Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

January 26, 2022

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2022 Annual Conference Theme, Speakers Tackle Democracy and Equity

As plans begin to take shape for this March's Annual Conference, two areas of focus begin to come into view: democracy and equity. This year's theme, "Democracy under Threat: The Future of Equality in a Post-COVID World," will not simply pay lip-service to these topics. Rather, they will be front and center throughout our discussions.

We are getting ready to announce specific program details, including concurrent sessions, plenary speakers, the Presidential Panel line-up and more. Topics you can expect to see in the program include:

  • Gender equity and related issues
  • What democracy means in the United States and around the world
  • Racial disparities and how we can address them
  • How public advocacy can play a role in solving these challenges (and what "advocacy" even means)
  • The critical role economic empowerment plays in all of these discussions
We are excited to start announcing these details! Keep an eye on your inbox—and our Twitter feed—so you learn all the news as soon as it breaks!

Knowing these remain uncertain times, we are planning for an in-person conference that places your health, safety and security at the forefront of our efforts. To support those plans, we have adopted a number of robust health policies for the conference. Among them:
  • Proof of full vaccination is required to attend #ASPA2022
  • Masks will be required for all indoor activities
  • Social distancing and adequate spacing will be promoted and encouraged as much as possible
  • Flexible refund/transfer options are available should you be unable to join us
Full details are on our website. Review them closely and think about how you can do your part to make the 2022 conference a terrific and safe experience for all. (Have more questions? Visit our FAQ page for our answers!)

This will be a fully in-person event; hybrid or virtual options are not available during our time in Jacksonville. You can find more information on our website, including a link to register. Send your vaccination cards to [email protected] and we will look forward to seeing you in Jacksonville this March!

Use the following links to view the 2022 Annual Conference Events Code of Conduct, health and safety policies and liability waiver.


E-Learning at Your Fingertips

ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming.

KeepingCurrent: An FIU Series (Part III): IDEAs for Change: Academic-University Partnerships to Build Internal Capacity for Sustained Inclusion
In Partnership with Florida International University
February 8 | 1 p.m. EST

Susannah Ali, Florida International University
Sukumar Ganapati, Florida International University
Meredith Newman, Florida International University

Academic partnerships with local governments offer the opportunity to work toward fundamental community change to promote inclusion, diversity, equity and access (IDEA). Often efforts to support IDEA are not sustained by internal capacity among government employees and policies. This leaves projects vulnerable to poor implementation. In partnership with Florida International University, this webinar will look at a case study from Boynton Beach about how to address racial and social equity at the city level.

Speaking of Equity... Mayors Pledge to Tackle Racial Disparities

According to a recent RouteFifty article, 143 mayors have signed a compact that acknowledges cities have contributed to structural racism, that structural racism exists and that cities have a direct role to play in solving it. Taking place last week during the U.S. Conference of Mayors' winter meeting, some mayors took the next step and specifically promised to use American Rescue Plan Act funds to address racial inequality.

Mayors from Louisville, Kentucky; Jackson, Mississippi; St. Louis, Missouri; and Tacoma, Washington all discussed ways they will advance this priority.

Not all mayors were in agreement, including conference president and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, and even those who signed the compact acknowledged doing so may not be well-accepted in their home cities.

“We're trying to change the status quo,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. “We're trying to improve the participation of folks that traditionally have not been invited to the party.”

Coming This February: Zoom Roundtable on Civically Engaged Learning and Teaching

The events of January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC highlighted the critical need to encourage graduate students in public administration and public policy programs (and beyond) to develop an understanding of and appreciation for civic engagement and public service, and stay creatively engaged in the future of their country and their communities as responsible citizens.

Civic engagement should be more than some time spent on a service-learning experience for a few hours, days or weeks during an undergraduate degree experience. Graduate programs need to educate and prepare their students to be civically engaged and active throughout their lives. Given the political environment and societal need to raise citizens and leaders who have a public service mindset and actively engage with civic duties, it is vital to have a public service-related course as part of the core curriculum.

This roundtable, taking place February 2 at 1 p.m. EST, is geared toward faculty from across the United States but open to anyone interested and will focus on "civically engaged learning and teaching." Those who attend this online event will work to develop ways for our students to graduate from colleges and universities prepared to be the informed, engaged citizens our communities and our democracy need. Participants will have opportunities to network and develop their civic-minded thinking and practices through engaging roundtable discussions.

