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

May 27, 2020

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In This Issue:

Leading Scholars, Experts Join Panels for Digital Experience

Plans are well underway for ASPA's 2020 Digital Experience, bringing more than 30 panels that would have taken place at the 2020 Annual Conference to your home device. Beginning June 15, this library of digital presentations will be available to view any time. Featuring moderated discussions, panel presentations, roundtable conversations and more, this mix of recordings and live programming will provide you with keen insights and the latest research about a host of topics (including COVID-19) that will keep you on the cutting edge within our profession.

If you were planning to attend the 2020 conference in Anaheim, here is your chance to experience some of the panels that were planned. For those who do not attend the conference every year, the Digital Experience is a great way to join us at a significantly discounted price. All details and access links will be available for registrants beginning June 15, for just $49/person (professors, you can register for two people at the same time and help one of your students attend this event!).

As was planned to be the case for our in-person conference, some of the biggest names in public administration will speak about some of the most pressing topics of our time, including equity, budgeting and accounting, performance management, leadership, global perspectives and more. We also have included several of our Presidential Panels and all of our Founders' Fellows panels, which will take place live.

Just some of the panels included in this event are:

  • Transition from Cognition to Collective Action in the COVID-19 Pandemic (Live!)
    Sponsored By GSPIA, Univerity of Pittsburgh
    Louise Comfort, Professor, University of Pittsburgh
    Naim Kapucu, Professor and Director, University of Central Florida
    Kilkon Ko, Professor, Seoul National University, South Korea
    Aya Okada, Doctoral Student, Tohoku University, Japan
    Mary Lee Rhodes, Associate Professor, Trinity College, Ireland
    Haibo Zhang, Associate Professor, Nanjing University, China

  • Counting Everyone: The 2020 Census (Live!)
    Sponsored by the Center for Accountability and Performance
    Moderator: Toni Samuel, Retired, National League of Cities
    Ditas Katague, Director, California Census
    Olivia Snarksi, Local Democracy Initiative, Program Manager, Center for City Solutions, National League of Cities

  • Infrastructure Investment: The Importance of Capital Planning, Performance Management Tools and Readiness Criteria
    Moderator: Curtis Marshall, Director, Center for Accountability and Performance
    William Glasgall, Senior Vice President and Director, State and Local Initiatives, The Volcker Alliance
    Marc Pfeiffer, Assistant Director, Bloustein Local Government Research Center, Rutgers University
    Zhirong Zhao, Professor, Director, Institute for Urban and Regional Infrastructure Finance, University of Minnesota

  • Current Structural Challenges to the American System of Government
    Moderator/Presenter: Maren Trochmann, Assistant Professor, College of Charleston
    Ernita Joaquin, Associate Professor, San Francisco State University
    Alasdair Roberts, Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Thomas Greitens, Professor, Central Michigan University

  • A Portrait of LA County (Live!)
    Moderator: Carrie Miller, Assistant Executive Director, Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection
    Maritza Dubie, Human Services Administrator, Los Angeles County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services
    Shawn Landres, Immediate Past Chair, Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission
    Kristen Lewis, Director and Co-Founder, Measure of America
    Jennifer Price-Letscher, Director, Programs & Special Projects, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

  • Examining the Evolving Role of Gender in Established Governance Structures
    Moderator: Patricia Shields, Professor, Texas State University
    John Bartle, Dean and Professor, University of Nebraska at Omaha
    Nandhini Rangarajan, Associate Professor, Texas State University
    Marilyn Rubin, Distinguished Research Associate, Rutgers University
    Ashley Wayman, City Secretary, City of Rollingwood, Texas

  • Equity, Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Implementation
    Sponsored by The Bush School, Texas A&M University
    Justin Bullock, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
    Sherri Greenberg, Professor, University of Texas at Austin

More are listed on our website with final details being added now.

Our 2020 conference theme, 2020 Vision for Politics, Policy and Administration, remains vitally important to our profession. It is critical that we continue to share best practices, innovative research and lessons learned within and beyond our community during these times. Use this Digital Experience to add to your knowledge and skills—and your professional network—to stay informed.

