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

July 28, 2021

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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. Members, visit our webinar archives to catch up on what you have missed!

KeepingCurrent: The Role of Government and Civil Society Against COVID-19: Asia-Pacific Responses
July 29 | 10 a.m. EDT
Bok Gyo Jeong, Assistant Professor, Kean University (United States)
Pan Suk Kim, Moderator, Professor, Yonsei University (South Korea) and International Director, ASPA National Council
Kim Moloney, Introductions, Assistant Professor, Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Doha (Qatar)
Aya Okada, Associate Professor, Tohoku University (Japan)
Rajesh Tandon, Founder-President, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), Dean, PRIA International Academy (India)

This webinar will bring together scholars and practitioners from countries in Asia to share their insights and experiences related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The first of several webinars hosted by ASPA’s Pandemic Committee, this session will compare the roles government and civil society have played in response to COVID, given that responses have been varied in Asia (as well as the rest of the world). The unexpected and unprecedented global pandemic has brought a variety of actors into national conversation including governments, private companies, civic organizations and individual citizens, each with their own roles to assume. Attendees will hear from panelists from India, Japan and South Korea as they share their insights from their country and provide suggestions for further discussion.

KeepingCurrent: Trust, a Powerful Tool for Public Servants
August 12 | 1 p.m. EDT
In Partnership with ASPA's Center for Accountability and Performance

Achieving accountability and performance in the public sector rests on trust—that is, trust between the public and public servants, as well as among public servants. A lack of trust was clearly evident on January 6 during the U.S. Capitol insurrection. Panelists for this webinar will discuss the importance of building and nurturing trust.

A Three-Part Series in Partnership with American University:
Integrating Public Administration and the Law: Challenges and New Voices

Many of the world's most pressing issues lay at the intersection of law and public administration, but does the assertion that “public administration has largely abandoned or forgotten its roots in public law” hold true? Join us as we present a three-part webinar series featuring American University School of Public Affairs Professors Kenneth Meier, Neil Kerwin and David Rosenbloom, along with guest panelists, as they discuss the new voices examining this cross-field integration and its challenges. Robert Christensen (Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University and co-author of Systematically Reviewing American Law and Public Administration: A Call for Dialogue and Theory Building) will moderate these discussions.

August 17 | 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. EDT
The Intersection of Public Administration and the Law: What Do Social Equity Scholars Think?

Sebawit Bishu, Assistant Professor, University of Washington
K. Juree Capers, Associate Professor, Georgia State University
Rob Christensen, Moderator, Professor and George W. Romney Research Fellow, Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management
Andrea Headley, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University
Kenneth J. Meier, Professor and Distinguished Scholar in Residence, American University School of Public Affairs
Angel Molina, Jr., Post-Doctoral Student, Arizona State University

August 24 | 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. EDT
Topic To Be Announced
Rob Christensen, Moderator, Professor and George W. Romney Research Fellow, Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management
Neil Kerwin, Former President, American University and Professor, American University School of Public Affairs

August 31 | 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. EDT
Qualified Immunity: Contemporary Issues and Prospects

Rob Christensen, Moderator, Professor and George W. Romney Research Fellow, Brigham Young University Marriott School of Management
David Rosenbloom, Distinguished Professor, American University School of Public Affairs

USC Launches Five-Week DEI Program

How has your leadership style evolved within the past year? What comes to mind when you reflect on your leadership approach? Looking ahead, how can you employ a leadership approach to effectively address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)? In October, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, Executive Education, in partnership with ASPA, will facilitate instruction and foster discussions around the following core principles:

  • Self and Social Awareness and Management
  • Cultural Humility
  • Psychological Safety
  • Empathy
  • Courage
  • Appreciative Communication
The one-month program is designed for senior and emerging public service executives who are eager to develop and challenge their leadership values within the scope of diversity, equity and inclusion. Held via Zoom, with a small class size, this will be a powerful opportunity to expand your leadership skills to include a DEI lens.

The registration deadline for this event is August 27; click here for more information and click here to view the YouTube video.


Share Your News!

Have you been promoted? Published? Appointed to a new role? Share your news with us so we can share it with the rest of the ASPA community! We have any number of options to circulate news and updates from across the profession. Make sure you alert us about your accomplishments and we’ll look forward to helping give you the pat on the back you deserve!

Staying Busy

It may be summer but ASPA and its Chapters and Sections are staying busy with events and planning for the fall! In addition to the events listed below, our calendar lists upcoming events from Chapters, Sections, ASPA and others in the field. Events in August include:

  • The Iowa Chapter will host an event with Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commissioner Joshua Barr on August 3 at 1 p.m. EDT
  • The Louisiana Chapter will hold a kick-off meeting on August 3 to plan for future Chapter activities as it restarts local work, also at 1 p.m. EDT.
  • The Alabama and New York Metropolitan Chapters will host a joint meeting on August 16 at 7:30 p.m. EDT
  • The South Florida Chapter will host a president’s reception on August 19 at 6 p.m. EDT
Also, ASPA will hold its monthly Chapter/Section leadership networking call on Thursday, August 5 at 3 p.m. EDT. Leaders can register here or by clicking on the graphic below.


