Making a Difference
A Roadmap for the Year Ahead from ASPA President Jane Pisano
It was wonderful to see and spend time with so many of you at ASPA's 79th annual conference in Denver. President Janice Lachance and our talented National Office staff provided an invigorating experience that we will remember for a long time to come. In addition to addressing the pressing issues of the day, the conference provided a window into ASPA's growth and evolution—and a look ahead—as we continue to work within our strategic plan framework and enter a period of transition occasioned by the membership's adoption of bylaws changes last fall.
These changes make it possible to manage our affairs more effectively, balance governance responsibility between our National Council and Executive Committee and capitalize on successful initiatives that provide real value to you, our members—Public Administration Review, e-learning and PA TIMES to name just a few.
Simply put, ASPA is an institution on solid governance footing, allowing us to take the long view as we consider paths and set priorities to help us to achieve our goals into the future.
What is our purpose and, as important, what is the rapidly changing environment we seek to influence? What are our challenges and opportunities? How do we accomplish our goals? What does success look like? As I begin my term as your 2018-2019 president, these are the questions I want us to address in the next year. The answers will provide a roadmap for the work ahead.
Our environment could not be more challenging. Since the late 20th century, it has been shaped and driven by information—a fundamental shift in how human civilization operates—and by individual consumers enabled by communications, not nation states. Further, our purpose is daunting: How do we prepare the public service to respond to the needs of the 21st century? This includes changing an environment that holds the public service in low regard and attracting a diverse and talented workforce. It also means achieving our goals within constrained fiscal means.
ASPA has opportunities to make meaningful change. We need to increase membership. We need to strategically involve and strengthen Chapters and Sections. We have a broad talent pool, including researchers and practitioners, who can propose solutions. Together, ASPA can make a difference in four high impact areas critical to the future: finance, infrastructure, social equity and civil service reform.
How? First and foremost, through communications in all its aspects. The big word for this is branding. What is a brand? Simply, it is everything our audiences think, feel and observe when interacting over time with ASPA programs, services and communications. It helps our partners, audiences and ourselves understand ASPA. A brand shows itself: through our website, advertising and marketing, physical environment and internal communications, member communications and programs, at events, in relations and media and in interaction with Chapters, Sections and staff.
We need to rebrand ASPA, not so much to change our focus but to instill a sense of urgency and communicate confidence that we can make a difference in the public arena. We will rebrand APSA with solid content covering these high impact areas; through relationships with academics and practitioners, by listening to the "customer" and "non-customer;" and via aspanet.org and social media. We will develop partnerships with organizations and, through them, identify and communicate with the audiences we want to reach. And, of course, we will listen to the public, both consumers and non-consumers of our information.
What does success look like?
- Regained respect for the public service and public servants, measured in multiple ways
- New and more partnerships leading to innovative, results-oriented action on the high impact issues
- A recognizable, impactful brand
- A robust ASPA with an increased operating budget and endowment
In the year ahead, I will be reaching out and listening to you, and working with the National Council and staff, to continue to enhance ASPA's positive impact on the communities we serve. I invite you—urge you—to play an active role to reestablish public service as a foundational value of our political systems.
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Summer Edition of PA TIMES Magazine Released: Women in Public Administration
The Summer 2018 edition of PA TIMES Magazine has been posted to the ASPA website. Make sure you download your copy, which features an in-depth look at women in public administration.
Not only does this edition focus on content related to gender in public administration, but also it provides detailed profiles of more than a dozen prominent women in the field:
- Sylvia Burwell, American University
- Nani Coloretti, Urban Institute
- Diane Disney, Penn State University
- Judy England-Joseph, Partnership for the Public Service
- Mary Guy, University of Colorado Denver
- Patria de Lancer Julnes, Penn State Harrisburg
- Catherine Kardava, Civil Service Bureau of Georgia
- Anne Khademian, Virginia Tech
- Hillary Knepper, Pace University
- Valerie Lemmie, Kettering Foundation
- Shelley Metzenbaum, The Volcker Alliance
- Meghna Sabharwal, University of Texas at Dallas
- Shirley Moore Smeal, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
- Kendra Stewart, College of Charleston
Also including a Section Spotlight focusing on the Section for Women in Public Administration, important member news and more, this edition is packed with content. Download your copy today and catch up on the latest research and thought leadership within public administration.
