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

December 22, 2021

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ASPA Begins Sending 2022 Annual Conference Session Notifications

As the holiday season continues, ASPA's conference planning team has some very special end-of-year gifts to distribute, as well: Annual Conference session acceptance notifications! Messages are going out as we send this newsletter—please have patience!

Given the volume of notifications being distributed, it will take through next week (or maybe longer) to send them all. Keep an eye on your inbox and your fingers crossed to go to Jacksonville this March! (Please do not send emails asking about the status of your proposal; the more of those we have to answer, the longer it will take for your notice to get to you.)

Knowing these remain uncertain times, we are planning for an in-person conference experience that places your health, safety and security at the forefront of our efforts. To support those plans, we have adopted a number of robust health policies for the conference. Among them:

  • Proof of full vaccination is required to attend #ASPA2022
  • Masks will be required for all indoor activities
  • Social distancing and adequate spacing will be promoted and encouraged as much as possible
  • Flexible refund/transfer options are available should you be unable to join us
Full details are on our website. Review them closely and think about how you can do your part to make the 2022 conference a terrific and safe experience for all. (Have more questions? Visit our FAQ page for our answers!)

For those ready to register, our 2022 rates are lower than past years to support those on tighter budgets:
  • Student/New Professional Member Rate: $199
  • Member Launch Rate: $399
  • Member Regular Rate: $449
  • Member Onsite Rate: $549
  • Member One-Day Rate: $209
View our website for nonmember rates and more details, including our flexible refund/transfer policy. And, if you've enjoyed our options to sponsor a student in the past, contact us and we can help you do so again for 2022.

This will be a fully in-person event; hybrid or virtual options are not available during our time in Jacksonville. You can find more information on our website, including a link to register. Send your vaccination cards to [email protected], and we will look forward to seeing you in Jacksonville this March!

Use the following links to view the 2022 Annual Conference Events Code of Conduct, health and safety policies and liability waiver.


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.

Our webinar schedule has taken a break as this year ends and 2022 begins. Our first webinar of the new year will take place January 13; details will be announced soon. In the meantime, take a look at our webinar archives to catch up on programs you may have missed. A few of the titles from 2021 include:

  • A Grand Challenge: Developing Solutions and Institutions to Ensure Equitable and Sustainable Water Access in the Face of a Changing Climate
  • COVID Vaccinations and Nonprofits in South Asia
  • RIGOs & Beyond: A New Generation of Research on Regions
  • Critical Race Theory (CRT), Social Equity and Social Justice in Public Administration: Examining the Causes and Effects of Anti-CRT Policies
  • Implementing the $350 Billion Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund
  • The Intersection of Public Administration and the Law: What Do Social Equity Scholars Think?
  • Race Neutrality: Rationalizing Remedies to Racial Inequality
  • Police Reform in the United States Roundtable: A Focus on Houston
  • Maintaining Employee Engagement in the New Workplace
  • Managing Organizations to Sustain Passion for Public Service
This year has featured robust and wide-ranging speakers and discussions, covering important topics across all three of our series. With more than 40 events added to our archives, ASPA staff are proud to make these recordings available to our members for your ongoing professional development needs.

You'll see more of these topics in the new year. Keep your eyes on your inbox for program announcements in early January.

Happy Holidays!


ASPA 2021-2022 Election Results Announced!

Just in time for the end-of-year season, ASPA's 2021-2022 election results have been announced. The following individuals have been elected to leadership positions for terms beginning in March 2022:

  • District I: Malcolm K. Oliver
  • District II: Thomas H. Stanton
  • District III: Terry Murphy
  • District IV: Kelli Truver
  • District V: Galia Cohen
  • Student Representative: Joshua Avila
Each District Representative will serve a three-year term; the Student Representative will serve a one-year term.

We look forward to working with these leaders in the coming year.


We Are Grateful for Your Support!

Since the beginning of 2020, we have undergone more trials and challenges than we could have imagined. COVID-19 and its ripple effects have placed historic stresses on public servants around the world; the fight for racial equality has moved back to the center of American politics in a way unseen for decades; and election officials and administrators have guarded our democratic and electoral processes in the face of unprecedented pressure. In response to these issues of our day, ASPA has steadfastly worked to advance excellence in public service to serve you, our members and friends, in meaningful and impactful ways.

Imagine what more we could do with your support.

