Professor of Public Policy
Robert Wassmer, chairman of the Department of Public Policy
and Administration, is accustomed to winning honors.
2000-01, he garnered the President’s Award for Research
and Creative Activity. As recipient of this year’s Outstanding
Scholarly Achievement Award, Wassmer is being recognized for
his record in researching topics pertaining to state and local
public policy in California.
professor’s reach has gone well beyond the classroom,
where he is held in high regard by his students.
teaches graduate Public Policy classes and directs the Master’s
program in Urban Land Development. He has been a resource
for state and local policymakers since he came to Sacramento
State in 1995. His collaborations include the California Senate
Office of Research, California Debt Advisory Commission and
the city of Sacramento. Yet his greatest reward comes from
teaching, where he says, “Research allows me to remain
fresh and connected to my students.”
award lecture on the pervasive neighborhood effects of residential
home foreclosure in the Sacramento region reflects that connection.
“Some of that material included ideas generated by class
discussions that informed many of my students’ master’s
theses,” he said, citing the symbiotic relationship
between research, teaching and learning.
students commend him for being exacting, yet fair. That same
relationship exists among public policymakers and the media,
who routinely seek his perception on a wide range of issues.
is an economist who specializes in applied microeconomics,
urban economics, public finance and public policy. He’s
provided public and private advice on such issues as economic
development, land use, local government, taxation and education.
He served on a California Forward Stakeholder Roundtable earlier
this year to propose improvements in the fiscal relationship
between state and local governments.
Wassmer’s tenure at Sac State, he’s published
two books, numerous journal articles and suggested ways to
help California resolve its chronic budget crises and education
shortcomings. Rather than lurch from one crisis to another,
he believes there is a better, rational way forward.
is energized by teaching, research and leadership. He’s
particularly grateful for the Sacramento State administration’s
steadfast support of the Master’s program in Public
Policy and Administration.