A New ASPA Advertising Option

Are you looking to expand your brand? Think about using ASPA’s Twitter channel, with more than 7,200 followers, as a great way to accomplish this goal.

ASPA’s advertising program includes "Twitter Take-Overs," providing you with an opportunity to use our channel to showcase your programs and services with our audience. “Take-overs” are available for individual weeks or a month at a time, starting at only $500.

Interested? Contact us for more details and start generating exposure via our Twitter audience as early as next month!

Content to be posted must be vetted and approved by ASPA staff at least one week before posting and must comply with all Twitter rules.

What Is Budget Reconciliation?

With many of the Biden administration’s proposals struggling to obtain bipartisan support, Democrats on Capitol Hill are planning to use reconciliation to enact at least one item on their legislative agenda: the infrastructure bill. Quite simply, Democrats will not need 60 votes in the Senate to pass an infrastructure package. There are drawbacks and limitations to this procedural mechanism—especially related to legislation that could increase the deficit window—but it also is an increasingly popular tactic to push through legislation.

The Peterson Foundation has released a summary page about this topic; find more information there.

Wildfires Exacerbate Challenges in the West

From Alder Creek to Bootleg, wildfires have been particularly destructive thus far during this year’s fire season. State resources have been shuttled between California, Oregon, Montana, Utah and beyond to battle blazes that have exceeded now-annual destruction. (This year wildfires have caused their own weather patterns and their smoke has been visible from space.)

According to NPR, “Eighty-eight large fires are currently burning in 13 states, nearly all of them in the West, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. So far this year, over 36,000 wildfires have burned some 2.7 million acres in the U.S., an increase from last year at this time.”

Wildfires stretching across state boundaries is not new, but in a typical year they start in the southwest and travel east, allowing crews to fight back blazes from state to state, expending resources in a rolling fashion. This year, fires have broken out concurrently, stretching resources thin and exhausting an already slimmed down fire service.

Given the west's ongoing water shortages, labor shortages, COVID concerns and more, this promises to be the most challenging fire season in recent memory. Learn more here; members also can follow This Week at ASPA for state and local news as we continue to report more headlines.

Tips and Resources

Here are some resources and fun reads posted online recently that you should check out!

Post-Vaccination Infections Come in Two Different Flavors
Lumping all breakthroughs together, regardless of symptoms, miscasts what our COVID-19 vaccines can do.

Why Your Leisure Time Is in Danger
Stop treating your time off as a productivity hack.

50 Years Ago, NASA Put a Car on the Moon
The lunar rovers of Apollo 15, 16 and 17 parked American automotive culture on the lunar surface and expanded the scientific range of the missions’ astronaut explorers.

Child Tax Credit Payments Have Begun. Should You Opt Out?
While the payments in advance of tax season are a welcome relief for many families, there may be reasons for others to decline the money, for now.

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.

The Trump Administration Feuded with State and Local Leaders over Pandemic Response—Now the Biden Administration Is Trying to Turn Back a Page in History
By Ana Maria Dimand and Ben Brunjes

Financial Management Expert to Lead Government Finance Research Center at UIC
Deborah Carroll will be the new executive director.

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:
  • Call for Proposals: NECoPA 2021
    As the nation’s diversity of identities and perspectives continues to increase, public administrators face the continued challenge of including new voices in governing while responding effectively to new public needs and interests. Governments find themselves confronted with growing demands to address historic inequities in policing, education, criminal justice, health care access and exposure to environmental decline. The best solutions to these vexing and complex challenges will require public administrators to not only add diversity to their organizations, but also ensure new voices can be heard, included and adhered to in their decisionmaking processes. As we combat and recover from a global pandemic that fell disproportionately on some communities and exacerbated existing inequalities in our society, including more diverse voices in government will be critical in effectively addressing post-pandemic challenges. How can public administrators ensure the diversity they bring in is reflected in their organizational priorities? How can the field of public administration help identify the practices and strategies best suited for more inclusive decisionmaking? What does a more inclusive public organization look like? Can public organizations increase the number of voices that guide their programs without losing focus or efficiency? When diverse stakeholders disagree on priorities and directions, how should public administrators respond? We solicit panels, papers and posters from work that answers these questions and others related to our central theme, “Responsive Public Service Needs Inclusiveness in a Diverse America.” All proposals are due by August 27, 2021. 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.