Plan now to join us online for this digital experience. Register today!

Questions? Contact us for more information!

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ASPA Leadership Call Highlights Innovation, Collaboration

More than 50 ASPA Chapter and Section leaders and National Council members joined a conference call last week to learn about ASPA's national programmatic updates, meet ASPA's new president, Kendra Stewart, and share details about their activities this past spring, especially in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Topics covered included the National Council leadership transition that brought Stewart in as president; #PSRW2020 efforts despite the limited ability to recognize people in person for their service; ASPA's new Digital Experience event and Chapter and Section participation within it; a preview of ways Chapters and Sections can be involved at the 2021 conference next April; and more.

ASPA staff and leaders were especially pleased to hear from Chapter and Section leaders about the programs they have been launching this spring to keep their members connected. Largely taking place through webinars, groups have been studying the effects of COVID-19 in a variety of contexts, recognizing their leaders, finding new ways to engage with their communities and staying connected with each other through innovative means. Thank goodness for technology!

Stewart and ASPA staff are pleased so many leaders could join last week's call and look forward to engaging with leaders from across the profession more in the coming months.

A recording of the webinar and the slides that accompanied it are posted on ASPA's website.

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E-Learning at Your Fingertips

While social distancing continues, ASPA staff are working to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing. And, let's be honest: Who doesn't need a distraction from the news these days?

Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Student and New Professional series programming.

BookTalk: Public Service and Good Governance for the 21st Century
June 3 | 1 p.m. EDT
Sheila Bair, Former Chair, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Angela Evans, Dean, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
Donald Kettl, Sid Richardson Professor, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
James L. Perry, Moderator, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington

Public Service and Good Governance for the 21st Century, the latest title by James Perry, focuses on two big ideas. The first is that America's governance system is broken and our capacity for effective governance is diminishing. The second is that a spirit of reform is ingrained in American political culture and citizen expectations for change are rising. Join this panel for this critical discussion.

KeepingCurrent: COVID-19 and the Social Safety Net
June 4 | 1 p.m. EDT
Sponsored by American University School of Public Affairs
Bradley Hardy, Associate Professor, American University and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the public health crisis has effectively shut down full sectors of the economy. Hospitality, food and beverage, events, entertainment, transportation and travel have ground to a halt, leaving millions of people without employment and, as a result, turning to safety net benefit programs like SNAP (also known as food stamps) in record numbers. What does this mean for state and federal budgets? What will this unprecedented situation mean for the future of the social safety net? Join Bradley Hardy as he moderates a discussion looking at this pressing subject with special guests from Columbia, American University and the Urban Institute.

A New Addition to Our Archives!

In case you missed it, our most recent Student and New Professional webinar looked at alternative research methods and received rave reviews! Featuring Lotte Bogh Andersen (Aarhus University), Sandra Groeneveld (Leiden University), Sebastian Jilke (Rutgers University), Kenneth Meier (American University) and moderator Ana-Maria Dimand (Florida International University), this superb panel addressed details about the need to match research methods with substantive questions. This will be an hour well-spent! Members, find this webinar in our archives now.

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Focus on Membership: A Friendly Reminder to Update Your Profile!

Need to make sure we are using your proper first name? Have a change of email address? Want to adjust your email list preferences?

Take a trip to your profile page on our website and update your information so we have the most recent data about you! While you are there, you can:

  • Update your contact information
  • Provide us with your organization or institution affiliation (even if you are a student!)
  • Change your ASPA password to something you will remember
  • Renew your membership (if your renewal date is coming up)
  • Tell us how to find you on social media
  • Update which kinds of email messages you want to receive (under Preferences)
  • Learn about your Chapter/Section/Committee participation (under My Participation)
You can provide a wealth of knowledge about yourself to us with just a few clicks/taps. Log on to your profile now and update your information so you get ASPA news and updates the way YOU want them!

Contact us with any questions or for assistance with your login details.

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PA TIMES Online Call for Authors

ASPA has opened its twice-annual Call for Authors for PA TIMES Online. If you have been interested in writing regularly for this online media, now is your chance to apply.

