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

May 24, 2023

ASPANet.org | PA TIMES.org

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PA TIMES Spring Edition Now Available!

It's back! PA TIMES magazine took a brief hiatus, but is back in 2023 with a new edition—and two more to come later this year! The current edition covers "Topics of Our Time," publishing a range of articles and topics from across the profession.

When you download your copy, you'll find:

  • The Killing of Tyre Nichols, Police Oversight and Race
  • Cooperation Modalities and Benchmarking for Good Governance in the New Reality
  • Getting Down to Business: Eight City Leaders Talk about Making ARPA Funding Decisions
  • Democracy, Declining State Capacity and Inequality: The Role and Responsibility of the Public Administration Field
  • Boiling the Frog: How Civil Servants Are Being Politicized Before Our Eyes
  • Best Practices in Title IX Case Management for Institutions of Higher Education
  • Public Sector Recruitment and Retention: A Workforce Permanently Changed by COVID-19
  • The Health Care Workforce Crisis Should Be a Priority
  • National Louis University Inspires Students to Improve Their Community in Chicago and Beyond
  • ASPA and Texas CPM: A Strategic Partnership
Of course, you also will find member news and a special In Memoriam section. (Also, remember: You can send ASPA your own member news any time and we'll make sure to publish it in the next edition of the magazine!)

This copy of the magazine is being published digitally; download your copy from our website and enjoy!

PA TIMES magazine is a members-only resource; login information is required to load the above links. Contact us if you need your username and password. Click here to join ASPA and gain access to this edition and so much more.


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 Student and New Professional series programming.

BookTalk: Understanding Municipal Fiscal Health
May 25 | 1 p.m. EDT

Wally Bobkiewicz, City Administrator, City of Issaquah, Washington
Craig Maher, Director, School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Bruce McDonald, Associate Professor, North Carolina State University

Understanding Municipal Fiscal Health provides an in-depth assessment of the fiscal health of cities throughout the United States. The book examines the tools currently available to cities for designing a revenue structure, measuring fiscal conditions and measuring fiscal health. It explains how artificial policies such as tax and expenditure limitations influence fiscal policies, and how communities can overcome socioeconomic and state-policy barriers to produce strong fiscal conditions. The authors go beyond simple theory to analyze patterns of fiscal health using actual financial, demographic and TEL data from an accurate data source, the Government Financial Officers Association survey. The book offers a solid basis of empirical evidence including quantitative case studies—complete with discussion questions—to help practitioners better understand the environment in which they are functioning and the policy tools they need to help advocate for change. This book teaches the reader the science and art of municipal financial analysis, and will be invaluable for local and state officials, analysts, and students and researchers.

KeepingCurrent: Achieving Tenure as a Nonprofit Scholar
May 30 | 1 p.m. EDT

Sponsored by ASPA's Section on Nonprofits

Lauren Azevedo, Moderator, Assistant Professor, UNC Charlotte
Cynthia Lynch, Associate Professor, Hawaii Pacific University
Alisa Moldavanova, Associate Professor, University of Delaware
Sheela Pandey, Associate Professor, Penn State Harrisburg
Robbie Robichau, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

ASPA's Section on Nonprofits' networking and special events subcommittee is pleased to host this webinar, including a group of presenters discussing concepts such as: communicating a nonprofit research agenda to a department or school that is not nonprofit focused (or to non-nonprofit scholars), putting portfolios together and information and documentation required, and demonstrating nonprofit worthiness for general academia. Plan now to join us for this discussion!

Upcoming: A BookTalk with Don Kettl:
Bridgebuilders: How Government Can Transcend Boundaries to Solve Big Problems

June 1 | 1 p.m. EDT

Upcoming: A KeepingCurrent with NAPA:
Agile Government with Ed DeSeve and Joe Mitchell

June 8 | 1 p.m. EDT

From the Archives
KeepingCurrent: Local Government Communications—Lessons Following COVID and Crisis
Local government communications with the public experienced significant disruption and change during the pandemic. The public health crisis required cities, counties and other local units to convey public health information that was not traditionally within their sphere of policy responsibility, and residents needed to be informed about modifications to government operations. During this time, local governments also continued to cope with other communications challenges, including natural disasters and emergencies. This webinar discussed front-line experiences from local governments across the United States including lessons learned from the pandemic for the future of public communications.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2024 Annual Conference!

ASPA's 2024 Annual Conference is back in person and headed to Minneapolis next spring!

Taking place April 12-16, 2024, the theme will be "Building Resilient Communities." Book these dates on your calendar now and keep your eyes open this summer for our call for proposals. Tracks and other information will be announced with the call in several weeks.

Our democratic institutions are weakened; the public administration profession needs to build its resiliency and this conference will share plenty of ideas among attendees for what this looks like and best practices to get there. Minneapolis will serve as an excellent host city—not only as a model for what resiliency can be, but also for excellent field trips throughout the city to see public administration innovations.

