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

September 9, 2020

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In This Issue:

Time Is Running Out to Help Build ASPA's Future

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.

As this year’s call for nominations draws to a close, consider yourself 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 each 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 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.

In addition, 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. The National Council also charged this year's Nominating Committee with presenting a slate diverse in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation and other important forms of diversity.

For more information, click here for a webinar that provides details on each position’s roles and responsibilities. Current and former Council members Kendra Stewart, Allan Rosenbaum, Andrea Headley and J. Paul Blake share their experiences about their service.

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PA TIMES Magazine Fall Edition: Education Supplement

ASPA's PA TIMES magazine fall edition will be released next month. Did you know you can advertise in our magazine? Deans, department chairs and marketing execs, pay attention! This is one of the best advertising venues ASPA offers!

Printed three times each year, PA TIMES magazine offers quarter-, half- and full-page ads and our annual fall edition is always our education supplement! Universities, this is a prime opportunity to showcase your degree program, new online classes, recent research produced or any other facet of your department that deserves accolades. More, this fall’s edition will be looking at the effects of COVID-19 throughout public administration from a variety of lenses. If your university, nonprofit or service-oriented company has contributed to fighting the pandemic during the past six months, this is a great vehicle to showcase your hard and invaluable work.

Charging reasonable rates, and providing you with a distribution of more than 15,000 exposures, this is an excellent return on investment to inform the entire profession about your program’s accomplishments. Find more information in our media kit (page 5) and contact us to book your space in the fall edition right away.

All space reservations are due by September 20; all ads are due by September 30. Contact us today!

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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: 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.

BookTalk: Reforming and Improving Government with Policy Knowledge
September 16 | 1 p.m. EDT
Steve Putansu, Professorial Lecturer, American University

A central quest of public administration theory and practice is incorporating scientific principles to create a more effective, efficient and equitable government. Despite vast troves of data, information and evidence produced within and outside of government, this policy knowledge is often ignored by decisionmakers. In Confronting the Evidence-Based Proverb, author Steve Putansu argues that reliance on unrealistic promises of policy knowledge are a major contributor to its failure to influence decisions. This talk will offer a purpose-driven, contextually sophisticated and practical reframing of successful evidence-based policy and show how this grounded view enables us to improve decisions across varied political contexts.

Students and New Professionals: The Art and Science of Resumés
September 17 | 1 p.m. EDT
Abdul Samad, Doctoral Candidate, Florida International University
Bill Shields, Jr., Executive Director, ASPA and Adjunct Professor, American University

Featuring ASPA's resident resumés expert—Executive Director Bill Shields—this Students and New Professionals Series webinar will help you learn how to craft an eye-catching, appealing resumé that will get you noticed and (hopefully!) get you the interview. Bill has more than 15 years of experience helping students craft excellent resumés that get them in the door. Highlighting professional resumé guidelines, dos, don’ts, musts, nevers and more, he will help attendees know how to best use their resumés to get an interview and progress in their careers. We will also leave plenty of time for Q&A, so you can get his take on your most pressing concerns.

From the Webinar Archives
In case you missed it earlier this year, our webinar, "Leveraging Behavioral Science to Improve Program Performance" provided an excellent look at combining psychology with data management to get a full picture of how practitioners use data to make decisions. While governments around the world are intent on measuring and reporting program performance, insights from behavioral science tell us that people make decisions based on their own biases, limitations and interpretations of the metrics they're provided. As a result, implementation can go awry and lead to unintended consequences. Led by John Kamensky (The IBM Center for The Business of Government), Don Moynihan (Georgetown University) and Gregg Van Ryzin (Rutgers University), this webinar looked at how people interpret and make sense of government performance metrics.

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A Focus on Membership: Connect with Your Peers Through Chapters and Sections

While ASPA's national office provides programming all year long in the form of webinars, journals, a magazine and more, many of our members are equally fulfilled by their activities with their local Chapters and subject-matter Sections. Are you in contact with yours?

Each ASPA member is automatically connected with their local Chapter when they join the national organization, jumpstarting their ability to participate in nearby events, programming and networking. Long-standing ASPA members know and are very active in their Chapters; if you’re new to ASPA and need more information about your Chapter affiliation, send us an email or give us a call (202-585-4308). We will be happy to help you—and even help you get to know your Chapter leaders!

Participating in Sections is entirely voluntary: You can choose to join one or many (each with a separate fee), driven by your interests. In fact, members have started a few new ones in recent years to address new areas of focus in the profession. If you have not explored what they have to offer, here are a few details:

  • The Section on African Public Administration (SAPA) advances the science, processes and art of public administration on the African continent, as well as the equality of opportunity of all persons through public administration. SAPA seeks to liaise with governments on the African continent to support public administration organizations in specific nations; establish relationships with international development agencies serving in Africa; and build the capacity of public administration organizations. Among its resources are a newsletter on public administration in Africa and professional development workshops.

  • The Section on Procurement and Contract Management (SPCM) fosters the development of theory, understanding, and practice related to public procurement, contract administration and project management, and their roles in policy development and implementation, cross sector collaboration and creation of civil society. SPCM supports professional growth and communication among academics and practitioners.