In response to these challenges of our times, ASPA’s leadership has acted with you in mind. Throughout 2022, our programming will remain focused on these key issues—COVID-19; social equity, diversity and inclusion; and the strength of our democratic institutions, including a robust civil service. In the next couple of months, we will share with you new initiatives aimed at bolstering this work. And, with the fully engaged support of ASPA’s Endowment Board, National Council—and you—we know our future is bright and our footing is sound.

As 2021 draws to a close, please consider making ASPA part of your year-end charitable giving. Our legacy is significant and our potential to do good is even greater. But, we cannot do it alone. Think about the level at which you can support ASPA through an end-of-year donation. As you do, know that you have our gratitude for all you do to advance excellence in public service.

In Memoriam: Donald Gerth

ASPA member and former California State University (CSU)—Sacramento President Donald R. Gerth passed away recently at age 93. He had been an ASPA member since 1948.

The recipient of the Sacramento Chapter’s Outstanding Public Administrator Award and Outstanding Educator Award, he was a regular participant in Chapter and Section programming and at the national level, throughout his career and into retirement.

Gerth was born in Chicago and earned three degrees at the University of Chicago, including his BA, master’s degree in political science and Ph.D. in political science. He also served in the Air Force (1952-1956), was a lecturer in history at the University of the Philippines and served in a wide range of academic positions throughout his career, including 45 years in the CSU system.

Gerth joined the California State Colleges (CSC) system in 1958 where he was appointed dean of students for admissions and records and government instructor at San Francisco State College. He became president of CSC—Dominguez Hills in 1976 and was appointed president of the system in 1984, a position he held until 2003.

Equity was a critical priority for him. Months into his tenure in Sacramento, he met with members of the NAACP to address racism on campus; he struggled with the Clinton administration’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for CSU’s ROTC students; and he worked to ensure equal protection and sustain affirmative action in the late ‘90s, when such programs were debated by state and national policymakers.

By the time he retired, he had gained international recognition as “dean of CSU presidents.” He was instrumental in helping the CSC system attain university status, committed to preserving history and known to be “the epitome of an academic.”

Read his full obituary online.

2021 Annual Conference Videos Available Online

As 2021 comes to an end, now is a great time to revisit educational programming you may have missed.

If you attended ASPA's 2021 Annual Conference, online this past April, more than 90 hours of content from that event are available on our website! The conference website we used to host the event expired over the summer, but we have retained the most popular videos and have archived them for ongoing use. You will find:

  • More than 60 hours of concurrent sessions
  • Founders’ Fellows panels
  • Plenaries
  • Presidential Panels
Only those who registered for the 2021 conference may access this content. Take a look now and enjoy this ongoing resource!


"Leading Through DEI" at the Price School

Throughout October, the University of Southern California Price Executive Education kicked off a major initiative to support public service executives and senior administrators within the diversity, equity and inclusion space. "Leading Through DEI" was an intensive nine-session program aimed to provide skills at the individual, team and organizational levels and allow time to pause and reflect.

The program was designed to be action-focused with presenters including public service executives and leading scholars and consultants in the field and across the United States. Participants were from four different states and included a chief of staff, legislative staff, county and city senior administrators, and nonprofit and behavioral health leaders.

“Structural racism has a detrimental effect on what we in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office hold most sacred: public safety,” District Attorney George Gascón said. “It’s paramount that all working groups, particularly those in public service, develop and hone their leadership values with the goal of building stronger pipelines to racial and social diversity. USC Price’s 'Leading Through Diversity, Equity and Inclusion' program has helped move my office forward in furthering these crucial efforts.”

About this program specifically, LaVonna Blair Lewis, associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion, shared, “We miss the very best of the people we get to work with and for when we don’t give them a chance to be really seen and heard. We must focus our attention on DEI work if we ever hope to close the gaps that we all feel to some degree.”

"Leading Through DEI" takes many layers. The October 2021 program focused on why DEI matters in public service, doing the work: a mindful approach to DEI, cultural humility, social equity and ethics, empathy in professional settings, leading with courage and appreciative communication. Future offerings will include alternative topics and an expanded presentation team to reflect the breadth and depth of the field.

“There is no more important work than public service. We are proud to offer this program to support those who model, inspire and lead the way every day,” said Paul Danczyk, director of executive education.

