or journal articles approved by the professor. The review(s) should describe the authorís primary message(s) or theme(s), hypotheses and findings, how these themes and findings relate to the class readings and lectures, and your reaction to the book or journal articles. The book review should be no longer than 5 pages and each journal review should be no longer than 3 pages. Papers should be double-spaced with 1-inch margins, written with 12-point font, and include a cover page and citations.† The book review is due no later than the last class. The first journal article is due on or before the Mid-term Exam. The second journal article is due on or before the last class. Late papers will receive a score of zero (0). Each student is responsible for finding his or her chosen book or journal articles. Students may be asked to present their book or journal reviews to the class. Grades will be based on how well the student integrates the book or article to theories and concepts studied in class or in the readings, how well the student understands and explains the book and article, and how well the paper is written in terms of sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.
Since this course is about government, book and journal reviews will only be accepted if they cover issues and events involving governmental bureaucracies and political and/or administrative actors.
In order to demonstrate an understanding of the current practice of public administration and to link theory with practice, beginning with the second week each student must also read, analyze, and write a minimum of ten (10) reaction papers on a major newspaper/magazine article each week addressing a major theme, theory, concept, or idea on public administration from the readings or lecture during that week. Current events articles must be about public (governmental) organizations and public (governmental) administrators. The analysis should describe the situation or event mentioned in the article, how the event or situation relates to a major public administration themes, ideas, or concepts from the readings or lecture for that week, and the studentís reaction to the article. Grades will be based on how well the student integrates the article with the theories and concepts studied in class or in the readings, how well the student understands and explains the case, and how well the paper is written in terms of sentence structure, grammar, and spelling.
The reaction paper should be no more than one page but should also include a cover page and a citation page. The analysis should also be double-spaced, one-inch margins, and 12-point font.†
The reaction papers are due on Wednesday during the week the relevant chapter or readings are discussed in class. Students may be asked to present their article to the class. Articles will not be accepted after the due date. Students only need to turn in 10 reaction papers. If a student turns in more than 10 reaction papers, the professor will drop the lowest grades, bringing the total number of reaction papers to 10. For example, if a student turns in 13 reaction papers, the professor will drop the three lowest grades.
Midterm and Final Examination
There will be a midterm and a final exam.† The mid-term and the final exam will be comprised of multiple choice questions and true/false questions. The final examination will not be cumulative.† Make-up exams will only be permitted in the case of extreme emergencies. In order to be eligible to make up a test, you must notify Professor Wood prior to the test that you will not be able to take the test at the appointed time. An unexcused absence from an exam will receive a score of zero.
Each student is expected to fully participate in class discussion and is encouraged to ask questions during class. In order to meaningfully participate (i.e. receive credit), each student must be prepared for class.† Attending class is a prerequisite for participation.† Each student is expected to have read the material prior to coming to class. Sleeping in class is grounds for a lower participation score.
Letter grades will be based on the standard 100 percent scale (e.g. 90% Ė 100% = A, 80% Ė 89% = B, 70% - 79% = C, etc.).† The following components are the criteria for calculating the course grade.
Quizzes (4)††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† 10%
Mid-term ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 20%
Final†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 20%
Current Events Reaction Papers (10)††††† ††††††††††† 20%
(1) Book or (2) Journal Reviews†††††††††† ††††††††††† 20%
Participation/Attendance††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 10%
††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 100%
Week 1 (January 19): Introductions
††††††††††† Wednesday: Introduction: Go over syllabus and Introductions
††††††††††† Earl Shumaker, the NIU Chief Librarian will show how to ††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††† access journals, books, and newspaper articles on public administration and political ††††††††††† science
Week 2 (January 24, 26)): Public Administration and Bureaucracy
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 1 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 1 and the characteristics of bureaucracy.
Week 3 (January 31, February 2): Organizational Theory††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
Monday: Chapter 6 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 6 and Herbert Simonís proverbs of public administration.
Week 4 (February 7, 9): Social Equity†††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 12 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 12 and affirmative action (diversity in the workplace).
Week 5 (February 14, 16): Honor, Ethics, and Accountability††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 5 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 5 and the pursuit of ethics and accountability in government.
Week 6 (February 21, 23):Organizational Behavior ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 7 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 7 and postmodernism and group think.
Week 7 (February 28, March 2): Leadership†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday:† Midterm††††
Wednesday: Chapter 10 lecture and discussion. Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 10 and theories of leadership.
† ††††††††† ††††††††††† †
Week 8 (March 7, 9): Public Policy† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 2 lecture and discussion
††††††††††† Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 2 and types of policy making.
Week 9 (March 14, 16): Spring Break
Week 10 (March 21, 23: Administrative Reform††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 3 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 3 and how government and business are different.
Week 11 (March 28, 30): Performance Measurements and Strategic Management ††††††††††† ††††††††††† Monday: Chapters 8 and 9 lecture and discussion on the New Managerialism
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 8 and performance measurement in government.
Week 12 (April 4, 6): Intergovernmental Relations††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 4 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 4 and vertical and horizontal intergovernmental relations in the United States, with a special focus on regionalism.
Week 13 (April 11, 13): Personnel Management† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 11 lecture and discussion
Wednesday: Current events reaction paper due and lecture/discussion on Chapter 11 and the study of collective bargaining.
Week 14 (April 18, 20): Public Financial Management† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Chapter 13 lecture and discussion on financial management (revenues)
Wednesday: Lecture and discussion on public budgeting and current events reaction paper due.
Week 15 (April 25, 27): Budgeting continued and Auditing and Evaluation
† ††††††††††† Monday: Finish Chapter 13 and Public Budgeting
Wednesday: Chapter 14 lecture and discussion on accounting and auditing.. Current events reaction paper due on Chapter 14.
Week 16 (May 2, 4):†††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††
††††††††††† Monday: Two guest speakers to talk about public management profession and NIU MPA ††††††††††† program
Wednesday:††††††††††† Review for Final Exam
Whenever referencing material from the texts, supplemental readings, or lectures, students should include appropriate citations to avoid problems of plagiarism.† Students are guilty of plagiarism, intentional or not, if they copy material from books, journals, or other sources without identifying and acknowledging those sources or if they paraphrase ideas from such sources without acknowledging them† (NIU Undergraduate Catalog).†
Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, NIU is committed to making reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Those students with disabilities that may have some impact on their coursework and for which they may require accommodations should notify the Center for Access-Ability Resources (CAAR) on the fourth floor of the Health Services Building. CAAR will assist students in making appropriate accommodations with course instructors. It is important that the student inform CAAR and Professor Wood of any disability-related needs during the first two weeks of the semester.
The Department of Political Science will recognize, on an annual basis, outstanding undergraduate papers written in conjunction with 300-400 level political science courses or directed studies. Authors do not have to be political science majors or have a particular class standing. Winners are expected to attend the Departmentís spring graduation ceremony where they will receive a certificate and $50.00. Papers, which can be submitted by students or faculty, must be supplied in triplicate to a department secretary by February 28. All copies should have two cover pages Ė one with the studentís name and one without the studentís name. Only papers written in the previous calendar year can be considered for the award. However, papers completed in the current spring semester are eligible for the following yearís competition even if the student has graduated.
Please turn your cell phones off before coming to class. Cell phones may not be used in class, nor is it acceptable to read newspapers or bring persons not enrolled in the course to class.
Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to consult the Department of Political Science web site on a regular basis. This up-to-date, central source of information will assist students in contacting faculty and staff, reviewing course requirements and syllabi, exploring graduate study, researching career options, tracking department events, and accessing important details related to undergraduate programs and activities. To reach the site, go to http://polisci.niu.edu