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PUB 518: Budgeting and Finance in the Public Sector

Governmental budgeting has similarities and differences with private budgeting. At the most basic level the goal is balancing between expenditures and revenues. In a way the government strives to budget-maximize like the corporation strives to profit-maximize. The difference is that government, by its nature, serves the population without any direct return. It provides public goods which the market is unable to do without excluding some of the population. This course explores the dynamics of the budget process in government as well as detailed issues in budgeting. The first half of the course covers general issues in budgeting while the second half of the course focuses on specific main revenues for government. The main objective of this course is to provide the class with a thorough analysis of budgeting terms, methods and problems.


POLS 5509 / 4409: Community Planning

This is a planning course that aims to cover the primary topics in community and regional planning.  Following the guidelines of the textbook for the class, this class aims to, “define the interdisciplinary nature of the field, identify the forces that shape the planning process, and explain the field’s subspecialties (Kelly, 2004, xii).”  The main goal of this course is to engage the class in thoughtful discussion on planning topics ranging from the theoretical level to specific issues in planning such as zoning.  This course does not involve technical issues such as land-use or growth projection modeling or GIS mapping and its software.  These two important areas of planning require a much more specific course than a general overview.  The objective of this course is to provide a firm understanding of contemporary thinking on planning issues so that current or future professional planners and academics can engage with the issues facing their community in a proactive and productive way.  Some of the challenges in the planning field are new such as the challenges of constantly declining populations and new migration trends, technological changes, globalization, renewed vigor for environmental consciousness, more diverse populations and an increasingly complex administrative structure.  Some of the challenges are more traditional such as zoning issues and eminent domain, traffic concerns and preservation issues.  These issues are explored in this course.


POLS 3350: Public Administration in the Islamic World

This course intends to provide a historical and contemporary view of the conception of government in the Muslim world.  There are textual (Islamic), cultural (Arab, Persian, Turkish, Indian, Malay, Caucasian, African, etc.) and historical origins for Muslim governance throughout the ages.  The progression of the concept of government in the Muslim world from city-state, to empire to nation-state will be considered in this course.  This course will start with the city-state of Medina under the Prophet Muhammad and expand outward to the early Arab/Persian caliphates to the Turkish caliphate.  Sultanates in the regions of India and South-East Asia as well as the kingdoms in Africa and the Khanates of Russia and Central Asia will be considered within this sphere up until the modern age.  The conceptions of leadership, public finance, the rule of law, the military and democracy will be examined throughout the course.  By the end of this course you will be able to describe the progression of government throughout the Muslim world from the early days of Islam until the modern era.  You will also have a well-rounded knowledge of different aspects of government under Islamic rule.  In addition, you will be able to apply that knowledge to recommend solutions to governance problems throughout the Muslim world potentially as a future international representative of a diplomatic mission or international body. 


PUB 502: Public Sector Management

This class will focus on leadership, strategy and performance which are considered core areas in public management. Regarding leadership, we will consider some common qualities of good leadership including its impact on public service motivation. Good leaders are also very strategic. We will explore the strategic planning process and inspect local strategic plans. An aspect of this will be performance measurement. We will learn how to design and implement an importance – performance analysis.


PUAD 501: Managing Public & Private Organizations

This course will explore the theories, frameworks and elements of organization studies including the organization environment, work motivation, organization design and change and effective public management and development. This exploration will provide a strong foundation in the field for the early and mid-career professional alike as well as those oriented towards public service (practice) or academia. In addition, this course will emphasize those skills needed to be effective in organizational settings. This is a generalized course with no prerequisites required for enrollment.


POLS 1101: Introduction to United States Government

There are many elements that compose the U.S. government.  There are various institutions, democratic processes, civil liberties, laws, and the role of the media.  This is an introductory course on the different parts of the U.S. government.  It is an online course that will use forums and Blackboard Collaborate through Moodle to facilitate discussions on the role of democracy, the protection of minorities, the influence of the media and interest groups, the power of the courts, politics and political parties and the increasing partisan divide characterizing U.S. politics to date.  The primary goal of this course is to evaluate student’s knowledge of the U.S. government while instructing them in its subtleties to prepare them for more in depth courses they may take in the field of political science and public administration.  The main objective of this class is to facilitate fruitful discussions on the different aspects of the U.S. government to inform, challenge, inspire and motivate the students to study this topic in more detail.


PUB 500: Politics, Policy & Public Administration

What is public administration and public policy? This class will seek to answer this question. We will be exploring public ethics, citizen engagement, e-government, human resources and the policy process. We will explore theory as well as practical issues related to public service and public policymaking. The first 7 weeks of this course will be focused on public administration. This is when we will use the textbook the most. The last 7 weeks of this course will be focused on public policy. We will be learning about the policy process and policy memos. In addition, we will be doing policy simulations in class with Viewpoint.


POLS 5567 / 4467: State and Local Administration

This course is a compendium to POLS 3308 (State and Local Government), but is not a requirement for this course.  For those students that took this course the present course is more focused and more advanced.  There is some coverage of the structure of government at the state and local level including discussions of constitutions and institutions which was thoroughly covered in POLS 3308.  This course will focus on issues pertaining to intergovernmental mandates, funding, lobbying, own-source revenues, fiscal stress, local government autonomy and civil rights / liberties.  A good portion of this course is focused on state and local government finance.  The intention of this course is to provide the learner knowledge about the functions of the states and their local governments, their problems, their interactions and their unique roles in the governing system of the United States.  The assignments in this course aim to encourage problem-solving while the exams aim to encourage information retention.  The objective of this course is to thoroughly inform current or future administrators / officials at the state or local level about the issues they may experience and provide them with different ways to think about them.  This course also aims to inform future scholars in the field and provide directions for research in this area.

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PUB 585: Applied Research Methods

Statistics are useful tools in many fields. In public administration they are used to recommend certain policy solutions and evaluate outcomes, to forecast revenues and expenditures and develop regulations. In essence, they help us to objectively understand the environment in which government operates. For example, the internal migration of populations from one city, county or state to another presents a challenge for governments that rely substantially on their own-sources of revenue. As the population leaves one area for another the government representing the area with negative internal migration experiences fiscal stress. It would be advantageous to track these changes to anticipate future revenues and expenditures and this is why the Census is an incredibly useful tool. In addition, it would be important to understand the causal mechanisms for these population changes so that appropriate policy responses can be crafted to retain residents.