Click here for more information about the presenters from October's event and for more information about this February's program, including registration details.

2022 Transatlantic Dialogue Call for Papers

The 16th Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD16), an annual conference bridging scholarly communities on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, will take place June 9-11, 2022, in Roskilde (Denmark). Co-sponsored by ASPA, the European Group for Public Administration/International Institute of Administrative Sciences and Rutgers University, we are pleased to join with our European counterparts to support this event and the scholarly communities it enhances.

Under this year's theme, “Strategic Management of Public Sector Transformation in Turbulent Times: Enhancing Collaborative Governance and Co-creation of Public Value," TAD16 will organize a broad range of workshops led by pairs of American and European scholars:

  • Building capacities for collaborative governance and co-creation through strategic management
  • Enhancing public performance through interagency and cross-sector collaboration
  • Public innovation through networks of public and private actors: theory and practice
  • Improving the performance of contracts, procurement and public-private partnerships
  • Co-creating public value outcomes with citizens and voluntary organizations
  • Public leadership and motivation in public value production
  • Designing institutional platforms and arenas for collaborative governance and co-creation
  • Political leadership and policy entrepreneurship in a turbulent world of collaborative governance
  • Democratic legitimacy and accountability in collaborative governance arrangements
This event also will feature several keynote speeches, a roundtable discussion of public governance responses to COVID-19 and a fun social event. More details will be provided as the schedule evolves.

Please review the Call for Papers now and submit your abstract by March 1, 2022. All registrations are due by May 10, 2022.

Find more details on the TAD16 website and we'll look forward to seeing you in Roskilde in June 2022!


Public Integrity: Special Issue on Qualitative Methods as Liberatory Tools

Public administration in academia remains mired in quests for legitimacy, often confused by ontological, epistemological and methodological suppositions rooted in different ways of knowing. Many of these debates remain at the “philosophy of science” level, leaving a gap in our knowledge about not just “doing methods” well but also how methodology and methods link to broader theoretical and practical discussions in the field. Contemporarily, numerous scholars are calling for a return to the field’s heart and soul: the citizen-state encounter, the power of tacit knowledge and the ability of stories and narratives to shape knowledge.

Yet a focus on the human dimensions of public administration requires centering the uniqueness of people’s experiences. Interactions with any public service entity are woven with differing conceptions and applications of ethics, accountability, equity, justice, legality and constitutionality, legitimacy, responsiveness, transparency and more. The methods we use must be up to the task of studying and sorting through these complex dimensions, especially through providing in-depth, detail-rich description and explanation of not only what phenomena are but also how and why they work the way that they do. Qualitative methods are essential for these goals.

This special issue seeks to foster a renewed focus on qualitative methods in public administration. Find the full call for papers online; proposals for papers should be submitted by January 9, 2022. An invitation to submit a full paper does not guarantee publication. All papers will be subject to Public Integrity’s standard double-blind peer review process. Please address any questions to special issue editors Staci Zavattaro, Sean McCandless, Ashley Nickels and Esteban Santis.

Tips and Resources

White House Extends Student Loan Payment Freeze
The move comes as the deadline neared for the end of the current moratorium and as another wave of COVID threatens a strong, but fragile, economic recovery.

Don’t Panic About Omicron. But Don’t Be Indifferent, Either.
The next wave of the pandemic requires charting a middle course between dismay and dismissal.

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.

Biden Better Get Busy on Government Reform
By Paul Light

Can Biden Deliver Better "Customer Experience" for Americans Than His Predecessors?
By John Kamensky

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:
  • 10th Annual Section Capstone Panel: Deadline Extended
    Are you a graduate student working on your capstone project or a professor supervising a student working on one? Consider submitting a proposal to be considered for a $500 scholarship to attend and present at ASPA's 2022 Annual Conference. The Capstone Panel Organizing Committee at ASPA’s Section on Professional and Organizational Development (SPOD) has extended the deadline for submissions to December 31, 2021; five scholarships will be awarded. During the past nine years, this panel has showcased how schools of public administration effectively integrate theory and practice through capstone pedagogy. Particular attention will be given to research addressing the impact of Trump administration-era policies and executive behavior that threaten longstanding policies and practices in social welfare, civil rights, health care and other public policy issues. Email your capstone and cover letter to the organizing committee by December 31 to be considered.