Featuring content from more than 100 authors throughout the year, PA TIMES Online provides fresh insights on current topics in public administration twice each week to more than 8,000 inboxes.

We are looking for monthly columnists to contribute to July-December 2020 editions and can speak to a range of subjects including:

  • Demographic shifts
  • State and local budgeting
  • Social equity
  • Infrastructure challenges and successes
  • The public service pipe line
  • Performance management
  • Evidence-based policymaking
  • International issues
  • Intergovernmental challenges
Interested in joining our columnist pool? Submit your application by June 10. First-time authors and students are welcome!

Contact [email protected] with questions.

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How Does the U.S. Economic Response to Coronavirus Compare to the Rest of the World?

From the Peterson Foundation, COVID-19 has spread to nearly every country in the world and, to help reduce the health risk and save lives, many countries have imposed limitations on business activity, congregating and traveling. Such essential measures have drastically reduced economic activity as consumption has decreased, businesses have been shuttered and jobs have been lost. Governments have therefore enacted legislation aimed at limiting the negative consequences for the labor market.

While some elements of policy responses are similar across countries, approaches have differed in important ways. The United States, for example, has focused on supplementing household incomes through stimulus checks, enhancing unemployment insurance and providing support to businesses in the form of loans and grants. Many other countries have focused on maintaining employment by providing wage subsidies; such employment support has gained interest with some policymakers in the United States.

Find a review of the elements of U.S. policy related to the labor market and the wage-support programs put in place elsewhere online via the below link.

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NIGP Webinar Looks at Mitigating Supply Failures During Widespread Emergencies

Taking place June 16 at 2 p.m. EDT, NIGP: The Institute for Public Procurement is offering a webinar looking at supply failures that occur during emergencies, including situations such as our current pandemic. State and local procurement officials have experienced many challenges and disappointments while seeking to acquire sorely needed medical equipment and supplies in a chaotic marketplace. This webinar will provide an interactive forum for the consideration of measures that can assure, to the extent possible, that the goods and services that will be needed in the next widespread emergency will be available timely and at reasonable prices. A slide deck prepared by the presenters will broadly frame the discussion among the facilitators and attendees. Register online here.

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Tips and Resources for Weathering the Pandemic

While tips and tools to cope with coronavirus-related isolation have thinned out recently, there are still a few good ones floating around to help with ongoing social distancing anxiety. We’ve curated some of the better ones from recent weeks.

The Six Do's and Don'ts of Zoom Happy Hours
The summer Zoom cocktail season kicked off over Memorial Day weekend. These guidelines will help you mind your manners.

Rollback Tracker Launched By Coalition for Sensible Safeguards
The tables track nonroutine rulemakings unrelated to the coronavirus that the administration has actively advanced since March 13, 2020—the date a national emergency was declared in response to the pandemic.

It’s Not Just You: Combatting Virtual Meeting Fatigue
Virtual meetings aren’t going away anytime soon. When done right, they are meant to foster collaboration, keep people in the loop and involved in the conversation, and be useful for people attending them. So how can you make meetings positive, engaging and efficient?

Working From Home? Why Detachment Is Crucial for Mental Health
Working from home can require considerable self-control, which is difficult to maintain over time. Whereas our "normal" work environments—offices, factories, shops—are set up to effectively engage in work, for many employees, home environments are not. Here are some tips on how to enhance mental health and well-being when working from home.

These Tips Will Make Your Virtual Event a Home Run
Virtual events can be as effective, vibrant and engaging as their in-person counterparts. Here are some expert tips to make virtual events and presentations more than a backup or stop-gap solution.

Fighting the COVID Blues: Advice from Business Research
Pandemic uncertainty doesn't have to spell doom. Happiness experts at Harvard Business School offer these research-based strategies for managing stress.

We released other lists of resources in previous editions of Bridge. Visit here, here, here and here for previous tools and guidance.

