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

August 11, 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: Trust, a Powerful Tool for Public Servants
August 12 | 1 p.m. EDT
In Partnership with ASPA's Center for Accountability and Performance
Mary Hull Caballero, City Auditor, City of Portland, Oregon
Katherine Dawes, Evaluation Officer (Acting), US Environmental Protection Agency
Andrew Feldman, Founder and Host of "Gov Innovator" Podcast
Rakesh Mohan, Moderator, Director, Office of Performance Evaluations, Idaho Legislature

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, Professor, President Emeritus, 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

ASPA Section Launches Journal, Announces Editors

ASPA's Section on Democracy and Social Justice has launched a new journal for the field: the Journal of Social Equity and Public Administration (JSEPA). After conducting a lengthy editor search, the Section has announced an inaugural co-editor team: Mary Guy and Brian N. Williams.

Sponsored by the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota; the School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska Omaha; and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Administration, Virginia Commonwealth University, this journal is off to a great start and will have more announcements shortly.

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.


In Memoriam: Priscilla Hopkirk

Priscilla Hopkirk, a longtime Villanova University political science professor, passed away in June. An active member of ASPA’s Philadelphia Chapter and a trailblazer for women’s rights, she was known to be “courageous” and “a fighter.” She was 98.

Hopkirk started her years of service at Villanova in 1967, when she was hired as an assistant professor and the first woman in the political science department. She was the first woman to chair the department, a position she held from 1978 to 1988. She left Villanova in 1994.

Hopkirk was an ASPA member for more than 25 years, serving the Philadelphia Chapter (before it dissolved) as Secretary and on various committees throughout her tenure.

“She always kept us on target and provided a sense of stability given her long-time commitment to ASPA and our chapter,” observed fellow Chapter member Tom Sheaffer. “Plus with her, it was always a team of two because she and her husband were inseparable.”

Hopkirk was born in Schenectady, New York and grew up in Boston and Belmont, Massachusetts. She attended what was then Radcliffe College and, inspired by a class she took during her first semester with former Franklin D. Roosevelt speechwriter Samuel Beer, she decided to major in government. She received her bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe and her master’s and Ph.D., both in government, from Harvard.

After struggling to be hired due to gender inequities, she became assistant professor at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. She met her husband, John Hopkirk, at an ASPA meeting in New York City. They were wed in 1957. Hopkirk taught at Rutgers University’s Camden campus and what is now Widener University in Chester, prior to being hired at Villanova.

Hopkirk was active in civic and professional organizations and was chair of the Delaware County Council of the League of Women Voters from 1966 to 1968. She remained active in the league through retirement. She was president of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association and an officer of the Northeastern Political Science Association.

Event Celebrates Dwight Ink's 99th Birthday

Iowa State University alumni and long-time ASPA member Dwight Ink is celebrating his 99th birthday. In honor of the occasion, Iowa State is hosting a lecture, "The Uninhabitable Earth? Climate Change and Your Future," examining the effects of climate change, particularly political, psychological and economic consequences, and what we can do to mitigate or change our current situation.

Ink is a native Iowan, an accomplished civil servant with extraordinary and outstanding contributions to government and governing, and a trusted advisor to seven U.S. presidents. He grew up in a poverty-stricken rural family during the Great Depression, entered Iowa State College in 1940 and left to serve in the U.S. Army for three years (1942–1945). He returned to Ames and was the first Iowa State student to earn a degree in government in 1947.

The panel will take place September 2 at 6 p.m. (CT) on the Iowa State campus, and will be moderated by Karen Kedrowski with panelists Craig Anderson, Robert Brown, Amy Erica Smith and Yu Wang, all of Iowa State University. Click here for more information.

Artificial Intelligence: An Accountability Framework from the GAO

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) framework recently to help federal managers ensure they use AI responsibly in government programs and processes. Per the GAO, we as a nation have yet to grasp the full benefits or unwanted effects of AI. Despite its prevalence, how do we know if it is working appropriately?