Attendees will identify:

  • the main elements of a civically engaged core course
  • foundational readings, tools and discussions
  • how to develop civic action as a lifelong practice
  • how to create civic agency in our students and on our campuses
Special thanks to Craig Donovan (Kean University) for volunteering to lead and moderate this event.


Start Focusing on Civics Now! National Poll Worker Recruitment Day

Did you know yesterday, January 25, was National Poll Worker Recruitment Day? Established in 2020 by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), National Poll Worker Recruitment Day is a day of action with the goal of encouraging potential poll workers to sign up to help America vote. Recent election cycles have seen this role become harder and more stressful—which means it's time for more of us to step up and help out!

Visit the EAC's website for more information and review the tools for how to get involved. Mostly, you sign up locally with your election office, but the EAC can provide more details and answer frequently asked questions. Take this opportunity now to add your name to your local poll workers list and be a part of the civic process for your locality's next election!

OMB Seeks Input on the President's Management Agenda

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is looking for help in building a learning agenda with government-wide questions on management issues in support of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA). The PMA sets out key priorities for an equitable, effective and accountable government that delivers results for all Americans.

At the end of December, OMB released a draft PMA learning agenda and seeks input from researchers, practitioners and policymakers. Feel free to share your ideas through a short survey that will be active through January 31st, 2022. Any feedback provided will inform a full PMA learning agenda, coming in 2022. This first-ever PMA learning agenda will encourage collaboration and research to close evidence gaps for specific topics within, beyond and in partnership with the federal government. It will highlight questions where multiple agencies stand to benefit and galvanize the public research community.

Please comment and share this information with your colleagues and networks. OMB wants your help and will review all public comments received by January 31st, 2022.

National Civic League Releases Updated Model City Charter

Following a year-long revision process, the National Civic League has released the ninth edition of the Model City Charter. The revision process was led by a steering committee of 22 national representatives and experts. The newly released edition continues the League’s tradition of helping cities implement professional, ethical and representative governance, and also includes a new emphasis on civic engagement and equity. For a limited time, the new edition of the Model City Charter is available for free.

"Leading Through DEI" at the Price School

Throughout October, the University of Southern California Price Executive Education kicked off a major initiative to support public service executives and senior administrators within the diversity, equity and inclusion space. "Leading Through DEI" was an intensive nine-session program aimed to provide skills at the individual, team and organizational levels and allow time to pause and reflect.

The program was designed to be action-focused with presenters including public service executives and leading scholars and consultants in the field and across the United States. Participants were from four different states and included a chief of staff, legislative staff, county and city senior administrators, and nonprofit and behavioral health leaders.

“Structural racism has a detrimental effect on what we in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office hold most sacred: public safety,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “It’s paramount that all working groups, particularly those in public service, develop and hone their leadership values with the goal of building stronger pipelines to racial and social diversity. USC Price’s 'Leading Through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion' program has helped move my office forward in furthering these crucial efforts.”

About this program specifically, LaVonna Blair Lewis, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, shared, “We miss the very best of the people we get to work with and for when we don’t give them a chance to be really seen and heard. We must focus our attention on DEI work if we ever hope to close the gaps that we all feel to some degree.”

"Leading Through DEI" takes many layers. The October 2021 program focused on why DEI matters in public service, doing the work: a mindful approach to DEI, cultural humility, social equity and ethics, empathy in professional settings, leading with courage and appreciative communication. Future offerings will include alternative topics and an expanded presentation team to reflect the breadth and depth of the field.

“There is no more important work than public service. We are proud to offer this program to support those who model, inspire and lead the way every day,” said Paul Danczyk, director of executive education.

Click here for more information about the presenters from October's event and for more information about this February's program, including registration details.

Public Integrity: Call for Papers

Public Integrity is pleased to announce a new call for papers for an upcoming special issue, "Qualitative Methods as Liberatory Tools: Applications and Explorations in Administrative and Research Ethics." The guest editors welcome proposals on numerous topics, including but not limited to:

  • How can qualitative methods help liberate communities? What are the power dynamics involved, and how are those addressed via research and reporting?
  • How can a liberatory perspective change the field’s dominant narratives? What are the impacts of these changes on education and practice?
  • Pedagogy scholarship exploring the role of qualitative inquiry in public administration education
  • Applications of any of the methods listed above (or not included) to investigate ethical questions
  • And many more!
Be sure to check out the full call and submission instructions here!