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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 Back to Top


(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
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Members in the News

Given the extent to which our government response to the coronavirus has involved and engaged public administrators, from front-line workers to administrators to researchers and beyond, it is not surprising that ASPA members have appeared in the news in recent weeks. 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.

Opinion: Thank Goodness for Affordable Care Act and Medicaid
Behind the statistics and challenges are real people, says Rich Keevey. Proper medical care improves the quality of life and all that goes along with good care—especially during this time of the coronavirus

Crisis Exposes How America Has Hollowed Out Its Government
Numerous scholars from across the discipline were quoted in this article from The Washington Post.

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

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs Needs Your Help!

June 23 is United Nations (UN) Public Service Day. This year, the UN will be celebrating the public servants who are supporting their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, often putting their lives on the line. To recognize the courageous work of public servants, the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) is producing a video to show some of the innovative ways around the world in which crucial public services continue to be delivered during the pandemic. The video will focus especially on the work of frontline workers, such as health care workers, but also on other types of public service provision delivered by public servants (e.g. innovative programs to deliver vital social services during the pandemic including in education, social welfare, transit, research and more).

UN DESA needs your help! They are looking for people to provide video footage of public servants at work during the pandemic (full credit for the footage will be given). The video will be shown during an online event on June 23, celebrating UN Public Service Day, and will be disseminated broadly through the UN social media networks.

Videos should be no more than five minutes long, taken through landscape mode (hold your phone sideways). Footage should show innovative public services and public servants in action. Please also submit a description of the video, including the country and city/town where the footage was shot; the name of the project/agency/institution; and, if desired, the name of the public servant. Those participating can email [email protected] with the title 'UNPSD Video Submission' and the name of the country the file is being sent from; include the video as an attachment or provide a link where the video can be accessed (Google drive, for instance).

All submissions are due this Sunday, May 31! We hope you find some terrific footage to share!

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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:

  • Evergreen Chapter Hosts MPA Symposium
    ASPA's Evergreen Chapter and The Evergreen State College's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program are proud to host an invited talk by Dean Charles Menifield of the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University—Newark. Menifield will present his current research titled "Pandemic Planning in the U.S.: An Examination of COVID-19 Data." This talk is part of the MPA program's 4th Annual Symposium and proudly supported by the Chapter, as it has for the last three years, helping bring together communities to create networking opportunities for public servants. A recording of the talk will be provided when it is available in the coming weeks.

  • 28th NISPAcee Annual Conference
    Split, Croatia
    October 14-17
    Postponed from May

  • Institute for Peace and Dialogue Summer Programs
    Basel, Switzerland
    Winter programs beginning in December
    Applications due in September

  • 2020 Northeast Conference on Public Administration
    Boston, Massachusetts
    November 6-8
    Find the Call for Proposals online here. Priority proposals are due May 31; all abstracts are due by August 3.
    Virtual and in-person sessions will be provided.

  • NAPA's 2020 Fall Conference will be hosted in a virtual format.

Calls for proposals and nominations:
  • Public Budgeting and Finance Call for Papers: Federal, State and Local Govt Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    The pandemic caused by the coronavirus outbreak has pushed the global economy into a recession of historic proportions. Events continue to unfold rapidly and we have yet to understand the full extent of the pandemic as infections continue to spread and economies contract at historic rates. What matters now is how policymakers respond to the crisis. Emphasis will be on when and how they choose to open their economies while making the investments to mitigate the continued spread of the virus. Public Budgeting and Finance invites public administration scholars and practitioners to contribute to a special issue focused on federal, state, and local government policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outlines of research projects are due by May 30; completed manuscripts will be due by October 1, 2020.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • Review of Public Personnel Administration (ROPPA) Call for Papers—The Power of Public Service: Human Resource Management and the COVID-19 Pandemic
    This symposium explores existing human resource management (HRM) policies and practices in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges that emerged and the path forward post-COVID-19. Submissions are welcome that explore HRM and COVID-19 through empirical and theoretical lenses. In considering the relationship between HRM and the COVID-19 crisis, this symposium seeks studies that focus on units of analysis such as HRM systems, employment and HR structures and the management-employee relationship and how it has been affected by this crisis. Abstracts are due by July 1.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • ABFM Accepting Nominations for its Michael Curro Student Paper Award
    Graduate students who have written outstanding papers in the field as part of a course, independent study, or other faculty supervised projects are eligible. The paper must be nominated by a faculty supervisor and must have been written within the last twelve months. It may not have been previously presented at a professional conference and may not yet be published. To be considered, papers must be sole-authored. The papers can represent a variety of formats and topics within the broader interests of ABFM. Nominations are due by July 1, 2020.
    Click here for more information.

