Public Administration

Course Details

Course Number: PUAD 5133  Section Number: X10

Fall 2012

Location: Martin Hall

Classroom Number: onLine

Days & Times:

This is an onLine class. Dr. Behrens has reserved 5:45 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. on September 12th to meet face-to-face (live) in Martin 111 with members of her classes who would like to discuss the program of study. Attendance is not mandatory. Subsequent sessions can be arranged if necessary.

Course Attachments


The Craft of Public Administration
by Berkley & Rouse
  ISBN: 9780073378954

Taking Sides, Clashing Views of P.A. & Policy
by Miller & Walling
  ISBN: 9780078050404

The P.A. Casebook
by Cropf, Giancola, & Loutzenhiser
  ISBN: 9780205607419

The P.A. Workbook
by Dresang
  ISBN: 9780205019960

The Little, Brown Handbook, Brief Version, 4th e
by Aaron
  ISBN: 9780205751556

MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Phyllis Irene Behrens   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

Course Goals and Objectives

The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the complexities, concepts, and authors of public administration through readings, case studies, discussions, and practical exercises involving common public administration problems, issues, concerns, literature, and theories so that students will understand public administration as a field of academic inquiry and professional practice. .

The objectives of this course are:

1.  to survey major areas of study and practice in public administration;

2.  to introduce students to the language of public administration;

3.  to examine basic principles of public administration, and

4.  to enhance students' scholarly knowledge, critical thought processes, and problem solving capabilities in the field..

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able:

1.  to explain the role that public administrators play in the public policy process;

2.  to describe critical distinctions between elected and non-elected officials and public administrators;

3.  to explain fundamental differences between public and private administration, and their implications, especially at local levels, for legal, political, and social boundaries;

4.  to discuss the role of nonprofit organizations, privatization, and structural reforms on the administration of public policy;

5.  to discuss the role of the 10th Amendment in shaping public administration and the related role of categorical, block, and general purpose grants in public administration;

6.  to define the type of characteristics which make for good inter-organizational and interpersonal public sector management;

7.  to explain policy implementation in light of concerns for social equity, especially given the tensions between social equity and competing goals of public administration strategies;

8.  to assess various ways public personnel are hired and evaluated;

9.  to identify different types of budgets and describe the standard budgetary processes used by legislatures and bureaucracies in fulfilling their public trust;

10. to describe agency rule-making, decision-making, and structure;

11. to explain the roles of bureaucracy and regulatory processes in policy-making;

12. to explain various theoretical contributions made by Weber, Taylor, Bernard, and others;

13. to demonstrate proficiency at researching, analyzing, and writing about and for public administration; and

14. to demonstrate an understanding of the core issues of contemporary public administration: the politics-administration dichotomy, accountability, transparency, responsibility, bureaucracy in a democracy and bureaucracy’s role in society, efficiency versus responsiveness, effectiveness, the functions of public administration, approaches for organizing public agencies, administrative power and its sources, administrative leadership and its types, approaches for public decision-making processes, citizen influence on the type and scope of services, devolution, globalization.

Course Expectations

This is an onLine class which uses technology to attend class. Have a backup plan in the event the primary technical means of attending class fails. Test the backup plan to know it works.

Participation is required; simply reading the texts is not a substitute for class discussion and learning.

Grading Standards

Grading Scale

90 and above  =  A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 59 and below = F

M.P.A. and M.H.A. students are required by program standards to have a grade of B or better in every M.H.A. and M.P.A. course.

Submission Format Policy

Students are required to regularly submit written assignments. Create written assignments in a word processing document and save.  After review, i. e., spell and grammar checks, format, etc., copy and paste the information to the virtual classroom and properly label the submission.  Do not rely on technology to save work; regularly backup work to another disc or a separate drive.

The virtual classroom contains its own means of submission within it. Assignments will include instructions for submission specific to each one. Follow the instructions. Call technical support for technical assistance if trouble arises in submitting as instructed. Do not ever use University eMail addresses or commercial accounts for submitting assignments. 

When a new assignment is submitted, label it with the assignment title and student name.  If there are several assignments or discussion questions to answer, post and label them separately. Restrict the use of attachments.  Attachments carry viruses, some individuals have difficulty accessing attachments, and attachments infringe on the virtual classroom’s openness. 

When submitting to discussion boards, it is best to post directly than to use attachments. However, when submitting reports, it will be necessary to post an abstract of the report into the discussion board text box as a summary for the class and to attach the report to that post. The boards do not generally preserve the formatting of word documents.

Complete documentation in APA style of all sources and materials used in submissions is required. APA style is required for this entire course’s written work.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Assignments are due as stated based on instructor time zone. Turn assignments in on time. Based on instructor discretion, late assignments may be accepted but they will be docked 15 percent for being late.  This is done in fairness to students who meet the deadlines. No late assignments will be accepted after the last day of November.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Students are expected to attend the virtual classroom regularly. Students are required to participate no less than two (2) days each week. Less than two (2) days/week will count as an absence and every absence will be a deduction of 5 points from the total grade. This is done so that students will benefit from each other's input to the class forums. Absence does not excuse students from the responsibility of participation, assigned work, and/or testing.  Students may be dropped for poor attendance and are encouraged to check the virtual classroom every day as well as to communicate with the instructor on a regular basis.

Other Policies

The course week begins on Saturday (Day 1) and ends on Friday (Day 7).

Before the semester’s work can begin, each student must submit a brief autobiography to the Bios area. This is a common icebreaker in onLine classes. Follow the instructions given for it.

All readings must be completed in advance of class discussion. Each student should be able to summarize any reading upon request.

Use peer-reviewed journals and scholarly articles available from the library to supplement assignments. Distance learning students can access library resources through the University’s web site.

Encyclopedias of any kind, including the very popular Wikipedia, can be useful to help gather background information and to point the way to more reliable sources. However, they are not considered appropriate sources for papers at either the graduate or undergraduate level.

Limit response excess. Content and presentation are more important than volume.  Length is not necessarily a virtue, and in many cases, excessive length can be a discourtesy.

Ask questions about the course in the discussion sections so that everyone learns the answer.  Everyone can pitch in to help answer questions.  By allowing all to review questions and answers, all learn.  If specific instructor assistance is needed, put *Question for Dr. Behrens* in the subject line.

Be courteous. You don’t have to agree with everyone in the class but you do have to disagree in a courteous manner.

A standard of decorum is expected in the virtual classroom even though censorship is not practiced.  Proper netiquette is the standard by which orderly and productive discussion is encouraged. In submitting assignments to the virtual classroom, students should be mindful that the face-to-face non-verbal cues that accompany discussion are missing and be sensitive to how others may react.

Do not cheat. Academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.), however small, creates a breach in academic integrity. Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in this class. Academic dishonesty will result in a failing grade for the assignment, and in some cases, for the course.  In extreme cases, plagiarism will result in dismissal from the program. Cases will also be referred to the Dean of Students for possible dismissal from the university. Additionally, a student's participation in this course comes with the expectation that his or her work will be completed in full observance of the MSU Code of Student Conduct. Students should consult the Student Handbook for answers to any questions about the code.

Midwestern State University complies fully with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  If you believe that you are covered under this Act, and if you have need for special arrangements to allow you to meet the requirements of this course, please contact the personnel at the MSU Disability Support Services office.  You may contact the office at at(940) 397-4140 – voice, (940) 397-4515 - TDD. You must also discuss this with the instructor (via eMail) early in the first week of the semester.

Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.