  • The South Asian Section for Public Administration (SASPA) advances research and study on public administration and policy in South Asia, plus international and comparative analysis of the region's administrative systems. SASPA promotes global and comparative perspectives by increasing awareness and understanding of the factors affecting policy and administration in South Asia. Its specific goals are to provide a platform for networking among scholars and practitioners interested in these issues and policies and encourage collaborative research between South Asian scholars and their international counterparts.

  • The Students and New Administration Professionals Section (SNAPS) provides networking and professional development activities for students and new professionals. To this end, SNAPS provides a forum for ongoing dialogue regarding the special environment and challenges that students and new professionals face; facilitates programs to encourage their professional growth and development; and supports them through networking, mentoring, and continuing education.
These are only four of more than 30 Sections available to ASPA members to help you expand your network within a given subject area and learn from others in the profession about the issues that matter most to you. Find our list of our Sections online and join a new one today!

Chapters and Sections provide robust member benefits and deep connections to your peers and colleagues throughout the profession. If you are not connected with at least one yet, let us know and we can help you get started!

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What's Going on with the Census?

Reports in recent weeks have shown that while the Census Bureau knows it cannot complete an accurate decennial count in the time left to do so (the current deadline is December 30, 2020), Congress has not authorized more time for a count to be completed. With those restrictions in place, the Census Bureau began to condense its schedule, shortening its time for in-neighborhood counting by 30 days, to be completed by September 30—despite the difficulties it has had recruiting enumerators this year.

This week, a federal judge ordered the Census Bureau to stop winding down its work for the time being due to a lawsuit currently awaiting a hearing. That hearing, to be held later this month, will address the claim that the Census Bureau changed its schedule to accommodate a memorandum from President Trump to exclude people who are in the country illegally from the numbers used in redrawing Congressional districts. This suit, one of more than a half-dozen that have been filed against the Trump administration in response to its memo, is brought by a coalition of cities, counties and civil rights groups that have sued the Census Bureau, demanding it restore its previous plan for finishing the in-neighborhood counts by October 31, instead of using a revised plan to end operations at the end of September. The coalition has argued the September deadline would cause the Census Bureau to overlook minority communities in the census, leading to an inaccurate count.

The importance of the decennial Census cannot be overstated: It is used to determine appropriations for a variety of social programs, potentially redraw Congressional districts, allocate local services and more. Obtaining an accurate count of the current population of the United States (including those who are not citizens) is not only critical to equitable service and funding distribution, but also is constitutionally mandated. A shortened count will hurt communities of color the most, who also are the most in need of essential public services.

There are numerous articles online to provide more information, including this article from Nancy Potok and Katherine Wallman via The Washington Post.

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Peterson Foundation: National Debt Soon Will Be the Size of the Economy

As one of five key take-aways from the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) baseline budget projections for the next decade, the Peterson Foundation noted recently that the national debt will soon exceed the size of the economy. CBO now expects the debt-to-GDP ratio will be 98 percent of GDP by the end of this fiscal year and exceed its previous high of 106 percent of GDP by the end of 2023.

Find out more, including the other four take-aways, online here.

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The 2020 Federal 100

From Federal Computer Week the annual Federal 100 list is out showcasing the top 100 technology experts in the federal government. Browse through the list online to learn more about these talented public servants. Just a few include Cecilia Coates (Department of State), Suzanne Kent (Office of Management and Budget) and Claire Redondo (United States Postal Service).

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NAPA Educational Resources Online

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) and its Fellows have developed content related to its 12 Grand Challenges in Public Administration and how a continuing or new administration should address them. This content is curated and now available online. Students, faculty and practitioners, make the most of these resources!

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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 Is Online Now

The most recent edition of Public Administration Review was released in July. Check out the below articles and make the most of this research! (More articles related to COVID are online, as well. View the full edition here.)

Crisis of the Union: Public Management and Leadership in an Era of Discontent
Jeremy L. Hall and R. Paul Battaglio

Research Articles
How Do Citizens Assess Street‐Level Bureaucrats’ Warmth and Competence? A Typology and Test
Noortje de Boer

Can Public Leadership Increase Public Service Motivation and Job Performance?
Gary Schwarz, Nathan Eva and Alexander Newman

Follow the Leader? Leader Succession and Staff Attitudes in Public Sector Organizations
Benny Geys, Sara Connolly, Hussein Kassim and Zuzana Murdoch

Designing to Debias: Measuring and Reducing Public Managers’ Anchoring Bias
Rosanna Nagtegaal, Lars Tummers, Mirko Noordegraaf and Victor Bekkers

Cyber Security Responsibilization: An Evaluation of the Intervention Approaches Adopted by the Five Eyes Countries and China
Karen Renaud, Craig Orgeron, Merrill Warkentin and P. Edward French

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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!

Feeling Overwhelmed? Stressed? Here's Why (And Some Tactics to Help)
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you sick of all the newness in your life and the constant adjustments you have to make as a result? You are tired of this. You do not know how to make decisions because you do not know what information to believe. You feel stressed, emotionally drained and unsettled. All of these reactions are normal given what is going on around us—but there are ways to cope.

