Prof. Jonathan West, PhD


Master of Public Administration

Course Sequence

MPA - Course Sequence
Course sequence is subject to change.

Course Descriptions

All courses focus on skill development and translate theory into application while bringing in current and relevant events. The program is grounded in practice and faculty members bring their experience into coursework.

POL 622 - Introduction to Graduate Public Administration

An introduction to concepts, issues, problems, theories, and processes in the field of public administration and/or public management is provided.

POL 606 - Organizational Dynamics

Theory and behavior in public and nonprofit organizations are examined. Students can expect to focus on the importance of understanding the behavior, motivations, and actions of individuals in public service and on the distinctiveness of management and leadership in public organizations.

POL 610 - Political Analysis

Students are introduced to the tools used to investigate empirical questions relevant to politics, policy, and public administration. Students can expect to apply statistical concepts to contemporary social phenomena.

POL 601 - Budget and Financial Management and Administration

This course will address the role of the budget in shaping public policy, managing public revenues, budgetary theory, politics, and fiscal management, utilizing examples from state, municipal, and federal governments.

POL 671 - Political Environment of Business

Government-business-society relations with an emphasis on the social, economic, political, technological, ethical, and ecological environment will be examined throughout the course.

POL 654 - Political Ethics: The Dynamic Dilemmas of Contemporary Leadership

Students will receive intensive exposure to issues in political ethics. Discussion of moral issues related to political goals and how the method of achieving those goals may lead to unethical or illegal activity. Personal, professional, organizational, and societal levels of ethics analysis are considered. Learn principles of ethical conduct, to clarify personal values, how morally questionable means are used to achieve political ends, ethical problems in determining and implementing public policy, complexities and ambiguities in moral judgment, and how to make government more accountable and responsive. Profile of moral exemplars in public life will be examined.

POL 658 - From Electronic Government to Digital Governance

The course explores the transition from electronic government (e-gov) to digital or d-governance, emphasizing political participation, citizen-centric public administration, internet connectivity, cloud computing, and the proliferation of global information technologies and social media. The course analyzes strategies for the future organizational transformation and their implications for improved and measurable government performance. The shift from bureaucracy-centered to customer-centric service orientation is viewed as a means to reduce costs, restore public trust and improve service quality: digital governance helps governments at all levels to reduce budget deficits, meet citizens’ expectations and help achieve economic recovery goals.

POL 647 - Human Resource Management in Public Service

Students will address modern personnel administration, including topics such as job analysis and design, evaluation and appraisal, recruitment and interviewing, training and development, wages and benefits, and health and safety. In addition, students will study unionization, regulation of wages, hours and working conditions, financial security for workers, and job anti-discrimination legislation.

POL 696 - NGOs and Global Governance

After introducing the NGO concept and debating this associational revolution, the course focus narrows to the NGOs that work in international development. Students explore the dependency and double dependency debates, and question the linkage among politics, voice, legitimacy, and who really speaks for whom in international development. The last half of the course focuses on humanitarian NGO activities in five crises: Rwanda (1994), Darfur (2003-present), North Korea (late 1990s), Indonesia (2004), and Haiti (2010).

POL 646 - Public Policy Analysis and Administration

A thorough examination of public policy issue areas including education, health, welfare, and urban mass transit will be conducted. Topics will focus on the limits to effectiveness of federal, and state and local governments in providing services. Students learn techniques for analyzing the effectiveness of public policies and research techniques for the assessment of future policy alternatives.

POL 651 - Productivity Improvement in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors

Not only does this course teach the definitions and measures of productivity, it also provides an evaluation of government programs and methods of productivity improvement.

POL 695 - Contested Issues in Public Administration, Public Management, and Public Policy

This course will contest one or two new topics per week. Topics include (but are not limited to) the politics-administration dichotomy, ideal-type bureaucracies and Taylorism, 'satisficing', representative bureaucracy, New Public Management, collaborative governance, the "three E's", at-will employment / outsourcing, social capital, public service motivation, and global administrative law.