  • SASPA Mini-Symposium on Public Policy, Public and Nonprofit Administration
    The South Asian Section for Public Administration (SASPA) is partnering with the Bengal Institute of Political Studies and the Institute of Social Sciences (New Delhi) to assemble a mini symposium: Capacity Building for Effective Governance and Administration: Perspectives from South Asia. The online event will feature perspectives of South Asia scholars and practitioners on capacity building to revitalize administration, civil society and governance in that region. SASPA invites reflections on how systems of institutions, civil society groups and nonprofits can be revitalized and reconstituted, given new challenges. Papers may address capacity building in the context of institutional development, innovation, human resource management, organizational learning, strategic planning, public finance and budgeting and beyond. Please send a 200-word proposal to [email protected] by January 7, 2022. The symposium will take place via Zoom February 19-20. Click here to view more information.

  • COMPA 2022 Annual Conference Call for Papers
    COMPA's 2022 Annual Conference Call for Papers is open, centered on this year's theme, "Shifting Paradigms—Challenging Assumptions." We will address the challenges facing minority public administrators in communities experiencing increasing inequalities; systemic racism; police violence coupled with racialism in legal and justice systems; housing crises and food shortages; medical mistrust; chronic underinvestment; environmental degradation; and white supremacist extremism. All of these problems and many others have been exacerbated by an ongoing global pandemic that has killed more than 5 million people as it intensifies racial/ethnic tensions and economic disparities. Communities across the globe are fighting the brutal consequences of climate change and environmental racism amidst hurricanes, droughts, fires and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. To add to the chaos, we have witnessed the widespread promotion of a lack of confidence, both internationally and domestically, in democratic governmental and administrative processes. Public administrators generally and minority public administrators in particular are in the process of adapting to the new realities while reconsidering the long held paradigms by which we live. There is a growing decline in public trust in news and information sources and a greater reliance on social media, a lack of confidence in the findings of scientific institutions, and an ever-increasing lack of faith in elected and appointed governmental leaders. The COVID-19 pandemic has been decisively marked by political divisions in the popular public trust of scientists. These realities have become a permanent element of the contemporary political discourse affecting minority public administrators and the levels of citizens' trust in the administration of public services. The current social, political and economic climate around bureaucracies, national and global, create a deluge of opportunities and challenges for the field of public administration. Minority public administrators are called upon to rethink our role as mitigators working amidst a rising sense of injustice and helplessness, the lack of hope and confidence in the present system, and a desire for radical change. This conference offers opportunities for public administration practitioners, academicians, independent scholars and students to expand the discourse through intellectual forums, research considerations and collaborative partnerships which tackle these challenges and restore public service values and meaningful governance. The conference program committee welcomes proposals to the conference's 15 tracks from academics, practitioners, independent scholars and students. Email your proposals to [email protected]. Proposals should include the title, abstract and presenter(s') name, institutional affiliation, address, email address and contact number. The proposals deadline has been extended! All papers now are due by January 15, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • NFBPA Annual Scholarship Program and Poster Contest Call for Applicants
    In 2022, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) will continue its prestigious scholarship program, recognizing African American or other minority students who are currently enrolled full-time at an accredited, traditional four-year college or university, preferably an HBCU, who show outstanding scholarship and leadership, particularly as related to public service. NFBPA provides several scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students through its partnerships with corporate supporters, public sector organizations and individual contributors. The scholarship program is an integral part of NFBPA’s goal of lending support to African American and other minority students interested in leadership roles in public service. All applications are due by January 17, 2022. Click here for more information.