2022 Transatlantic Dialogue Call for Papers

The 16th Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD16), an annual conference bridging scholarly communities on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, will take place June 9-11, 2022, in Roskilde (Denmark). Co-sponsored by ASPA, the European Group for Public Administration/International Institute of Administrative Sciences and Rutgers University, we are pleased to join with our European counterparts to support this event and the scholarly communities it enhances.

Under this year's theme, “Strategic Management of Public Sector Transformation in Turbulent Times: Enhancing Collaborative Governance and Co-creation of Public Value," TAD16 will organize a broad range of workshops led by pairs of American and European scholars:

  • Building capacities for collaborative governance and co-creation through strategic management
  • Enhancing public performance through interagency and cross-sector collaboration
  • Public innovation through networks of public and private actors: theory and practice
  • Improving the performance of contracts, procurement and public-private partnerships
  • Co-creating public value outcomes with citizens and voluntary organizations
  • Public leadership and motivation in public value production
  • Designing institutional platforms and arenas for collaborative governance and co-creation
  • Political leadership and policy entrepreneurship in a turbulent world of collaborative governance
  • Democratic legitimacy and accountability in collaborative governance arrangements
This event also will feature several keynote speeches, a roundtable discussion of public governance responses to COVID-19 and a fun social event. More details will be provided as the schedule evolves.

Please review the Call for Papers now and submit your abstract by March 1, 2022. All registrations are due by May 10, 2022.

Find more details on the TAD16 website and we'll look forward to seeing you in Roskilde in June 2022!


Tips and Resources

How to Avoid Achy Feet While Working at Home
One side effect of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic may come as a surprise: sore feet. Here are some tips on how to get relief.

Coronavirus in the News
While you can find our usual assortment of news headlines from the past several weeks below, here are stories specific to the coronavirus that are noteworthy.


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity


(Otherwise) in the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity


Members in the News

ASPA members are in the news in a variety of ways. If you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.

Government Needs to Rehabilitate Its Image to Attract and Retain Workers
By Bob Lavigna

Welcome New ASPA Members!
Click here to view the most recent new ASPA members!

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals and other updates:
  • SPOD Releases Member Survey
    ASPA's Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD) has created a short survey for its members and friends to better understand ASPA members, the kind of events they would like to see, circulate information about scholarships and potentially get involved with SPOD. Take the survey here.

  • Flemming Awards Call for Nominations
    Please consider nominating a deserving federal employee for the 73rd annual Arthur S. Flemming Awards. The Arthur S. Flemming Award recognizes outstanding and meritorious achievement in working for the federal government; encourages the highest standards of performance in the federal service; enhances appreciation of our form of government and the opportunities and responsibilities it presents; and attracts outstanding individuals to a career in federal service. More than 500 people have received the awards to date. Eligibility is restricted to individuals currently engaged in federal government service and who have served 3-15 years. Similar employees of the Library of Congress, Government Accountability Office, Office of the Capitol Architect, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Government Printing Office and Botanical Gardens also are eligible. Only years directly on the federal payroll are considered service. Nominations will be accepted through January 31, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • Marc Holzer Public Performance Symposium Call for Papers
    The Marc Holzer Public Performance Symposium will take place online on April 22, 2022, focusing on the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. GPRA has served as a model since 1993, adopted and adapted throughout the United States and the globe at the national, state or provincial, and local levels. What lessons have been learned? How will GPRA continue to serve as a roadmap going forward? Proposals for this symposium are open to participants from all facets of the public performance community and related networks. All panelists must register. All proposals are due February 1, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • STPA Student Paper Competition Call for Nominations
    ASPA's Section on Transportation Policy and Administration (STPA) invites undergraduate and graduate students who have written research papers related to transportation policy and administration to submit their papers for consideration. The review committee encourages students to submit copies of previously prepared research papers, conference papers and journal article manuscripts. Literature reviews and review essays are not eligible for consideration; papers co-authored with faculty members are not eligible. The best paper will receive a cash award of $250 and STPA will pay the conference registration fee for the awardee to attend ASPA's 2022 Annual Conference. The deadline for receiving papers is February 1, 2022. Please send papers or questions regarding this call to Jiseul Kim.