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KeepingCurrent, BookTalks and Student Series on the Horizon
ASPA's webinars are ongoing throughout the year. Averaging 75 attendees per event and free to participate, these e-learning opportunities provide you with valuable insights and information at your fingertips. Visit our website to stay informed about all upcoming webinars including KeepingCurrent, BookTalks and the Student and New Professionals Series.
Student and New Professionals Webinar: Building a Strong Professional Network
July 12 | 1 p.m.
Alex Tremble, GPS Leadership Solutions
Kitty Wooley, Retired
Join us for a discussion that will look at how to improve your professional relationships through networking. On this webinar, you will hear from two networking pros who will tell you how they have built their professional networks and how you can energize yours. Get advice on how to build and strengthen relationships whether you are job searching, looking to find collaborators or just building more connections with other public administrators.
BookTalk: What She Said: How Jane Addams Informs Public Administration
Aug. 30 | 1 p.m.
Patricia Shields, Texas State University
Mary Guy, Moderator, University of Colorado Denver
This BookTalk introduces the remarkable Jane Addams as a pioneer of public administration and so much more. It uses Addams's story to make the case that public administration should re-imagine its past by incorporating more diverse voices and ideas. Pat Shields's Jane Addams: Progressive Pioneer of Peace, Philosophy, Sociology, Social Work and Public Administration demonstrates how the life and works of Jane Addams was lost and is being recovered in a variety of interrelated fields.
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Focus on Membership: Update Your Profile
Has your email address changed recently? Have you changed organizations or do you have a new title? Are there ASPA emails you are not getting that you want (or, perhaps, you are getting messages you don't need)?
These are all details you can provide to ASPA through our profile update form to help us know better how to contact you and with what information.
Every summer, ASPA provides a month-long period in which we enable you to quickly, easily update your member profile with us, providing us with data about yourself that helps you have a better member experience. Make the most of this time so you can start making better use of ASPA benefits.
Questions? Contact us and we will be happy to help!
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A Call for Leadership Nominations
ASPA relies heavily on our members and committed volunteers to be engaged with our Society, grow our membership and advance our mission in the field—especially those who serve on the National Council.
Do you know someone who is passionate about strengthening our organization, has a track record of effective leadership and wants to advance our discipline? Nominate them for consideration to serve on ASPA's National Council. We are looking for individuals who are practitioners or scholars in the discipline; committed to public service; informed about budgeting processes and knowledgeable about the most critical issues impacting the field.
Far from a name-only role, ASPA looks to its leaders to promote programming, build support and cultivate ASPA's image in front of a variety of audiences. Responsibilities include:
- Attending all Council teleconferences, in-person meetings and the ASPA Annual Conference
- Working with ASPA staff to grow, support and redevelop Chapters and Sections
- Assisting with increasing ASPA membership recruitment and retention across the country
- Working with fellow Council members to connect field leadership with ASPA leadership across all electoral districts
- Providing insights and ideas to help ASPA National staff plan programs throughout the year
- Supporting ASPA's future through contributing to the Endowment
- Maintaining your ASPA membership throughout your time on the Council
Nominate yourself or a colleague either District Representative (represents one of ASPA’s five districts) or Student Representative (represents the leaders of the future) today. Nominations will be accepted from any individual who has been a member for at least 12 months; those from Chapter and Section officers are especially encouraged. Visit our online form for more details and to submit a nomination.
Nominations will be accepted until August 10, 2018. Contact ASPA strategic relations manager Garret Bonosky for more information.
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A Glimpse into Our Origins
Autumn 1940 was an entire year prior to the United States' entrance into World War II—which is why the first article in the first edition of Public Administration Review (PAR) refers to "the World War", with no specificity regarding which one.