Cognitive Limits Mess up Decisions Based on Chance
Cognitive limitations lead to skewed perception of probability that can cause disastrous decisions, researchers say. But we also compensate to get by.

Jerks Don't Actually Get Ahead at Work
Being a selfish jerk does not get you ahead, according to new research. That is not to say that jerks do not reach positions of power. It is just that they did not get ahead faster than others, and being a jerk simply did not help. That is because any power boost they get from being intimidating is offset by their poor interpersonal relationships.

How to Read Coronavirus News and Learn What You Actually Need to Know About Staying Safe in the Pandemic
With COVID-19, a news story that may be 100 percent accurate still can mislead readers unintentionally about the greatest threats of the pandemic. The unintended outcome results from a lesson taught to every journalism student: Use "real people" to "humanize" the news.

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.

Flooding, Pollution, Sprawl and Fragmented Governance—Northeast Ohio's Water Systems Are Death By a Thousand Drops for Its Poorest Residents
From Hannah Lebovits, this article provides a look at Cuyahoga County, Ohio's water systems and the inequities it exacerbates.

Dr. Anne Williamson to Lead UA Little Rock's School of Public Affairs
Dr. Anne Williamson, a nationwide expert in housing policy, has been selected as the new director of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Williamson joins UA Little Rock from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, where she served as the Victor and Caroline Schutte/Missouri Professor of Urban Affairs and director of the L.P. Cookingham Institute of Urban Affairs.

Too Many Americans Still Don't Receive Acceptable Service from Federal Agencies
John Kamensky's latest report looks at government efforts to improve customer service, with some positive results.

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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:

  • VCU Wilder School of Government: Honoring L. Douglas Wilder: Continuing 30 Years of History, Then & Now
    September 17
    This year marks the 30th anniversary of L. Douglas Wilder's inauguration as the first African-American governor elected in the nation. Not only was this a historic election that changed the political landscape nationally, but also Governor Wilder's tireless commitment to fiscal responsibility, political inclusion and independence thought during his time in office remain important contributions to the Commonwealth of Virginia's citizens. To commemorate the historic election of Virginia's 66th Governor, the VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs and Virginia Union University are hosting a virtual leadership symposium on Thursday, September 17 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is an open virtual event for students, faculty, alumni, community members and beyond.

  • ABFM Annual Conference
    September 24-26
    Originally canceled, this conference has been shifted to an online format. Registration is available online now.

  • Office of Management and Budget, An Insider's Guide
    September 30
    The National Academy of Public Administration invites you to join them on September 30th from 10:30 a.m. to Noon (EDT), for their Zoom event to highlight publication of An Insider's Guide to OMB by the White House Transition Project. This is a new primer, co-authored by former OMB senior executives, for incoming policy officials. It describes one of the most important institutions of the Presidency, which Paul O'Neill once described as "unexplainable to everyone who lives outside of the Beltway and misunderstood by nearly everyone who lives inside the Beltway." Register online now.

  • NASPAA 2020 Virtual Conference
    October 14-16
    NASPAA's Annual Conference will be co-located with the Teaching Public Administration Conference, sponsored by ASPA's Section on Public Administration Education.
    Early-bird registration is available now and expires September 18.

  • 3rd Vietnam Symposium in Leadership and Public Policy
    Ha Noi, Vietnam
    October 26-27
    Registrations are due by September 13.

  • NAPA's 2020 Fall Conference
    November 5-10
    This year's virtual Fall Meeting, "Grand Challenges in Public Administration," will focus on the role of public administrators in building resilient communities. 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year—we have a presidential election, a pandemic and social and racial unrest. How do we continue to build resiliency in our communities, in our networks and in our nation? This virtual meeting will address those questions through a series of live sessions including plenary sessions, Standing Panel breakout sessions and award sessions. The meeting will also include a curated section of on-demand sessions.

  • 2020 Northeast Conference on Public Administration
    November 6-7
    Registration is open now.

  • 2020 APPAM Fall Conference
    November 11-13
    This conference will be entirely virtual; registration is open.

  • 2021 COMPA Conference
    Dallas, Texas
    February 25-28, 2021
    The Call for Papers is online; proposals are due by January 15, 2021. Registration is open; early-bird registration expires January 15, 2021. Click here for more information.

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.

  • International Journal of Public Sector Management Call for Papers: Bringing the State Back In: The Prospects and Challenges of the Administrative State in the 21st Century
    Since the financial crisis of the late 2000s, the political crisis that has engulfed the European Union as a result of Brexit, and the self-regulatory failures in different countries, including the recent Boeing crisis, environment disasters and the devastating effects of COVID-19, citizens have had to depend on the administrative state to address what may be described as "very wicked problems." The continuous reliance on the state and the call to develop new strategies to reinvent the administrative state has therefore led to a variety of questions. This special issue of the International Journal of Public Sector Management (IJPSM) invites papers from scholars to answer them, with the view of obtaining a greater understanding of whether the administrative state will now return to its previous position and an examination of its prospects and challenges. All proposals are due November 30, 2020. Click here for more information.

  • 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 textbooks 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.