California State University, Sacramento

Department of Public Policy And Administration


PPA 297A&B:


Fall and Spring, 2004-05



Nancy Shulock, Ph.D.                                           

Associate Professor, Public Policy and Administration        

Executive Director, Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy      

Tahoe Hall 3062

(916) 278-7249


Seminar meetings:

Fridays, 9:15 -12 a.m.  (Friday 1-4 p.m. is alternate meeting time when conflicts arise)

Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, 2nd floor conference room

1400 Tenth Street
(Corner of 10th and N Streets), downtown


Course Objectives


This course is designed to give you an academic foundation to complement and enrich your executive office placement.  We typically talk of the benefits of linking theory (seminar work) to practice (your placement).  But in addition to theory, we will cover practical issues and skill development with the goal of giving you a fuller set of skills and knowledge than one could gain from a placement alone.  As a staff member in the executive branch, your duties and your experiences will likely include both policy and management concerns.  Therefore the course will cover public policy and public management topics. 


Public policy topics include:

·        The role of the executive branch in policymaking

·        Trends in public sector reform: in search of more effective governance

·        Accountability

·        The policy process and policy change

·        The role of policy analysis in policy development

·        Specific policy issues at the discretion of the fellows


Public management topics include:

·        Public sector leadership

·        Personnel issues and civil service reform efforts

·        Public sector ethics

·        Performance measurement and performance management

·        Public budgeting



It is our goal to build your skills in the following areas:

  • Effective writing for the government workplace
  • Effective oral presentations
  • Policy research (where to get information)
  • Policy analysis (how to use information to structure a policy position)
  • Bill analysis
  • Budget preparation and analysis
  • Performance measurement


An overriding goal of this course is to heighten your appreciation for public service.  As you will discover in course readings, and as you know well from general experience, negative notions of “bureaucrats” and “bureaucracy” are commonplace.  We hope, through the readings and discussions in the seminar, to enrich your understanding of the role and the contributions of public servants.  We want you to complete the Executive Fellowship Program with an even greater commitment to public service than that which led you to this program in the first place.



Seminar Format and Expectations


The seminar is a required component of your program.  While I understand that you may be more excited about your agency placement than about the seminar, the two go hand in hand and you cannot be successful in the fellowship program without being committed to the seminar as well.  Mentors are aware of this requirement and have been advised to ensure that Friday mornings are free for fellows to attend the seminar.  Nevertheless, it is possible that on rare occasions fellows will have an unavoidable conflict directly related to one’s placement (e.g., the need to make an out-of-town presentation).  Any fellow who finds it necessary to miss a seminar should clear it with me first and will be responsible to make up any missed assignments or to otherwise demonstrate completion of that week’s readings.


I expect students to come to the seminar having read the assigned material and ready to discuss it.  I am not going to lecture about or summarize the readings.  The purpose of the seminar is to synthesize and critique the readings and see how they apply to your placement experiences.  A significant part of your grade will be your participation in these discussions.  I have selected readings that I think will stimulate good discussions, about concepts in general and about how these concepts apply to your work experiences.  I will also structure ample time for students to bring up issues and topics that are not anticipated in the syllabus.  I will invite guest speakers from time to time to draw upon the vast expertise in the capital community. 



Assignments and grading


The major project for the year is an issue paper on a specific policy or management issue of your choice with relevance to your placement.  It should be an analysis of the issue along with recommendations aimed at leaders in your organization or at legislators or others in a position to influence matters for your organization.  We will have class discussions about the format and requirements for this paper, which will be quite different from a traditional term paper.  Its length is much less important than its content, which should be focused, logical, persuasive, and clear.  The paper will include a summary of the problem on which the paper is focused, the context within which the problem exists, an analysis of possible choices or approaches to addressing the problem, some recommended next steps for implementing the recommendation, as well as other advice that may be relevant to the person(s) to whom the recommendation is directed.


