News and Announcements

Special issue: Ethical challenges in higher education in the contemporary policy and political climate

Call for proposals

Guest editor:
Darrell Lovell, Assistant professor & MPA director, West Texas A&M University 

Call for papers:

Current politics, policy debates, and the continued fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic have put an increased amount of pressure on the higher education system (Blakenberger & Williams, 2020). State policies that have been adopted or discussed in places such as Florida have created a different institutional system for colleges and universities to operate in. This new policy and political landscape are causing issues of faculty migration, enrollment shifts, and funding changes that create difficult administrative decisions evidenced by reducing faculty positions and the battles between unions and institutions over fair pay and working conditions. From a faculty perspective, there are concerns regarding their shifting roles and how they can continue to be effective as the system goes through a significant shift (Lovell, 2023). Trust in public figures is a common topic in administration (De Boer, 2020; Wade & Fiorentino, 2023), especially where education and politics are concerned (Bell et al, 2021).

As policy feedback has hit a new high with the salience of state policies that inhibit academic freedom rising, higher education administrators and decision-makers are faced with a new set of challenging decisions (Jeon & Exmeyer, 2022; Mettler, Jacobs, & Zhu, 2022). With shifts in challenges comes shifts in how administrators approach managing their institutions and how these structures are evolving (Borry, 2017; Khelifi, 2017). This new set of challenges include topics from changes in curriculum to managing faculty positions and power. Morality and ethical shifts have caused changes in higher education (Prisacariu & Shah, 2016) and set standards that administrators and faculty have to respond to in order to evolve. Analyzing these morality and ethical shifts, what these challenges are, and the results of them is the subject of this special issue with the overarching objective being to provide a new platform to expand this discussion within higher education.  

The main objective of Public Integrity is to expand the discussion of ethics, morality, and administration. This special issue aims to bring together contributions from multiple disciplines and encourages interdisciplinary work that address this focus within higher education. In addition, researchers using a variety of methodologies and approaches (quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods) are encouraged to submit their work. 

Potential topics and areas of research include but are not limited to:
  • How political decision-making is altering ethics in higher education administration and for higher education administrators
  • How higher education administrators deal with changes in K-12 content and their restrictions
  • How policy feedback is impacting the decisions higher education administrators are having to make
  • Are test-optional policies increasing equity post-pandemic
  • How are faculty viewed by the public and what impact does this have on their position and expectations within higher education
  • Are rural institutions falling prey to the morality debate in the rural-urban divide
  • Are faculty and staff being forced to compromise ethics to maintain employment in higher education
All submissions will be reviewed on their merit.

Those wishing to have their work included in the special issue will submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to [email protected]. Submissions should include the scope of the project, the foundations of the work, how the work fits the issue and journal’s aims, and an explanation of the question, methodological approach, and anticipated findings and impacts on the field of research. All accepted papers will go through the double-blind peer review process at Public Integrity and acceptance of an abstract does not guarantee publication.

June 1 - Abstracts due
July 1 - Decisions made
November 15 - First draft for comments by the editor
February 15, 2024 - Final submissions for peer review by Public Integrity
July1, 2024 - Projected issue publication date

If you have any questions, send an email to Darrell Lovell, guest editor, at [email protected]

Bell, E., Ter‐Mkrtchyan, A., Wehde, W., & Smith, K. (2021). Just or unjust? How ideological
beliefs shape street‐level bureaucrats’ perceptions of administrative burden. Public Administration Review, 81(4), 610-624.

Blankenberger, B. & Williams, A. (2020). COVID and the impact on higher education:
The essential role of integrity and accountability. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 42(3), 404-423.

Borry, E. (2017). Ethical climate and rule bending: How organizational norms contribute
to unintended rule consequences. Public Administration, 95(1), 78-96.

De Boer, N. (2020). How do citizens assess street‐level bureaucrats’ warmth and competence? A typology and test. Public Administration Review, 80(4), 532-542.