It is with this step back in time that we are reminded of exactly how different our world was in 1940—which was not only the inaugural year for PAR, but also was just one year after ASPA was founded. William Mosher served as ASPA President and Leonard White was the PAR editor-in-chief.
Recently donated by long-time ASPA member Jim Brunet, this volume has many stories to tell beyond the articles included. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president; the Burlington Railroad was in its heyday; the Civil Service Commission was alive and well; and Fiorello La Guardia was mayor of New York City.
More telling are some of the issues under discussion. National defense plays a prominent role for obvious reasons; so does city planning. The edition features an extensive biographical sketch of W. W. Stockberger, one of the first and most important personnel directors at the federal level, as well as an essay regarding the importance of research and planning as they relate to administration and management.
Book and document reviews reflect on The President: Leader and Manager, Canadian federalism, "Toward a Science of Administration", political economy, group research and "administrative autonomy". "Contemporary Topics", listed in the back, include accounting and budgtary revision, reorganization in Kansas City, municipal leagues in Latin America, international cooperation, rural housing, Attorney-General's committee, Los Angeles charter revision and more.
One can still find this kind of content in a current edition of PAR. Certainly, articles and research focus on personnel management, appropriate city structures, profiles of leadership, government agency structure and efficiency and more. But, as is the way with all publications that maintain their credibility over time, sizable changes have been made in terms of issue coverage, authorship, depth of research, length and more.
Authors in this inaugural edition, and Mr. White, would most certainly be proud of how far the journal has come since Autumn 1940. Who knew they were starting a tradition that would be alive and thriving 80 years later? And who knows where today's PAR will be as we near 2099? Barring medical miracles for most of us, our archives will have to tell the tale.
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In the News
As government reform, Supreme Court decisions, equity, finance, infrastructure and other issues continue to make headlines, here are a few recent newsworthy items for your review:
After 40 Years, A Look Back at the Unlikely Passage of Civil Service Reform
In light of the Trump administration's efforts toward government reorganization, Governing author Charles Clark recently posted a retrospective of the Carter administration's overhaul of the government's workforce structure in 1978. The Civil Service Reform Act was preceded by an extensive and controversial dialogue, not unlike present-day debates. Take a look at this informative article for an interesting step back in time.
Is the Cashless Economy Shutting Out Low-Income Residents?
According to RouteFifty, Washington, DC and Chicago city governments are evaluating equity from a unique but not unheard-of angle. Credit cards, debit cards and electronic forms of payment may be ubiquitous for most white people, but for the 11 percent of blacks and Hispanics who are unbanked, a cashless society boxes them out of many benefits and services.
The Red State That's Considering a "Millionaire's Tax"
This fall, voters in Arizona will get a choice over whether to tax the state's wealthiest residents in order to pay for teacher raises. New Jersey, California, Connecticut, New York and Washington, DC have already put similar initiatives on their ballots.
New Battleground Emerges Over State, Local Government Union Fees
Most public sector employees are aware of the Janus ruling handed down by the Supreme Court last week. Now, some public workers are filing lawsuits to have their agency fees refunded to them. Should those lawsuits be successful, states will have to foot the bill.
Also, for a different perspective on the ruling, take a look at Governing's piece reflecting on what this decision means for black women, one of the populations of public sector employees who have benefited most from unions in the past.
Thousands of Feds Would Get Raises Under OPM's Locality Pay Proposal
In what looks like good news for some federal employees, the Office of Personnel Management has published a proposal to add four regions to its locality pay areas for 2019. Federal employees in locality pay areas receive additional compensation on top of their General Schedule wage, reflecting increased costs of living in those regions.
The Construction Projects Governments Are (and Aren't) Funding
According to Governing reporter Mike Maciag, state and locality spending is up on airports but down or flat for schools, highways and prisons. The Trump administration in February tasked state and local governments with finding $1 trillion to support infrastructure projects, but public infrastructure spending has dropped since the recession, following government budget cuts.
Want to keep up with these headlines? Subscribe to ASPA's SmartBrief (see below), our daily news digest, and get these headlines and others in your inbox every day.