The report GAO has prepared identifies key accountability practices—centered around governance, data, performance and monitoring principles—to help federal agencies and others use AI responsibly. For example, the governance principle calls for users to set clear goals and engage with diverse stakeholders. GAO's objective was to identify key practices to help ensure accountability and responsible AI use by federal agencies and other entities involved in the design, development, deployment and continuous monitoring of AI systems.

Check out the report and other resources via the below link.

United Nations Concludes We Cannot Stop Global Warming

This week the United Nations released a long-anticipated report indicating that nations have delayed curbing fossil-fuel emissions for too long and we can no longer avoid global warming intensifying over the next 30 years. While there is a short window during which we can avoid a "harrowing future," according to the New York Times, the dangers continue to increase.

From rising oceans and failing ecological systems to wildfires and devastating flooding, the ramifications of climate change are evident. The report also confirms (again) that humans are responsible for these changes. Burning fossil fuels, deforestation and greenhouse gases are prime contributors to global warming. The 10 biggest emitters of greenhouse gases are China, the United States, the European Union, India, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Indonesia, Iran and Canada. More, the planet was hotter in the past 10 years than it has been in the past 125,000 years. Glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates and carbon dioxide levels have not been this high in 2 million years.

Of course, changes to these circumstances are intersectoral. From public policy and administration to nonprofits and the business community, in the United States and around the world, we all will need to contribute to the actions that will help check this warming trend. Also according to the New York Times, the report shows that aggressive, rapid and widespread emissions cuts, beginning now, could limit the warming beyond 2050. In the most optimistic scenario, reaching "net zero" emissions could even bring warming back slightly in the second half of the century.

States columnist Henry Fountain, "Such a scenario would be a mammoth and expensive undertaking for the world. It would also require a level of political will that most governments have so far been unable to muster.

Kettering Foundation Publishes Reports on Jobs and the Economy

The Kettering Foundation has been hosting National Issues Forums for almost 40 years and, since the beginning, questions regarding jobs and the economy have been revisited a number of times in NIF issue guides. This history of public deliberation provides the benefit of looking back to evaluate how public judgment has evolved over time. In two new reports, Kettering senior associate Jean Johnson and John Immerwahr find that although economic conditions have varied considerably over time, people have shown a remarkable stability in how they evaluate economic matters.

Immerwahr notes a long-standing and recurring focus on the "middle class"—seen not as an economic class, but as a way of life and one that must be protected and expanded. Johnson notes a recurring vision for the economy that was heard often in forums over the decades: "If you work hard and stay out of trouble, you should be able to live a comfortable (not sumptuous) life and get your children started on the right foot. When the economy does not uphold this basic principle, anger and disappointment result."

Click here and here to access these reports.

Tips and Resources

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

Why We Don't Dole Out Many Compliments—But Should Giving compliments makes us anxious, but new research shows that praising people has huge benefits—for both parties.

Back to Work? Here's How to Help Your Dog Cope
Millions of people returning to the workplace means millions of dogs left home alone. "This is something that's a big deal for a dog..."

COVID-19 Delta Variant FAQs for Government Leaders
Answers for state and local officials, including should residents keep wearing a mask if they are vaccinated to why are vaccinated people still contracting the virus.

Four Ways That Volunteering Can Be Good for You
Volunteering, especially when it's done on a regular basis, can help you make new acquaintances.

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.

Shrinking the Tax Gap Requires a Renewed IRS Workforce
By Ron Sanders and Charles Rossotti

The Pandemic Triggered Culture Change, Now HR Practices Have to Follow
By Howard Risher

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

Around Public Administration

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

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals and other updates:
  • South Florida Chapter Releases New Podcast
    The latest episode of ASPA's South Florida Chapter podcast, "Public Administration Works!" has been released. The most recent podcast features Kelvin Baker, Assistant City Manager, City of Miramar, Florida, who speaks to his professional and personal journeys. Hosted by Chapter members Tom Hotz and Ben Paley, and Chapter Board Member Bill Solomon, you’ll want to listen to this discussion. Click here to listen.

  • 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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