Jeon, S. H., & Exmeyer, P. C. (2022). Public Service in Times of Politicized Crisis: How
Combatting COVID-19 Reveals Threats to Merit Principles. Public Integrity, 1-16.

Khelifi, S. (2019). Interplay between politics and institutions in higher education reform. 
European Journal of Educational Research, 8(3), 671-681.

Lovell, D. (2023). Rethinking Faculty as Street-Level Bureaucrats: Exploring the Role of Ethics
and Administrative Discretion in Contemporary Higher Education. Public Integrity, 1-17.

Mettler, S., Jacobs, L., & Zhu, L. (2022). Policy threat, partisanship, and the case of the
affordable care act. American Political Science Review, 117(1), 296-310.

Prisacariu, A., & Shah, M. (2016). Defining the quality of higher education around ethics and
moral values. Quality in Higher education, 22(2), 152-166.

Wade, M. L., & Fiorentino, S. (2023). Heightened Expectations for Ethical Behavior in
Municipalities: Human Resource and Civility Training for Elected Officials. Public Integrity, 1-8.

New Feature: Vantage Point

The editorial team at Public Integrity is excited to announce the adoption of a new feature section: Vantage Point. The purpose of this section is to encourage the identification and discussion of emerging issues in the field of public sector ethics outside of the context of a traditional research manuscript.

Vantage Point welcomes diverse submissions by individuals engaged in public service as professionals, scholars or students.  This section is a venue for:

  • commentaries
  • reflections on current events and/or happenings within public administration
  • notes from the field (e.g., about what is happening on the ground; promising practices in public administration; reflections on best and not-so-best practices)
  • invited essays
  • opinion pieces
  • responses to published pieces
  • classroom strategies
  • reflections and challenges from inside the classroom from the perspective of MPA, DPA and PhD students

Submissions should follow the general submission guidelines and scope and aims of the Journal. We encourage shorter pieces rather than full-length articles (about 3000-4000 words) but longer pieces will be considered. When submitting, please make sure to indicate that the piece is being submitted to Vantage Point to facilitate timely processing of your manuscript.  Manuscripts will undergo a single-blind review process.

Our reviewers have a wide variety of expertise!

Public Integrity would like to thank all of our reviewers who have been so generous with sharing their expertise and time with the journal.  We are always interested in adding new reviewers to our team.

Serving as a reviewer can help improve your own scholarly rewriting, expose you to emerging scholarship and enhance your career.  To learn more about the expectations for our reviewers and to find out how you can serve in this important role see the page on reviewer guidelines.

ASPA Announces Next Public Integrity Editor Team

Click here to read the announcement.

2018 Award Winners Announced

This year was a first both in the record number of votes submitted, and in that all categories have ties for first place! All winners can be found here.  Each winner appears in a special symposium issue, has their award featured in the Public Integrity Hall of Fame, and receives recognition in the 2019 ASPA Annual Conference awards brochure. In addition, all winners will receive an individual Award Certificate to be conferred at the 2019 ASPA Annual Conference in Washington, DC.

Introducing a New Editorial Series in Public Integrity: “The State of the Republic”

Public Integrity is featuring a new Editorial Series by Donald E. Klingner, Ph.D., called “The State of the Republic." For more information about this series, click here.

Public Integrity’s New Managing Editor Effective 1 June: Jonathan Rose

Jonathan Rose, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer in Politics and Research Methodology at De Montfort University in the UK. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Nottingham, which investigated UK citizens’ attitudes to public ethics. This Ph.D. was co-funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the UK’s Committee on Standards in Public Life. The thesis formed the basis of his monograph, "The Public Understanding of Political Integrity: The Case for Probity Perception" (2014, Palgrave). Since completing his Ph.D. he has published several articles and book chapters on the subjects of corruption, ethics, good governance and political trust. Jonathan has extensive experience working with policymakers and has made several evidence submissions to independent and governing regulators. This has included formally giving oral evidence before the House of Commons Committee on Standards.