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11th Annual Public Performance Conference Call for Proposals
Scheduled for Oct. 18-19, this year's conference is co-hosted by ASPA and Suffolk University, in partnership with ASPA's Section on Public Performance and Management. The conference will look at using data to improve the efficiency and efficacy of public services around the theme, "Turning Data into Action: What Every Public and Nonprofit Manager Needs to Know About Data-Driven Change". Expected tracks include innovative practices in public and nonprofit organizations; creating a culture of performance; open data and technology; local and county performance; state and federal performance; and engaging citizens. All proposals are due by July 16, 2018. Click here for more information.
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2018 SECoPA Award Call for Nominations Open
SECoPA is accepting nominations for the Kathryn E. Hensley Distinguished Public Service Practitioner Award.
The Kathryn E. Hensley Distinguished Public Service Practitioner Award recognizes sustained, outstanding achievement in, and contributions to, public administration and public service through applied practice in the field. All nominations are due by July 20, 2018. Click here for more information.
The award will be presented at the 2018 SECoPA conference, taking place Sept. 20-23 in Birmingham, AL.
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2018 International Conference and Workshops on Participatory/Gender Responsive Budgeting Call for Abstracts
Taking place Nov. 14-16 around the theme, "Bridging the Gap Between Gender Responsive Budgeting and Participatory Budgeting", this year's International Conference and Workshops on Participatory/Gender Responsive Budgeting Nexus: African Context and Perspectives will take place in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Looking at seven sub-themes, including public budgeting and gender nexus; sustainable development goals and gender budgeting; sustainable development goals and participatory budgeting; gender budgeting and taxation; gender budgeting and government expenditures; participatory budgeting outcomes; and gender responsive budgeting outcomes, this conference will focus on those who have historically been excluded from the budget process, especially women and the indigent. Abstracts are due for consideration by July 31, 2018. Click here for more information.
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Professional Development through the Andrew Young School's Center for State and Local Finance
The Andrew Young School's Center for State and Local Finance invites you to register for a full year of executive education courses, beginning this summer. Class participants typically include chief financial officers, finance directors, budget and procurement staff, county administrators and others looking to hone their skills and advance their careers. The full course schedule is as follows:
- Governmental Leadership: Politics, Communication and Influence: Aug. 15-17, 2018 (Deadline Aug. 1)
- Debt Management: Sept. 12-14, 2018 (Deadline Aug. 28)
- Treasury and Investment Management: Nov. 7-9, 2018 (Deadline Oct. 24)
- Forecasting (Special Session): Jan. 24-25, 2019 (Deadline Jan. 9, 2019)
- Operating and Capital Budgeting: March 13-15, 2019 (Deadline Feb. 27, 2019)
- Cost Analysis (Special Session): April 16-17, 2019 (Deadline April 2, 2019)
- Retirement, Risk Management and Procurement: May 15-17, 2019 (Deadline May 1, 2019)
Fees for the two-days courses are $350; three-day courses are $500; four-day courses are $700. Click here to learn more about the executive education program and to register.
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2018 NECOPA Call for Proposals
The 2018 NECOPA will take place Nov. 2-4 at the University of Baltimore. Its theme will be, "Blind Spots in Public Administration: Looking Inward to Improve Responses to Changing Landscapes". We all have intellectual blind spots: those issues or topics where our view is obstructed from seeing clearly. In these spaces, we are literally blind to what is happening and, as a result, unable to gather information to change our point of view. What intellectual blind spots exist for public administration and our broader system of governance? On what topics is our view obstructed? Where are voices hushed or silenced and whose voices are they? This conference aims to consider these questions in an attempt to uncover, explore and address these blinds spots. The deadline for priority proposal consideration is Aug. 1, 2018. Submit paper or poster proposals (250 word limit) or fully formed panel proposals (400 word limit) here. Click here for more information.
