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

August 24, 2022

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Biden Administration Cancels (Some) Student Loan Debt

Addressing a campaign promise some thought would go ignored, President Biden today announced he is cancelling $10,000 in student loan debt for those earning less than $125,000 per year (or families earning less than $250,000). For some, this is a welcome relief; for others, it doesn't go nearly far enough.

President Biden has been in a tricky space for this campaign promise since he was elected into office. Many Democrats would have liked to have seen even more debt cancellation; others feel any relief is unfair to those who faithfully paid back their loans. Current inflation concerns also add to the debate, as more money entering the market right now could be cause for concern. However, electors going to the polls this fall may have been the swing vote in this decision.

Biden also announced that this debt relief will be paired with a return to paying off student loans starting January 1, 2023. The pause for those payments began with the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and has been continued every quarter since. That aid will come to an end in a few months.

Biden has more good news for Pell grant recipients: They will receive an additional $10,000 in student loan debt reduction. This action reflects the White House's continued desire to provide the most assistance to those most in need across American society. Pell recipients have, on average, $4,500 more in student loan debt than other students.

While this relief will cost taxpayers (those actually responsible for student loans), that cost may be marginal as this assistance will aid those who are the most likely to default on their student loans in the first place. More than 7 million people had defaulted on their student loans before the pandemic, failing to make payments, sometimes for decades.

It also should be noted that this is likely to face legal action, which means while the debt relief is intended to begin soon, it may be a while before those in debt notice the relief or have their debts forgiven.

If you are interested in reading more about this executive order, click on one of the below links for more details:


ASPA Searches for Next PAR Editor in Chief

ASPA has begun the search for the next Editor in Chief of Public Administration Review (PAR), its flagship professional journal. The new editor’s term will begin January 1, 2024, preceded by a six-month transition period.

Through the outstanding efforts of its editorial team, led by Editor in Chief Jeremy Hall of the University of Central Florida, PAR has achieved significant success in terms of its readership, impact and contributions to the study and practice of the field. It has earned the top ranking in Thomson Reuters' Journal Citation Reports five-year metrics, ranks No. 2 in its two-year metrics for 2021 (behind Policy and Society) and stands atop Google Scholar's Public Policy and Administration ranking for 2018-2021. It also has seen substantial increases in its downloads and other access metrics.

The Editor in Chief is one of ASPA's most visible public figures and ASPA is looking to the next editor to sustain and build on the record of accomplishment made in the past several years.

Please visit our website to review the Request for Proposals, search and selection timeline and other details about the process. You also may download the RFP here as a PDF. Those who missed last week's webinar discussing what is involved in managing PAR on a daily basis can find a recording of it on our website, as well.

Proposals are due no later than Monday, October 31 to ASPA Chief of Communications, Marketing and Membership Karen Garrett. Contact her at 202-585-4313 with questions.

Please forward this message to your colleagues and networks that may be interested in this RFP.

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.

ASPA's webinars are on a summer break for the next few weeks but our webinar archives are packed with content! Given this week's attention on student loans, here are a few popular programs from our Students and New Professionals webinar archives!

Crafting a Compelling Resume
There are different perspectives on resumés: what should be on them, what should not, how long they should be, what they should cover. The advice you get depends on whom you ask. What cannot be disputed is the importance of your resumé: It is your first opportunity to stand out and let employers know that you are the person for the job. In this Students and New Professionals Series webinar, Bill Shields will draw on his 20 years of experience helping students craft effective resumés and guide you through the process of creating a compelling one.

Public Communications: Skills, Application, Value
One of the most useful tools at a student or new professional's disposal is the ability to communicate appropriately in public. Whether you're giving a presentation, leading a meeting or having one-on-one dialogues with peers and colleagues, good communication skills are invaluable—and often lead either to complete success or complete failure. What are some of the skills you need to communicate properly and how do they work in different situations? Listen to this webinar and learn more about how to communicate well publicly.

Building a Successful Mentor-Mentee Relationship
This webinar will offer useful information to students and new professionals—and people at all stages of their careers—for developing effective mentor-mentee relationships. Our panelists will cover tips for becoming an effective mentor, navigating the challenges to a successful mentor-mentee relationship, identifying effective mentor-mentee relationship, approaching potential mentors, lacking defined roles or clear goals/objectives and effective time management for both parties. Webinar attendees will learn how to define expectations and goals, overcome challenges and take actionable steps toward developing an effective mentor-mentee relationship.

Build ASPA's Future, Answer the Call

For more than 80 years, ASPA has owed its strength to our dedicated members. Our committed volunteer leadership plays a critical role in charting ASPA’s path: who we are, what we do and where we are headed.

This year's call for nominations is open through next Friday, September 2! Please consider yourself and/or a fellow member for one or more leadership positions. This year, members will elect a president-elect (who will serve for two years before serving as ASPA president in 2025-2027), five district representatives, the international director and the student representative. All will serve on the National Council, our governing board, which is responsible for setting ASPA's policy direction, ensuring our financial and programmatic position and promoting ASPA within the broader public service community. Click here for more information about the National Council's responsibilities.

We seek nominees representative of the groups and professional interests within ASPA, balancing academic and practitioner, and including international, nonprofit and all levels of government.

In addition, the National Council has charged the 2022 Nominating Committee with presenting a slate of nominees diverse in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation and other important forms of diversity.

Nominations will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, September 2, 2022. Find more information on our website and start thinking about who you will nominate!

ASPA Center on Social Equity Now Online

In 2021, ASPA's National Council voted to establish a Center for Social Equity to focus the society's work related to social equity and provide a body of experts to speak on the subject and coordinate programming. Named after H. George Frederickson, this Center emphasizes the priority ASPA places on social equity as a core tenet of public administration.

The advisory committee working to launch the Center and begin its work is pleased to announce that its initial efforts are now posted on ASPA's website, including the committee's mission, terms and definitions, a list of committee members and some initial resources available for use, among others.

ASPA members and others in the community are encouraged to review the details posted and think about how you can get involved in supporting this important work. If you have any questions or would like to contribute, please contact the committee.

Advisory committee members include:

  • Michael Massiah, Retired, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Co-Chair)
  • Rosemary O'Leary, Retired, University of Kansas (Co-Chair)
  • Abraham Benavides, Associate Professor, University of North Texas
  • RaJade Berry-James, Senior Associate Dean, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Brandi Blessett, Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
  • David Frederickson, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Susan Gooden, Dean, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Mary Guy, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado Denver
  • Meredith Newman, Professor, Florida International University
  • James Nordin, Retired, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • Phin Xaypangna, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer, County of Ventura California


"Leading Through DEI" at the Price School

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)? This fall, 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
  • Empathy
  • Courage
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.

Click here for more information.


Tips and Resources

Don’t Be Too Quick to Blame Social Media for America’s Polarization—Cable News Has a Bigger Effect, Study Finds
A group of researchers from Stanford University, the University of Pennsylvania and Microsoft Research tracked the TV news consumption habits of tens of thousands of American adults each month from 2016 through 2019. They discovered four aspects of news consumption that, when taken together, paint an unsettling picture of the TV news ecosystem.

Biden Administration Cancels Another $3.9 Billion in Student Loan Debt for Former For-Profit College Students
The Department of Education said that it will cancel $3.9 billion in student loan debt for 208,000 students who attended the now-defunct for-profit ITT Technical Institute. (This is separate from today's news about student debt relief.)

Social Media Posts Criticize the 988 Suicide Hotline for Calling Police. Here’s What You Need to Know.
The July launch of the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was celebrated by many mental health providers and advocates, but it triggered concerns, too, from people who say using the service could lead to increased law enforcement involvement or forced hospitalization.

GSA Announces Travel Per Diem Rates, and More
A weekly roundup of pay and benefits news.

Experts Are Debunking Monkeypox Myths as Misinformation Spreads
Can monkeypox spread on the subway? Can it kill like COVID-19? Experts respond to monkeypox myths and misconceptions.

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.

Is America Headed for a NATO-Style Faceoff Between Red and Blue?
By Don Kettl

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:
  • 2022 Cascade Chapter Student Symposium Call for Papers
    Whether it’s local, state, federal or tribal, the United States governing systems are designed to promote democracy and community. In recognition of this, ASPA Cascade Chapter welcomes presentation proposals related to analyses and practical review of collaborative efforts between local, state, federal and tribal governments; tensions in promoting democracy or facilitating community in a local, tribal, state or federal context; a case study related to how local, state, federal or tribal government has positively engaged community or expanded democratic practices; and/or analyses, practical review or case studies with international comparative perspectives. Students whose papers are accepted and present at the Chapter’s fall event will receive an ASPA student membership and an invitation to present their paper at ASPA's 2023 Annual Conference. ASPA Cascade Chapter prioritizes submissions that align with the organization's guiding principles, which focus on social justice and racial equity. We encourage students of all majors and backgrounds to submit a paper proposal related to this theme. No prior presentation experience required. The deadline for paper submissions has been extended; all proposals are due today, August 24, 2022. Click here to view the Call for Proposals.

  • Institute for Peace and Dialogue Call for Participants
    The Institute for Peace and Dialogue has issued a newly launched three-month executive diploma program, with special modules of instruction and experienced trainers to give participants field-based education, wide professional experience and fruitful networking, appropriate for a variety of positions. This program targets titles including manager, program coordinator, human resources officer, case manager, mediator, public relations manager, mentor, coacher, arbitrator and more. Modules are "Leadership, HR Management, Coaching and Project Management" and "Peacebuilding, Alternative Dispute Resolution Mediation, Conflict Management, International Security and Law." Participants may join either module. Applications are due beginning February 10, 2023, depending on your module of choice. Scholarships are available. Click here for more information.

  • Award for Public Service Call for Nominations
    ASPA's Section on South Asian Public Administration (SASPA) is proud to announce a call for nominations for the 2023 Jai Mangal Paswan Award for Public Service. The award is named after Sh. Jai Mangal Paswan, chief engineer from the Indian Engineering Services, 1978 Batch, Government of India. Sh. Jai Mangal Paswan graduated with a B. Tech degree from Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Bihar and was the first engineer from his village, Sitamarhi, Bihar. He was a first generation officer from Sitamarhi district of Bihar, India and served as the deputy director general (coordination), Government of India. He pursued an MBA in Faculty of Management Studies (F.M.S), at the University of Delhi; he worked on the Intelligence Bureau Headquarters project by the Ministry of Home Affairs; he was involved with the Border Security Force, border fencing and lightening project in the Jaisalmer district; he served the Government of India for 38 years before retiring in 2016; and after his retirement, he served as a consultant for the National Institute of Technology, Delhi. During his life, he contributed immensely toward the development of society, guiding young officers and service aspirants. He was a tremendous source of inspiration for the people of his village and his family. This award is presented to honor the best paper submitted and presented at the ASPA Annual Conference in the field of public service in the South Asian region and carries a cash prize of $200.



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.