"For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate’er is best administer’d is best."
-- Alexander Pope. Essay on Man. Epistle iii. Line 303.
Catalog Description: Introduction to theories of bureaucracy illustrated by selected case studies. Nature of institutions, staff, the political and legal environment, management and administration of public sector programs, human resources, intergovernmental relations, and effect of computers on bureaucracies.Learning Objectives, at the Introductory Level:
We will contrast the political environment surrounding American bureaucracy with the European bureaucratic environment; and US policies with those of Western European social democratic states. We may enjoy some multimedia and World Wide Web materials (equipment and time permitting) and some guest speakers. (Although we will attempt to balance speakers from different viewpoints, we cannot guarantee their availablity.)
Rhythm of the class: except where current affairs intrude, we shall generally use Tuesday for discussion of principles in Starling; and Thursday for exploration of other readings, or for a brief video documentary.
How does public administration differ from other subjects you may have already taken? You have probably already taken civics and history classes; public administration builds upon these subjects as its raw material, and shows some connections with private sector management theory. But in public as opposed to private management, you will learn of the constraints of the political environment: bureaucracies are often analyzed as complex organizations for this reason.
Many American students arrive with preconceptions about bureaucrats, that can be challenged by public administration data. Is US government unusually large, inefficient or costly compared to other nations? Do bureaucrats all sit at desks, typing monotonously upon command? Do they ignore the public in all their work; or, in fact, are they too responsive to special interests? So, expect that the readings may challenge some of your preconceptions about American public servants.
You may be wondering whether this is useful for a career. You may be surprised that there are about 6 million federal officials from over 200 professions. In the state and local governments there are twice as many jobs again. With a public administration or political science degree, plus appropriate professional degree (MPA, MPP, CPA, JD etc) or training, you might become a police officer, city manager, public works manager, fire chief, accountant, district attorney, quality control inspector, military officer, food pathologist, forest ranger, city planner, transport consultant, policy analyst, or think tank researcher. With 18 million total jobs and great variety, public administration is a good major field for careers: one in six jobs in America is in public administration.
In most other developed countries, it is even higher. (In fact, the best French private companies usually hire top executives from graduates of the national administration school instead of business students.)
Starling, Grover, Managing the Public Sector, Wadsworth, 9th Edition, 2011, ISBN-10: 0495833193 ISBN-13: 9780495833192. List, new: $168; Cengage eText: $84. Amazon: New $121 / used from $8
We are awaiting
publication of this book, and may include it:
Miller, William J. and Jeremy Walling, ©2013. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Public Administration and Policy, 1st Edition. ISBN-13 9780078050404. Retail Price:$43.44
Not available (out of print):
Balanoff, Howard. 2006.
Annual Editions: Public Policy
and Administration, 9/e Dushkin/McGraw-Hill. New, about $7 /$4
Some other materials may be placed in a ring binder on Library Reserve, such as current materials about public administration and policy in Alabama.
Discontinued for 2011 (we will use only selected chapters, on library reserve):
You are expected to comply with the HC Honor Code [read College's statement, August 2009, of procedure for violations] and with specific rules of decorum placed on our Requirements page above. You are also expected to comply with Huntingdon College's Code of Classroom Conduct, August 2009.
My Attendance Policy [read full details on Required page, as HC's policy has changed]:
"While school sanctioned excuses will not count against you, each unexcused absence will reduce your class participation score. I reserve the right to fail you for the course for more than [4 (TR) or 5 (MWF)] unexcused absences. I also reserve the right to reduce your letter grade in the event that high scores on tests and written work are marred by unexcused absences."
"Faculty at Huntingdon College make every effort to accommodate unique and special needs of students with respect to speech, hearing, vision, seating, or other possible adaptions. Please notify the Disability Services Intake Coordinator, Ms. Camilla Irvin, as soon as possible of requested accommodations."
Writing Center: Jackson 112 / open daily 11-3pm and T-Th 7-9pm
At the Writing Center, located in Jackson 112, Huntingdon students may work one-on-one with peer tutors to improve their reading and writing skills and get assistance with the writing components of any Huntingdon course. The Writing Center offers assistance with any stage of the writing process (brainstorming ideas, developing thesis statements, organizing and developing arguments, revising and editing), research documentation methods such as MLA or APA, and answering SWE (Standard Written English) or grammar questions. The Writing Center is a free service for all Huntingdon students and is open daily from 11-4pm and Tuesday through Thursday from 7-9pm. Appointments or walk-ins are welcome. Please contact Mr. Jim Hilgartner or Ms. Jamie Brazell at email@example.com to set up an appointment or get more information.