    The NFBPA student research poster contest will be held in conjunction with its Forum 2022. The competition recognizes research conducted by the students at all undergraduate, masters and doctorate levels. All students are encouraged to submit for this competition. All poster submissions are due by January 17, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • Flemming Awards Call for Nominations
    Please consider nominating a deserving federal employee for the 73rd annual Arthur S. Flemming Awards. The Arthur S. Flemming Award recognizes outstanding and meritorious achievement in working for the federal government; encourages the highest standards of performance in the federal service; enhances appreciation of our form of government and the opportunities and responsibilities it presents; and attracts outstanding individuals to a career in federal service. More than 500 people have received the awards to date. Eligibility is restricted to individuals currently engaged in federal government service and who have served 3-15 years. Similar employees of the Library of Congress, Government Accountability Office, Office of the Capitol Architect, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Government Printing Office and Botanical Gardens also are eligible. Only years directly on the federal payroll are considered service. Nominations will be accepted through January 31, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • Marc Holzer Public Performance Symposium Call for Papers
    The Marc Holzer Public Performance Symposium will take place online on April 22, 2022, focusing on the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993. GPRA has served as a model since 1993, adopted and adapted throughout the United States and the globe at the national, state or provincial, and local levels. What lessons have been learned? How will GPRA continue to serve as a roadmap going forward? Proposals for this symposium are open to participants from all facets of the public performance community and related networks. All panelists must register. All proposals are due February 1, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • STPA Student Paper Competition Call for Nominations
    ASPA's Section on Transportation Policy and Administration (STPA) invites undergraduate and graduate students who have written research papers related to transportation policy and administration to submit their papers for consideration. The review committee encourages students to submit copies of previously prepared research papers, conference papers and journal article manuscripts. Literature reviews and review essays are not eligible for consideration; papers co-authored with faculty members are not eligible. The best paper will receive a cash award of $250 and STPA will pay the conference registration fee for the awardee to attend ASPA's 2022 Annual Conference. The deadline for receiving papers is February 1, 2022. Please send papers or questions regarding this call to Jiseul Kim.

  • 2022 MPAC Call for Proposals
    The MPAC trustees invite all in the profession to submit a proposal for the 2022 Midwest Public Affairs Conference (MPAC). Individual paper, panel, roundtable and workshop proposals are welcome on all topics in public affairs; MPAC actively encourages submissions from faculty, students and practitioners. This year's theme is "Designing and Running the Innovative Public Service Agency." They invite proposals that explore public sector innovation, with an emphasis on connecting research insights to agency practice. MPAC prides itself on its diversity: In addition to theme-related papers they welcome proposals from a variety of PA-related fields such as urban affairs, public policy, nonprofit management and planning. Reviewers will accept proposals that entail research in progress, though they should have enough content to facilitate substantial participant discussion. The submission period opens immediately; acceptances are sent a rolling basis. All proposals are due by February 15, 2022. Click here for more information.

  • 2022 ASPA Georgia Chapter Academic Conference Call for Papers
    The 23rd Annual ASPA Georgia Chapter Academic Conference and Annual Meeting will take place virtually March 30-31, 2022 and will be hosted by Purdue University Global. The theme will be: "Resilience Building and Fostering Hope During Times of Crisis." The conference planning committee welcomes innovative proposals that reflect best practices, a rethinking of current practices, represent benchmarks and lessons learned with a focus on the future of the field. The committee is receptive especially to submissions that focus on topics including social justice issues (this will be the place to address COVID-19 issues); criminal justice, homeland security and emergency management; diversity, equity and inclusion; America's infrastructure (addressing issues with dams/bridges/roads/airports/schools, and more); and service delivery (covering intergovernmental relations, public-private partnerships, social media platforms and more). Proposals should focus on successful/effective people, policies and/or programs in the public or nonprofit sector. The Chapter also will produce an online peer-reviewed journal, "Public Administration Research Series - PARS." Proposals accepted and presented at the conference will have an opportunity to submit their work for publication. Applicants should email submissions no later than February 21, 2022.

  • SPCM Best Paper Award
    The Section on Procurement and Contract Management (SPCM) has issued a Best Paper Award for ASPA's 2022 Annual Conference. Do you conduct research in public procurement, government contracting or contract management? Are you submitting a proposal for the conference? If so, submit your paper to SPCM for an award. First place will receive $500; second place will receive $250. Please send your full paper to Sawsan Abutabenjeh by March 1, 2022 for consideration. Click here for more information.

  • 2022 Annual E-PARCC Teaching Case and Simulation Competition
    The Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at the Syracuse University Maxwell School invites submissions for its 16th annual E-PARCC competition to further stimulate the creation of effective and innovative teaching cases and simulations. E-PARCC, a project of the "Collaborative Governance Initiative," provides free online resources for those who teach conflict and collaboration around the world. More than 3,000 visitors per month from more than 40 different countries take advantage of E-PARCC teaching materials. The E-PARCC competition consists of two tracks: (1) collaborative problem solving, collaborative governance, and network governance and analysis, and (2) collaborative methods in international development. All entries are due by March 15, 2022. 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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