  • SPOD Announces Student Scholarship Competition
    ASPA's Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD) is accepting nominations for its 2022 Annual SPOD Scholarship. These scholarships are designed to help facilitate learning to advance students’ academic work and interests in finding solutions to public organizational challenges. The scholarships also are intended to introduce students to SPOD's work and encourage their long-term involvement in its various activities and programs. Candidates must be in a master's or doctoral degree program from an accredited school in the United States and have submitted a proposal to present at ASPA's Annual Conference. To nominate a student for the scholarship, please send a letter of nomination by a faculty member (it should mention the student’s current GPA) and the student’s CV to Gina Scutelnicu-Todoran, SPOD Chair. All nominations are due February 11, 2022.

  • 2022 MPAC Call for Proposals
    The MPAC trustees invite all in the profession to submit a proposal for the 2022 Midwest Public Affairs Conference (MPAC). Individual paper, panel, roundtable and workshop proposals are welcome on all topics in public affairs; MPAC actively encourages submissions from faculty, students and practitioners. This year's theme is "Designing and Running the Innovative Public Service Agency." They invite proposals that explore public sector innovation, with an emphasis on connecting research insights to agency practice. MPAC prides itself on its diversity: In addition to theme-related papers they welcome proposals from a variety of PA-related fields such as urban affairs, public policy, nonprofit management and planning. Reviewers will accept proposals that entail research in progress, though they should have enough content to facilitate substantial participant discussion. The submission period opens immediately; acceptances are sent a rolling basis. All proposals are due by February 15, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • NFBPA Annual Scholarship Program Call for Applicants
    In 2022, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) will continue its prestigious scholarship program, recognizing African American or other minority students who are currently enrolled full-time at an accredited, traditional four-year college or university, preferably an HBCU, who show outstanding scholarship and leadership, particularly as related to public service. NFBPA provides several scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through its partnerships with corporate supporters, public sector organizations and individual contributors. The scholarship program is an integral part of NFBPA’s goal of lending support to African American and other minority students interested in leadership roles in public service. The deadline for this program has been extended. All applications now are due by February 17, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • 2022 ASPA Georgia Chapter Academic Conference Call for Papers
    The 23rd Annual ASPA Georgia Chapter Academic Conference and Annual Meeting will take place virtually March 30-31, 2022 and will be hosted by Purdue University Global. The theme will be: "Resilience Building and Fostering Hope During Times of Crisis." The conference planning committee welcomes innovative proposals that reflect best practices, a rethinking of current practices, represent benchmarks and lessons learned with a focus on the future of the field. The committee is receptive especially to submissions that focus on topics including social justice issues (this will be the place to address COVID-19 issues); criminal justice, homeland security and emergency management; diversity, equity and inclusion; America's infrastructure (addressing issues with dams/bridges/roads/airports/schools, and more); and service delivery (covering intergovernmental relations, public-private partnerships, social media platforms and more). Proposals should focus on successful/effective people, policies and/or programs in the public or nonprofit sector. The Chapter also will produce an online peer-reviewed journal, "Public Administration Research Series - PARS." Proposals accepted and presented at the conference will have an opportunity to submit their work for publication. Applicants should email submissions no later than February 21, 2022.

  • SPCM Best Paper Award
    The Section on Procurement and Contract Management (SPCM) has issued a Best Paper Award for ASPA's 2022 Annual Conference. Do you conduct research in public procurement, government contracting or contract management? Are you submitting a proposal for the conference? If so, submit your paper to SPCM for an award. First place will receive $500; second place will receive $250. Please send your full paper to Sawsan Abutabenjeh by March 1, 2022 for consideration. Click here for more information.

  • 2022 Annual E-PARCC Teaching Case and Simulation Competition
    The Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at the Syracuse University Maxwell School invites submissions for its 16th annual E-PARCC competition to further stimulate the creation of effective and innovative teaching cases and simulations. E-PARCC, a project of the "Collaborative Governance Initiative," provides free online resources for those who teach conflict and collaboration around the world. More than 3,000 visitors per month from more than 40 different countries take advantage of E-PARCC teaching materials. The E-PARCC competition consists of two tracks: (1) collaborative problem solving, collaborative governance, and network governance and analysis, and (2) collaborative methods in international development. All entries are due by March 15, 2022. Click here for more information.



Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)


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Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.