  • State and Local Government Review Call for Papers—2020 Special Issue: "Filling a Vacuum: Subnational Governance amidst National Government Inaction"
    While the coronavirus pandemic is (hopefully) a once-in-a-lifetime event, the intergovernmental dynamics it has sparked are not uncommon in the contemporary United States. The objective of this special issue is to publish original research that examines the implications of this emerging intergovernmental dynamic. We hope to include five or six short articles (about 6,500 words each) on individual policy areas where subnational governments have filled the vacuum left by national government inaction. Proposals should be submitted by July 1, 2020.
    Contact [email protected] or click here for more information.

  • Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management Special Issue—Stretching the Public Purse: Budgetary Responses to a Global Pandemic
    This Special Issue will examine the immediate budgetary responses to the pandemic by different countries and explore the long-term fiscal implications of these policies and their potential boomerang effects on the political, economic, social, and budgetary institutions. Since budgeting is a reflection of politics and politics, social and budgetary institutions can, in turn, be severely impacted by fiscal and economic hardship, looking at this pandemic as an exogenous shock to the existing institutions of different countries provides a golden opportunity for researchers to examine how and why budgetary policies are made, and how fiscal stress may create significant and, sometimes unintended, consequences on institutions. Paper submissions are due by July 15.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA) Call for Papers: Government Capacity, Quality and Governance Outcomes in the Asia Pacific Region
    In recent years, public administration and political science scholars have "rediscovered" the importance of public bureaucracies for understanding different levels of government performance and broader socioeconomic outcomes. There have been increasing number of studies that address the significance of the output side of the political system (i.e. public administration and policy implementation) rather than the input side (i.e. quality of electoral democracy) for favorable outcomes. While there have been increasing number of studies on government capacity and bureaucratic quality focusing on areas beyond North America and Western Europe, relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the Asia Pacific area. Reflecting APJPA’s vision and commitment to promote the study of public governance and administration and management in and beyond Asia and the Pacific, we invite research that makes theoretical or empirical contributions to the study of government capacity, quality and broader governance outcomes. All proposals are due by November 1,2020.
    View the full Call for Papers online here.

  • International Journal of Public Administration Special Issue Symposium on Leading and Managing Responses to Pandemics
    The International Journal of Public Administration (IJPA) invites article proposals for a Special Issue Symposium on Leading and Managing Responses to Pandemics. Proposals for scholarly papers on a wide range of sub-topics using quantitative and/or qualitative analysis approaches will be considered, including strong theoretical works, single-site case studies and comparative case studies. Scholarly manuscripts must be grounded in theory/literature and empirical evidence, and use sound analytical methods. Findings should be generalizable. Single-site case studies will be subject to different, more practical, review criteria. The Special Issue will be published online in spring 2021; the print volume will be published in summer 2021. All proposals are due November 15, 2020.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • State and Local Government Review Call for Papers—Governance Matters Section
    The Governance Matters (GM) section of State and Local Government Review (SLGR) invites complete submissions as well as proposals from authors for individual articles or topic specific collections in a symposium format for potential publication in 2021. Prospective authors are encouraged to contact Grant Rissler, SLGR GM Editor ([email protected]) about any ideas for this section of the journal. Click here for more information.

  • Natural Hazards Review—Special Edition for COVID-19
    The proposed special collection seeks research that assesses the degree to which technical infrastructure to support interactive communication across multiple scales of decisionmaking increases or decreases social capacity for collective action to reduce the threat of COVID-19 on a global scale.
    Find the call for papers online here.

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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.