We look forward to seeing so many of you there with us! Keep watching your email for more information!

In Memoriam: Thomas Lauth

Thomas Lauth, dean emeritus at the University of Georgia (UGA), died earlier this month at the age of 85. The son of the late Thomas Patrick Lauth and Mary Flamman Lauth, he is survived by his wife of 60 years, Jean McGregor Lauth, their four sons and nine grandchildren.

Lauth was valedictorian at Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, earned his BA from the University of Notre Dame and his PhD from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

Lauth was an ASPA member for more than 50 years, beginning in 1972. He was a member of the Georgia Chapter and the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM), including its executive committee from 1983-1986. He served on ASPA's National Council in the late 1980s, and a variety of committees in the late 1990s and early 2000s, including financial management, audit, executive director search, development, board for financial sustainability and conference management.

During his academic career, Lauth held appointments at Hofstra University, Georgia State University and UGA. He served on UGA faculty for 32 years, including 13 years as head of the department of political science and 12 years as founding dean of the School of Public and International Affairs. He was a highly regarded teacher, a publishing scholar, an active professional and a friend and mentor to several generations of UGA undergraduate and graduate students.

Lauth was the author or co-author of more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and invited book chapters, as well as several books. He received ABFM's Aaron B. Wildavsky Award for Lifetime Scholarly Achievement in Public Budgeting in 1998. He was an elected fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a past president of NASPAA and a member of the Southern Political Science Association executive council.

His contributions were far-reaching; he will be missed.

Find his full obituary online here.

Call for Authors: PA TIMES Online

ASPA is seeking authors for PA TIMES Online for the second half of 2023!

If you read the articles we publish through this online forum each week, you know our authors provide you and the entire public administration profession with new concepts, idea starters, thoughtful research updates and valued commentary. Now is your chance to get involved or invite one of your colleagues to do so!

We are looking for columnists who can write about a range of subjects. Topics include:

  • Infrastructure and technology
  • Emergency management
  • Energy and the environment
  • Budgeting
  • Revitalization of the middle class
  • Social equity
  • Public finance measures
  • Volunteerism
  • Federalism
  • Evidence based decisionmaking
  • Local government administration challenges
Open rotations are for monthly columns only. Applicants must commit to writing six columns during the remainder of 2023. (Column due dates will be provided by the PA TIMES editorial team.)

Interested in being considered? Submit an application, including a sample column, for review. Samples should be no longer than 1,000 words. First-time authors and students are welcome to apply!

All applications must be submitted by June 9, 2023 for consideration.

Questions? Contact us for more information!


Now in the ASPA Bookstore!

You may have missed ASPA's 2023 Annual Conference, but you don't have to miss this excellent book from our keynote speaker, Anne Applebaum: Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. We have a limited number of signed copies on hand; purchase yours from our bookstore for only $18.

In this book, Applebaum explains with electrifying clarity why elites in democracies around the world are turning toward nationalism and authoritarianism.

From the United States and Britain to continental Europe and beyond, liberal democracy is under siege, while authoritarianism is on the rise. In Twilight of Democracy, Applebaum (an award-winning historian of Soviet atrocities who was one of the first American journalists to raise an alarm about antidemocratic trends in the West) explains the lure of nationalism and autocracy. In this captivating essay, she contends that political systems with radically simple beliefs are inherently appealing, especially when they benefit the loyal to the exclusion of everyone else. Elegantly written and urgently argued, Twilight of Democracy is a brilliant dissection of a world-shaking shift and a stirring glimpse of the road back to democratic values.

It's not too late to receive access to this year's conference recordings and access Applebaum's keynote address—and the rest of the presentations. Contact us for more information.

Public Administration Today Highlight

Public Administration Today features white papers, research and blogs from across the profession. This edition's highlight looks at urban structures! If you're interested in more—especially your own curated news feed in your inbox every week—visit the website, create an account and check off your interest areas so you can stay up to date about the latest research being released!

The Seeds of Economic Recovery Are Already Sprouting Roots in the Bronx
A tiny credit union in the South Bronx is punching above its weight as an active small business lender, even as banks nationwide brace for a credit crunch. Here’s how...It’s not common for bank CEOs to walk around a neighborhood in the South Bronx, knocking on doors of local businesses to say hello and start getting to know them and their owners or employees. But what if it was?

Government Finance Research Center Releases Audit Timing Report

The Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois Chicago and Merritt Research Services, an Investortools Company, have released this year’s audit timing report, "Public vs. Private Auditors, Big vs. Little Issuers: What’s Influencing the Timeliness of Municipal Bond Audits." In this report, authors Richard A. Ciccarone and Deborah Carroll offer an overview of audit time trends since 2010; recognize the timeliest audits for the 2021 fiscal year, grouped by municipal credit sector, from more than 10,000 municipal bond issuers in the Merritt Research Services database found in CreditScope; and conduct correlational analysis and difference of means testing to examine some potential reasons for variation in audit timing in an effort to develop solutions for improvement where it might be needed.