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2018 International Conference on Public Administration Call for Papers
Co-hosted by ASPA, Syracuse University's Maxwell School and University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, this year's International Conference on Public Administration will take please in Chengdu, China, Nov. 30 - Dec. 2. The theme for the event will be, "Improving Agility of Government Organizations". Themes and sub-topics will include "smart government" and lessons learned; promising practices in detecting and responding to changing risks and opportunities; balancing costs vs. benefits of improved agility; agility in upgrading delivery of public services; where agility works best; agile acquisition of IT systems; and public private partnerships: do they make government more or less agile? The conference committees will select and recommend the best papers for publication in one of the industry's premier journals including Public Administration Review, Chinese Public Administration and Chinese Public Administration Review. All abstracts are due for consideration by Aug. 15, 2018. Click here for more information.
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2018 Teaching Public Administration Conference
As national governments around the world continue their efforts to ameliorate the impacts of global shifts in migration; inequalities between rich and poor countries; collapse of global financial markets; and an ongoing lack of trust in politicians, they are also making decisions on how to organize and structure representative democratic institutions fit for the 21st century. The complexity of 'wicked issues' not only are demanding greater levels of public spending in an era of financial constraints, but also are forcing public servants and politicians to situate innovation and enterprise as core governmental activities. This year's Teaching Public Administration Conference (TPAC) joins the UK Public Administration Committee of the Joint University Council Annual Conference at Northumbria University, Sept. 10-12, to discuss these significant topics. Abstracts/ideas for themes/open panel/papers must be submitted by TPAC's extended deadline of June 30, 2018 to Pamela Dunning of Troy University. Click here for more information.
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World Conference on Remedies to Racial and Economic Inequality Takes Place This September
Scheduled for Sept. 26-29 in Brazil, this conference will encompass disparities in public health, education, civic engagement, socioeconomic standing and representation. Subtopics include: longer term consequences of persistent poverty and inequality in access to quality health care among low income, racial and ethnic minority group members; comparative analysis of the effectiveness of alternative policy interventions designed to reduce racial and ethnic economic inequality; problems of political corruption and uneven development; causes and consequences of inequalities in access to health care and alternative health care delivery systems; racial identity and the evolution of policies in higher education, public employment and government contracting and procurement; and innovative policies designed to remedy racial and ethnic economic inequality: baby bonds, universal employment, guaranteed minimum income plans. Click here for more information.
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Biden Challenge at University of Delaware Scheduled for September
This Sept. 27-28, the University of Delaware is hosting The Biden Challenge: How to Revitalize the Middle Class. Based on a challenge Vice President Biden issued last fall—What policy solutions do you propose to ensure America has a growing and thriving middle class, and that they continue to be relevant?—this event is built entirely for scholars and practitioners to provide policy solutions for the problems facing the middle class, which Vice President Biden may be able to put into action. Participants will engage in panels and idea exchanges on the future of employment and education, the role of innovation, budget priorities and infrastructure investments. Click here for more information and registration details.
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2018 ABFM Research Conference This October
The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management's annual research conference will be held Oct. 4-6 in Denver. Click here for more information.
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AAPAM 39th Roundtable Conference Scheduled for November
The African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM) has announced its 39th Annual Roundtable Conference will take place in Gabarone, Botswana, Nov. 6-9. This year's theme will be, "Resourcefulness, Integration and Inclusivity; Fundamentals for the Transformation of Governance and Public Administration in Africa to achieve the Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals". If Africa aims to achieve the transformational goals stipulated in the Agenda 2063 and SDGs 2030, it is essential to tap into the vast resourcefulness of its people by deepening economic and political integration and embracing the imperative of inclusivity to ensure all African people are included in the transformation agenda. Emphasis on key areas such as innovation, resourcefulness, integration and inclusive growth will move Africa from its current marginalized state to a dynamic member of the international community. Click here for more information.
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Section on Democracy and Social Justice Call for Nominations
ASPA's Section on Democracy and Social Justice has opened its 2019 Best Book Award call for nominations, to be presented at ASPA's 2019 Annual Conference. Author(s) of the selected article will be honored during the Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award Luncheon. All nominations are due by Nov. 16, 2018. Click here for more information.
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