Examples of policy problems are too agency-specific to provide here.  Management issues are more widely applicable, and your paper could include such issues as staffing, strategic planning, new means of allocating resources within the department, the development and use of performance indicators, and recommended budget change proposals.  You will be required to prepare a proposal, a full draft, and a final draft – each of which will receive a grade.


There will be about five short memos/papers required throughout the course, intended to demonstrate learning of course concepts and to practice the kinds of writing skills that are so valuable in policy settings.


The final course grade will be determined as follows:

      Seminar participation          25% (includes discussion questions submitted via email prior to class)

      Final paper                   40%

            Proposal (10%)

            First draft (10%)

            Final paper (20%)

      Short memos/papers (about 5)  35%



Required Readings


I have deliberately tried to emphasize interesting, informative readings while keeping the page requirements manageable.  Accordingly, I expect students to complete all readings by the seminar date.  Readings will consist of four books (provided free-of-charge by the Center), numerous articles (provided to you or available on-line), and website materials (reports, articles, web pages of various agencies and organizations).  You need access to a computer and printer to obtain these on-line readings.



         Osborne, David and Ted Gaebler, Reinventing Government, Plume Books, 1993.

         Denhardt, Janet Vinzant and Robert B. Denhardt, The New Public Service: Serving, not Steering, M.E. Sharpe, 2002.

         Ashworth, Caught Between the Dog and the Fireplug, or How to Survive Public Service, Georgetown University Press, 2001.

         Radin, Beryl, Beyond Machiavelli: Policy Analysis Comes of Age, Georgetown University Press, 2000.


Some of the articles, reports, and websites are listed below under the weekly topics, but I may add more as the year evolves.  Be sure to consult the web version of the syllabus to be sure you are up to date with readings and assignments.  For journal articles that can be accessed on-line, I have included a link along with the journal citation and date so you can access it yourself if the link does not work for any reason.  You can access most of these articles directly through the CSUS Library homepage on-line periodical service, as follows:

·        Begin at CSUS library home page:

·        Click on CSUS Library Catalog – EUREKA

·        Click on “enable access to e-journals and books”

·        Click on “Periodicals – Serials”

·        Click on “title”


Many of the other links are just to web pages and should not present any special access challenges.



Schedule of Class Sessions


I am designing this with deliberate flexibility in order to be responsive to Fellows needs and concerns as we move along.  I will maintain an updated version of this syllabus on my website which you should consult on a weekly basis for possible changes to class meeting times, scheduled topics, and weekly readings.





      Session 1:   The California Context and the Implications for Governance

                        Readings: (these were mailed to you)

·        Economist, Is California Back?

·        PS Online, Recalling the Recall

·        PS Online, Minority Participation and the California Recall

·        Journal of State Government, Lighting a Candle Rather than Cursing the Darkness: adapting to the challenges of legislative term limits

·        Pattakos, The Search for Meaning in Government Service


      Session 2:   Government research and writing (a preview)


·        Musso, Biller, Myrtle, Tradecraft: Professional Writing as Problem-solving

·        Bardach, Gathering Data for Policy Research


      Session 3:   California Performance Review (CPR) – the example of higher education

      Readings:  (these were mailed to you)

·        About CPR

·        Wall Street Journal editorial

·        Sacramento Bee editorial


PPA 297A&B:





Part I:       The Search for More Effective Government    


November 12:             The “Reinventing Government” Movement and the “New Public Management”


·        Osborne and Gaebler, Reinventing Government, entire book (including preface and introduction).  Get an early start in the weeks ahead.


Discussion questions:

         Who are the customers of your department?  Do all government services have customers whose interests should determine service levels?

         Do you see evidence of mission-driven, results orientation in your agency?

         Why do we have so many rules in the first place?

         If public servants act like entrepreneurs, whose values do they represent and how are they to be held accountable?

         Do the authors make a convincing case for the paradigm shift in the values that underlie the operation of government?

         How well do business practices apply to government?  Are there limits?

         Why has there been bipartisan support for reinvention principles?



            November 19:             Assessments and Critiques of Reinvention Theory



         Thompson and Riccucci, “Reinventing Government,” Annual Review of Political Science, 1998:1:231-57

         Denhardt, Preface, Chapter 1, and Chapter 10

         Hindy Lauer Schachter, “Reinventing Government or Reinventing Ourselves,” Public Administration Review, Nov/Dec 1995


                  Discussion questions:

         What is the public interest?

         What is the difference between a citizen and a customer?

         Do these articles make you think twice about Osborne and Gaebler’s arguments?

         Should a public servant be an entrepreneur?

         How can we retain the best aspects of the reinvention movement without losing a focus on the public interest?


            November 26:       Thanksgiving Break – no seminar


            December 3:         Citizens and the Public Interest



         Denhardt, Chapters 2, 3, and 4

         West, E-government and the Transformation of Service Delivery and Citizen Attitudes, Public Administration Review, Jan/Feb 2004, vol. 64, no.1


                  Discussion questions:

         What is citizenship?  Does a citizen have responsibilities toward the community?

         Does your department have direct interactions with citizens?  Are there processes by which citizens influence department decisions or service delivery?

         Does your department use the internet to communicate with citizens?

         On what issues regarding the search for more effective government would Osborne and Gaebler agree with the Denhardts?

         Can you describe how a public manager might act differently under the two competing models of public management?


                  Memo #1 Due: 

Write a memo of no more than 2 pages to a “higher up” in your department (you will not actually send this memo) that describes what the department might do differently about its mission, the way it conducts its business, its customers, or the citizens it serves that reflects your thinking about the readings of the last three weeks.  In addition to being thoughtful, the memo should look good and be easy to read.


            December 10:             The California Performance Review and its Origins



·        History of the National Performance Review (NPR)

                        (read this link and Appendix F at the bottom of this document – on NPR                                         accomplishments)

·        Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) (read only section 2)

·        GAO evaluation of GPRA, 2004 (skim)

·        CPR Volume I: “Introduction” through “Customer Service: the extra mile” and “Renew the Dream

·        CPR Volume II: Chapter 1: A New Framework for California State Government


                  Discussion questions:

         What are the common themes to all of these reform efforts?

         What are the biggest obstacles to the reforms that they seek?

         What have you observed in your organization in terms of a culture of evaluation and performance?



December 17:             Accountability: New Directions



         Denhardt, Chapter 7

         Behn, Rethinking Democratic Accountability, Chapter 1 (to be distributed)

·        Two short book reviews of Behn’s book

o       Review by Pursley 

o       Review by Dwivedi in Political Science Quarterly Volume 117, No. 3 pp.530 – 532  (alternative link to book review)


         CPR Volume I: “Accountable Government”


Discussion questions:

         How have notions of public sector accountability changed with the advent of the reinventing government movement?

         If public managers are political actors, how can citizens hold them accountable?

         How can an agency best demonstrate accountability?

         Who should determine for what an agency is held accountable?

         What is the alternative to top-down notions of accountability?



                  Memo #2 Due:

                  Write a memo of no more than 2 pages to someone in your organization (again, don’t send it) recommending a position for or against a recommendation in the CPR.  If there are not recommendations pertaining to your organization, choose a different organization that is of some interest to you.






Part II:            Understanding the Policy Process and Skill-building for the Executive Branch



            January 7:      NO SEMINAR


            January 14:    Policymaking in California:  Budget Politics and Policy



                  The first two items are summaries of the issues with links to various reports.  The last two items are two of these specific reports that I want you to read in their entirety.

         UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies: Constitutional Reform and the California Budget Process, February 2004

         California Research Bureau, A Summary of Recommendations for Reforms to the State Budget Process, August 2002


Read these two specific reports that are referred to in the above summaries:

         Mathew McCubbins, Putting the State Back into State Government: the Constitution and the Budget, 1995

         John Elwood and Mary Sprague, Options for Reforming the California State Budget Process



                  Tim Gage, Former Director of Finance; Chief Senate Fiscal Policy Advisor; Chief of Staff of Assembly Ways and Means Committee (and more)



Come prepared with a question or two to ask our guest speaker about the impact of budget politics on policymaking.