Merritt Research Services has been providing municipal bond credit data and information on nearly 10,000 municipal bond issuers for institutional investors since 1986. Since 2010, Merritt Research Services has tracked the time it takes for issuers to complete their audits after the close of their fiscal year. Last year, Merritt Research Services partnered with the Government Finance Research Center for the first time to issue this comprehensive annual report jointly, analyzing audit times among municipal bond issuers to acknowledge industry leaders who demonstrate best practices in debt management. The Government Finance Research Center at the University of Illinois Chicago is a leading, nationally recognized research center in the field of public finance. The center is dedicated to innovative and unbiased public finance research and education that provides technical assistance on how to make government work better and improve the fiscal health of our communities.

This effort between the Government Finance Research Center and Merritt Research Services aims to elevate the importance of timely audit reporting as an essential component of "best practice" when it comes to public finance. Timely, transparent and accessible financial information is essential for accurate credit evaluation and proper valuation of municipal bonds in the marketplace.

Public Integrity Special Issue: Ethical Challenges in Higher Education in the Contemporary Policy and Political Climate

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.

Those wishing to have their work included in the special issue will submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to the guest editor. 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.

The deadline for abstracts has been extended; all abstracts are due June 1. Click here for more information.

Tips and Resources

What’s Holding You Back in Your Leadership Development?
As a leader, it’s important to constantly work on your development and growth in order to effectively guide and inspire your team. However, there may be certain behaviors or habits that are holding you back from reaching your full potential and you might not even be aware of it.

Mental Health Statistics Reveal a Crisis in America
County officials are asking Congress for more funding and to change a pair of Medicaid rules that will allow governments to provide more mental health services.

Here's the Latest List of the "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" in the U.S.
The National Trust has generated this list since 1988 to draw attention to places in danger of being torn down or irreparably damaged. Sometimes those places are aesthetically grand; others are humble in appearance, but not in history.

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

Federalism, Upended
By Don Kettl

Commentary: Equity Is Democracy in Action
By Susan Gooden

Tell Me Something Good...

Need some good news in your world? Check this out:

Durable and Enduring, Blue Jeans Turn 150
There's bootcut, skinny, flare, ripped, low-rise, high-rise—even blue jean look-alikes called jeggings impersonating the classic denim piece. They all lead back a century and a half ago, to a Latvian-Jewish immigrant working as a tailor in Reno, Nevada, named Jacob Davis. He had a customer whose work pants kept tearing.



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:
  • Public Money and Management Special Issue on "Hyper-Lean" Post Managerialism
    This PMM theme will concentrate on understanding the short- and long-term impact on economies, organizations and public sector and not-for-profit employees if the present priorities, funding and management models persist in terms of equity, fairness and the wellbeing of societies. Organizations need to do more than examine their efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility, they need to examine the sustainability of the "hyper lean" post-managerialism logic. We welcome articles that challenge the present entrenched paradigm and instead propose new funding and management logics. All articles are due by July 31, 2023. Click here for more information.

  • 2023 SECoPA Call for Proposals
    SECoPA 2023 is accepting proposals for presentations at its annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, September 27-30. "Governing for a Resilient Future" is the theme. Governments and nonprofit organizations in the southeast and around the globe are adopting new strategies and management approaches to address pressing public policy and management challenges. Public administration research and scholarship can illuminate paths to improve the quality of governance, the equity of program implementation and service delivery, and the long-term social and ecological health of communities. This conference invites research presentations on a wide range of topics within the field of public administration and policy, and urges potential participants to consider how their work contributes to a resilient future. The deadline for full consideration of proposals has been extended to June 1. Click here for more information.

  • GFOA Launches New Journal: Public Finance Journal
    Public Finance Journal (PFJ) is a biannual journal publishing peer-reviewed research that examines and analyzes contemporary issues in budgeting and finance and explores the applicability of solution sets. The journal is published by the Government Finance Officers Association and serves as a forum for discussion on significant issues related to the advancement of our scientific understanding. Articles are chosen for publication based on their originality, importance, interdisciplinary interest, timeliness and accessibility. As a journal focused on connecting the science with the practice in public budgeting and finance, all manuscripts must connect the study with the needs and interests of both the scientific and practitioner communities in the field. The mission of Public Finance Journal is to serve those engaged in public budgeting and finance through the publication of significant advances in the science of the discipline that conveys both theoretical importance and timely application. Submissions can be accepted now going forward via the website.



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!)



American Society for Public Administration
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Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.