We warmly welcome him to the editorial team and look forward to his leadership. Jonathan will work closely with the Associate Managing Editors and the Book/Film Review Editor. Any questions regarding the submission of manuscripts to Public Integrity can be directed to Jonathan starting 1 June at: [email protected]
Richard K. Ghere will continue as part of the leadership team at Public Integrity in the role of Associate Managing Editor. His plans are to use the extra time afforded by the less demanding position to complete a book manuscript that assesses five influential books in public administration from a variety of rhetorical perspectives and to supplement an existing article-length manuscript on public reactions to President Ford's pardon of Nixon to include considerations of the current climate of public morality. He will also continue in his role of facilitating a summer research program at the University of Dayton wherein undergraduate students pursue independent research in Malawi over a nine-week period. Richard has done an extraordinary job as Managing Editor and we have all benefited from his service and leadership. He has worked closely with Jonathan to ensure a smooth transition and we're fortunate to have them both on our team.

Public Integrity Welcomes New Associate Managing Editor

Lorenda A. Naylor, PhD, MPH, MPA, Associate Professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, is Public Integrity’s new Associate Managing Editor. She has served on the Journal’s executive board, as the former Book Review Editor and has published both articles and a Guest Editorial in the Journal.  She has also served as Chair as the LGBT Section of ASPA.

Dr. Naylor is a social equity scholar whose work focuses on the democratic values of fairness, equality and representation. Primarily, her research highlights vulnerable citizens and their access to government rights and benefits. Dr. Naylor received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from American University, Washington DC. In addition, she holds two master’s degrees: a Master of Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical School, Kansas City, KS; and a Master of Public Administration from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. She resides in the District of Columbia/Baltimore area.

We warmly welcome Dr. Naylor to the editorial team and look forward to her leadership in this key role.

Announcing the Scholarly Awards for Public Integrity 2017, Volume 19

Brexit, Trump, and Post-Truth Politics
Jonathan Rose
V19N6  |   Pages 555-558
You can access this Editorial at:
Without Blinders: Public Values Scholarship in Political Science, Economics, and Law—Content and Contribution to Public Administration
Gjalt de Graaf & Zeger van der Wal
V19N3  |  Pages 196-218
You can access this Article at:

The Ethics Primer for Public Administrators in Government and Nonprofit Organizations (2nd ed.)
[Authored by James Svara, Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015]
Richard M. Jacobs
V19N3  |  Pages 294-298
You can access this Book Review at:

2018 International Colloquium on Ethical Leadership In Denver on March 9th!

Heather Getha-Taylor

Brandi Blessett

Public Integrity welcomes Dr. Brandi Blessett (Rutgers University) as its new Book and Film Review Editor, who is taking over the Editorship from Dr. Heather Getha-Taylor (University of Kansas).  

Dr. Getha-Taylor has a stellar record of leadership and professionalism in her role as Editor, growing and developing the range of topics, scholarly focus, and number of book reviews published in Public Integrity.  Under her tenure the Journal expanded this section to include film reviews, researched and developed the author guidelines for this initiative and wrote the first Call for film reviews.  Her expertise and excellent judgement will be dearly missed and we are all grateful.  She recommended and strongly endorsed Dr. Brandi Blessett for this role, and we immediately celebrated her choice.  

Dr. Blessett brings to Public Integrity an esteemed record of scholarship and leadership, and we’re delighted to welcome her to the Editorial Team.  Dr. Blessett has begun her position well very prepared by Dr. Getha-Taylor and the transition has been seamless.  We are excited about her ideas for the continuing growth of this key section, and know she will play an invaluable role in achieving our  collective goals for the Journal, it’s support of the SEIGOV section, ASPA membership, and to the broader academic community.  Please reach out to them with both thanks and welcome.

To submit a book or film review, please see author guidelines at:

For questions contact Dr. Brandi Blessett at: [email protected].  Dr. Getha-Taylor can be reached at: [email protected].

To learn more about Public Integrity and to join our digital media sites, please see: