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

August 26, 2020

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In This Issue:

Build ASPA's Future, Advance Public Service Excellence

For more than 80 years, ASPA has been enriched by the active participation of 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.

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 becoming the 2023-2025 national president), five district representatives and a 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.

Nominations will be accepted until September 14, 2020. You can nominate yourself or a colleague for one or more of these leadership positions:

  • President-Elect (then serving as 2023-2025 national president)
  • District Representative (representing one of ASPA’s five districts)
  • Student Representative (representing the interests of our future leaders, our student and new professional members)
ASPA seeks candidates with a variety of leadership skills, including a strategic understanding of the public administration field—spanning practice and scholarship—to position the Society for continued programmatic and financial growth. We also welcome individuals with a commitment to building a positive organizational culture, participating in ASPA's development activities and modeling care and loyalty to our Society. Click here for more information about the National Council's responsibilities.

As you consider potential candidates for these positions, please note that ASPA seeks a slate of nominees representative of the groups and professional interests within our association, balancing academic and practitioner, and including international, nonprofit and all levels of government. In addition, the National Council has charged this year's Nominating Committee with presenting a slate of nominees diverse in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation and other important forms of diversity.

Chapters and Sections are allowed and encouraged to consider individuals active in their communities and submit a nomination on their behalf. Visit our online form for more details and to submit a nomination.

ASPA will be holding a webinar next Wednesday, September 2, to provide those interested in serving with more details about what it entails. You will hear from current President Kendra Stewart, current President-Elect Allan Rosenbaum, former Student Representative Andrea Headley and current District Representative J. Paul Blake about their experiences holding national leadership positions. Plenty of time for Q&A will be provided. Click here to register.

Remember: Nominations will be accepted until September 14, 2020. Start considering your nomination today.

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Now Available: Your Copy of PA TIMES Magazine

The Summer 2020 edition of PA TIMES Magazine has been released and posted on the ASPA website. Download your copy here, which features the latest public sector news and trends from leaders in the discipline.

This edition focuses on university-based research centers and their role in informed policymaking. Featuring profiles of 10 centers from across the country, this is an in-depth look at the wonderful things that happen when theory meets practice.

Centers include:

  • Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
  • Carl Vinson Institute of Government, University of Georgia
  • Center for Public Affairs Research, University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Hassenfeld Institute for Public Leadership, Bryant University
  • The Institute for Public Administration, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration, University of Delaware
  • Morrison Institute for Public Policy, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University
  • Public Policy and Management Center, Wichita State University
  • Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Center for Livable Communities, College of Charleston
  • Schaefer Center for Public Policy, College of Public Affairs, University of Baltimore
  • The John C. Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, Mississippi State University
Additionally, ASPA held a webinar this week with several of these centers to look deeper at some of the important work they are doing. Featuring the Center for Public Affairs Research, the Institute for Public Administration, the Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the Stennis Institute of Government and Community Development, our panelists shared important information and benchmarks with webinar participants as they highlighted the work they perform for policymakers throughout the year. Members can access the webinar in our archives here.

PA TIMES is a not-to-be-missed publication at any release, but this edition, especially, highlights the important work our universities and researchers are performing, connecting theory to practice and making a crucial difference at the state and local level. Make sure you download your copy today!

Editor's Note: PA TIMES magazine will be provided in digital form only in 2020 due to COVID-related constraints. If you have difficulty downloading a copy of the magazine, contact ASPA staff for assistance.

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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!

BookTalk: The Divided States of America
September 1 | 1 p.m. EDT
Don Kettl, Professor, University of Texas at Austin, LBJ School
Bill Shields, Jr., Executive Director, ASPA

An innovative system of power sharing that balanced national and state interests, federalism—James Madison's great invention—was the pragmatic compromise that brought the colonies together to form the United States. Yet, even beyond the question of slavery, inequality was built into the system because federalism, by its very nature, meant that many aspects of an American’s life depended on where they lived. Over time, these inequalities have created vast divisions between the states and made federalism fundamentally unstable. In The Divided States of America, Don Kettl chronicles the history of a political system that once united the nation—and now threatens to break it apart. Join us for this important discussion as Don Kettl and Bill Shields discuss this new release.
The publisher is offering a discount on this resource. Visit our website for details!

KeepingCurrent: Park University Hauptmann Lecture: The Importance of Diverse Workforces in Promoting Democratic Values
September 10 | 1 p.m. EDT
Erik Bergrud, Moderator, Associate Vice President for University Engagement, Park University
Norma Riccucci, Lecturer, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor, Rutgers University—Newark
Kendra Stewart, ASPA President and Professor and Director, Riley Center for Livable Communities, College of Charleston

An annual lecture hosted by Park University, the Hauptmann Lecture has a long and storied history. ASPA is proud to produce this year's lecture online and make it available to all ASPA members to attend. Click here to learn more about the Hauptmann Lecture.

This year's lecture will focus on the importance of diversity in the workplace for the promotion of democratic ideals and values. In the tradition set forth by Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann, Norma Riccucci will examine how diversity in government workplaces produces social and economic equity, which are key democratic values for all segments of society. Strategies that governments rely on to promote diversity will be addressed. The session is relevant for academics and, in particular, practitioners, who are fundamental actors in extending democracy and promoting equity.

From the Webinar Archives
From 2019 and based on a PAR article, "Complex Contracts: Management Challenges and Solutions," looked at the critical issue of complex contracts. Governments at all levels buy mission‐critical goods and services whose attributes and performance requirements are hard to define and produce. Many governments—and the public managers who lead them—lack experience and knowledge about how to contract for complex products. Authors Trevor Brown (John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University), Matthew Potoski (Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara) and David Van Slyke (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University) discussed their research on the subject with our online audience.

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Focus on Membership: Public Integrity Article Examines Voting Laws, Disenfranchisement

Congratulations to ASPA members Shannon Portillo, Dominic Bearfield and Norma Riccucci for their recently published Public Integrity article looking at state laws that have made it more difficult for minority and low-income Americans to vote. Public Integrity is ASPA's ethics-focused journal, available to Section on Ethics and the Integrity in Governance members, as well as any others who wish to subscribe.

As reported by Portillo et al, these laws challenge election administrators to straddle the hard line between enacting policy and maintaining equity and access requirements. The end result? Administrative discretion plays too fine of a role in who has access to the ballot box.

Portillo and her co-authors reviewed policies enacted since Shelby v. Holder (2013) and demonstrated the outsized effect policies have on disenfranchised voting groups.

As Portillo noted in an article from the University of Kansas, "What we've seen across the country is polling places are more likely to be closed in places where a large number of people of color live and in areas with a lot of low-income voters," Portillo said. "I think this is an ongoing problem that the pandemic has exacerbated."

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In Memoriam: Michael Hail

Michael Hail, professor of political science at Morehead State, died Thursday, August 6 at the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset after a brief illness. He was 53 years old. Born in 1966, he was the only son of Doris Burton Hail and the late Rev. Mark D. Hail.

Hail came to Morehead State University in 2000 as director of research and assistant dean of the newly created Program of Distinction, the Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy (IRAPP). He served as both chair and dean of IRAPP and directed both the government and MPA graduate programs. He worked with the University of Kentucky Martin School of Public Policy on a joint doctorate of public policy program and, since 2004, as the associate director of the Institute for Federalism and Intergovernmental Relationships. He founded, directed and obtained external funding for the MSU Statesmanship Center and the MSU Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence.

Hail was appointed to the Truman Scholarship committee by Presidents Obama and Trump. He was a prolific scholar, publishing articles, books and book chapters, as well as taking leadership roles in various organizations, including ASPA. He served as editor or editorial board member for PUBLIUS: The Journal of Federalism, Commonwealth Political Science Review, Public Administration Review and The Federalism Report.

Find his full obituary online here.

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20 Ways Cities Can Promote Safe and Effective Elections in November

From the Center for American Progress, city officials across the country can ensure this fall's elections are safe and fair for all voters, and for everyone on the ballot. Primarily, these efforts revolve around facilitating voter registration and supporting local election officers when and as appropriate.

The Center has compiled a 20-step issue brief for city leaders interested in learning more.

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Remember Flint?

More than four years ago, Flint, Michigan made the news when it was uncovered that the city had dangerous levels of lead flowing through its pipes. The Flint River's high salt content had encouraged pipe corrosion, making it easy for lead from the pipes to leach into the water supply. Worse, state and local government agencies attempted to cover up the problem, not admitting lead levels were dangerously high until forced to do so by a water study team from Virginia Tech. Families, and specifically children, have paid the price through illness, cognitive delays and other side effects; many in the community still do not drink water from their city-provided pipes, choosing bottled or pre-boiled water instead.

This tragedy has been back in the media spotlight recently, first due to the health inequities accompanying COVID-19 that have affected communities of color throughout Flint, as they have across the country. Families still suffering the aftermath of chronic lead poisoning now also are suffering from COVID.

In a moment of good news, however, it has been announced that Michigan will be paying more than $600 million to Flint residents in a lawsuit settlement, far outpacing other large lawsuits settled by the state in the past. Funds primarily will go to children who claimed they were poisoned by the city water supply. That said, the money will need to be appropriated through state funds and Michigan’s "rainy day fund" is being drained by budgetary challenges related to COVID. While the funds will be paid, it is not clear when or from which appropriations.

ASPA awarded the Virginia Tech Water Study Team its 2016 Public Integrity award for its work in uncovering the Flint water crisis; PA TIMES covered the story in its Spring 2016 edition.

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National Civic League Announces All-America City Award Winners

Since 1949, the National Civic League (NCL) has recognized and celebrated the best in American civic innovation with the prestigious All-America City Award. The 2020 awards event, held virtually for the first time in its 71-year history, reflected the concept that good health for the entire community requires a focus on mental, physical, spiritual, cultural and economic well-being. The 2020 winning communities are:

  • Algoma, Wisconsin
  • Danville, Virginia
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Franklin, Tennessee
  • Miami Gardens, Florida
  • Muncie, Indiana
  • Pitt County, North Carolina
  • Portsmouth, Ohio
  • Rancho Cucamonga, California
  • Rochester, New York
Find more information about the cities and their projects on the NCL website.

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Public Integrity Symposium Call for Papers—The New 4 Es

Public Integrity has announced a collaboration with ASPA's Section on Democracy and Social Justice to offer a symposium: "The New 4 Es: Fostering Engagement, Empathy, Equity and Ethics in an Era of Uncertainty." Guest editors are Richard Greggory Johnson, III (University of San Francisco) Sean McCandless (University of Illinois—Springfield) and Seth Meyer (Bridgewater State University). All proposals are due by December 1, 2020. Click here for more information.

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PAR 80:4 COVID Symposium

The most recent edition of Public Administration Review was released last month, including a symposium of viewpoint articles related to COVID-19. Take a look!

COVID‐19 Viewpoint Symposium
Global Reflection, Conceptual Exploration and Evidentiary Assimilation: COVID‐19 (An Introduction)
Jeremy L. Hall, Staci M. Zavattaro, R. Paul Battaglio and Michael W. Hail

States Divided: The Implications of American Federalism for COVID‐19
Donald F. Kettl

The Third and Fatal Shock: How Pandemic Killed the Millennial Paradigm
Alasdair Roberts

Staging Science: Authoritativeness and Fragility of Models and Measurement in the COVID‐19 Crisis
Wouter Van Dooren and Mirko Noordegraaf

Crisis Decision‐Making on a Global Scale: Transition from Cognition to Collective Action under Threat of COVID‐19
Louise K. Comfort, Naim Kapucu, Kilkon Ko, Scira Menoni and Michael Siciliano

State Executive Orders: Nuance in Restrictions, Revealing Suspensions and Decisions to Enforce
Cali Curley and Peter Stanley Federman

Connecting with New Partners in COVID‐19 Response
David Grizzle, Amy Goodin and Scott E. Robinson

Disaster Resiliency of U.S. Local Governments: Insights to Strengthen Local Response and Recovery from the COVID‐19 Pandemic
Komla D. Dzigbede, Sarah Beth Gehl and Katherine Willoughby

Fiscal Responses to COVID‐19: Evidence from Local Governments and Nonprofits
Craig S. Maher, Trang Hoang and Anne Hindery

Fighting COVID‐19 with Agility, Transparency and Participation: Wicked Policy Problems and New Governance Challenges
M. Jae Moon

Unprecedented Challenges, Familiar Paradoxes: COVID‐19 and Governance in a New Normal State of Risks
Kaifeng Yang

Fighting COVID‐19 through Government Initiatives and Collaborative Governance: The Taiwan Experience
Irving Yi‐Feng Huang

Australian Quarantine Policy: From Centralization to Coordination with Mid‐Pandemic COVID‐19 Shifts
Kim Moloney and Susan Moloney

The Transaction Costs of Government Responses to the COVID‐19 Emergency in Latin America
Edgar E. Ramírez de la Cruz, Eduardo José Grin, Pablo Sanabria‐Pulido, Daniel Cravacuore and Arturo Orellana

A Guide to Benchmarking COVID‐19 Performance Data
Bert George, Bram Verschuere, Ellen Wayenberg and Bishoy Louis Zaki

"We've Cared for the Dead Since We Started Caring": COVID‐19 and Our Relationship to Public and Private Deathcare
Staci M. Zavattaro

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Tips and Resources

Here are a range of resources—from lighthearted to immensely useful—posted online recently that you should check out!

How Your Benefits Have Changed Recently
To address the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has loosened restrictions on several employee benefits programs.

OPM Issues Regulations for Feds’ Paid Parental Leave
Beginning October 1, federal workers will be entitled to up to 12 weeks of paid leave in connection with the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

OPM Outlines Process for Restoring Leave After COVID
Regulations allowing some to carry over more than 30 days of annual leave into next year will also apply to future emergencies, Office of Personnel Management said.

How to Prepare for Rising Stress Ahead
Now is a good time to take an honest look at how you are handling your current level of stress and consider proactive steps you should take as we head toward the fall.

Lost Your Job Due to Coronavirus? Artificial Intelligence Could Be Your Best Friend in Finding a New One
Use of these tools is growing, especially among young people.

Brag and Name Drop: How to Project Credibility As Workplace Meetings Move Online
COVID-19 has altered nearly every aspect of American life, including the workplace. For millions of Americans, the kitchen or the living room now doubles as the office and conference room. Suddenly, what you say carries more weight than ever.

Four Tips to Help Kids Cope with COVID-19 Anxiety
The news coverage on COVID-19 is pervasive and persistent. As difficult as this experience is, it is easier for educated adults than it is for children. As children go through this crisis, they do not have to be afraid. But parents must teach them to embrace the power all of us have—and then use it to make choices that create better outcomes.

Five Questions Public Leaders Should Ask About Cybersecurity
Elected officials, agency heads and other government leaders need to understand their organizations' challenges and issues. It's the key to establishing a shared culture of security in a public organization.

19th Amendment: Celebrate Its Passage. Fight For Its Promise.
The New Georgia Project, a nonpartisan effort to register Georgians, has released a new video highlighting the contributions made by Black women in the early 20th century who participated in the fight for the 19th Amendment. Black women's contributions to this fight are often ignored; this video brings those achievements to life.

We released other lists of resources in previous editions of Bridge, dating back to April. Check out our archives and look for the "Tips and Resources" articles to find them!

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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

ASPA members have made news in a variety of ways recently. Below are the headlines we've found; 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.

Just How Far Will Trump Go?
This politics piece in The Atlantic includes insights from Paul Light (NYU Wagner School), Don Kettl (UT at Austin, LBJ School) and ASPA Public Integrity Award winner Walter Schaub.

Aristigueta Appointed Dean of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School
ASPA Past President Maria Aristigueta was appointed dean of the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware earlier this month. A member of the faculty since 1997, Aristigueta is the Charles P. Messick Chair in public administration and has served as director of the Biden School since 2007. Her research centers on organizational behavior and performance management in the public sector.

Slotterback Appointed Dean of GSPIA
Carissa Schively Slotterback, associate dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, has been named dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). She will begin her deanship on Oct. 1 and join the faculty as a full professor. At the University of Minnesota, she led academic programs and curricula, faculty mentoring and promotion and research advancement; additionally, she set strategy for and supervised staff teams in academic programs, advising and retention, academic and information technology, and career and professional development.

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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, nominations and announcements:
  • PA Quarterly Special Edition: How COVID-19 Has Affected Social Inequalities
    COVID-19 has brought many severe changes to what we had become used to: economic well-being, relatively good health and job security. For many, the pre-pandemic future offered fulfillment as we engaged with others, enjoyed outings with friends and family and practiced freedom to choose where we would go and what we would do. Prior to now, we may have acknowledged the existence of racial injustice; biases because of age, gender, disability and sexual orientation; and income equalities, but COVID-19 has brought these social and institutional issues to center stage. ASPA's Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD) is requesting papers for a special edition of Public Administration Quarterly that illuminates inequities in institutions since the onset of COVID-19. All manuscripts must be submitted by September 25 to Carol Rusaw. Contact Carol for more information.

  • 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.

  • 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. All papers are due by November 1, 2020.
    Find the 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.

  • Chinese Public Administration Review (CPAR) COVID-19 Commentaries
    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPAR is calling for contributions to a special issue featuring COVID-19 commentaries from scholars and practitioners throughout the world. Editors expect the December 2020 issue will be devoted to this topic. Submissions are encouraged on a priority review basis beginning now and through the summer. The length of a submission is no more than 5000 words, including references. CPAR editors will provide a rapid review process of 15 days for all commentaries related to COVID-19. Submissions should not have been published previously and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere.
    Find the Call for Proposals online here.

  • SPAR Best Book Award Call for Nominations
    The Section on Public Administration Research (SPAR) has issued its Call for Nominations for its annual Best Book Award. The Section welcomes nominations for books on public administration published in 2019 and 2020. The criterion for the award is a book that significantly contributes to research in public administration. All research methods are welcomed, as are books across the wide range of public administration research. Edited volumes are welcomed. Books primarily written as textbook will not be considered. We welcome international publications written in English. Recognition will be awarded at the ASPA 2021 Annual Conference next spring; the deadline for nominations is December 15, 2020.
    Find the Call for Nominations 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.