            January 21:  Policymaking in California:  Direct Democracy



            Everyone read the first two items:

         J. Fred Silva, The California Initiative Process: Background and Perspective, PPIC 2000

         PPIC: The California Initiative Process: How Democratic Is It? (5 pages)

Choose one of the following:

         Elizabeth Gerber, Interest Group Influence in the California Initiative Process, PPIC

         Zoltan Hajnal and Hugh Louch, Are there Winners and Losers? Race, Ethnicity, and California’s Initiative Process, PPIC 2001



                  Fred Silva, PPIC, Senior Advisor on Governmental Relations

                  Past Experience includes: Executive Secretary, California Constitution Revision Commission (1994–1996); Chief Fiscal Advisor, Office of the Senate President pro Tempore (1981–1994); Chief Consultant, Senate Local Government Committee (1975–1981). Special Projects Director, Council on Intergovernmental Relations and the Office of Planning and Research (1972–1975).



Write a short paper (not in memo format) of no more than 2 pages taking and supporting a position on the value or impact of the initiative process on California politics, emphasizing either the issues in the Gerber paper on interest group influence or the Hajnal/Louch paper on race and ethnicity issues.


      January 28:  Policymaking in California: Term Limits   



         Bruce Cain and Thad Kousser, Adapting to Term Limits: Recent Experiences and New Directions



         Interview at least one legislative staffer (not a fellow but someone who has been there at least a few years) about the impact on term limits on the functioning of the legislature.  Send me an email before class telling me who you interviewed come to class prepared to talk about what they said.



                  Bob Franzoia, Chief Consultant, Senate Appropriations Committee

                  Deborah Gonzalez, Chief of Staff for Senator Poochigian

                  Dale Shimasaki, Strategic Education Services (lobbyist)


            February 4:    Budget Process and Budget Justification



         Department of Finance, History of Budgeting 

         Department of Finance, Description of California Budget Process, including flowchart

         Department of Finance, California Budget Timetable

         Department of Finance, How to Write an Effective BCP

         Sample BCP (old but all that’s available on-line)

         Governor’s Budget Summary (through page 14 – on Structural Reform)

         Osborne and Hutchinson, “Winning Back Public Support….”  (distributed in class)



Tom Campbell, Director of Finance (invited)

Steve Kessler, Deputy Director of Operations, Department of Finance

Jeannie Oropeza, Manager, Education Section, Department of Finance



            February 11:  Policy Analysis:  the Changing Profession



         Radin, Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4

         Department of Finance Guide, Policy Analysis and Problem Solving Approaches



Submit to me via email by 9pm on Thursday Feb 10 an issue or a question or a reaction that this book raises in your mind that would be interesting for the class to discuss.  This is not a question with a factual right answer, but something conceptual worthy of class discussion.  Be prepared to explain your item in class if I select it for one of our discussion topics.


            February 18:  Doing Policy Analysis



                  Radin, Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8



                  Write a 2-3 page paper on one of the following topics (use headings and bullets as appropriate):


                        1.   Is the profession of policy analyst, as described by Radin, more appealing or less appealing to you after having read the book?  Why?  Be sure to address some of the specific characteristics of the profession and changes to those characteristics, as covered by Radin.


                        2.   Can policy analysis help remove politics from decision making?  Should it?  Be sure to ground your reasoning in the Radin book (you don’t have to agree with her conclusions but you need to demonstrate a familiarity with the issue as she presents it).


                        3.   What do you think makes policy analysis successful or useful?  Explain.  Be sure to discuss some of the alternative definitions of success/use offered in the Radin book and demonstrate that you understand the evolution of the field’s thinking on this issue. 



                  Jeannie Oropeza, Department of Finance, will make a presentation on budget change proposals


                  Jennifer Kuhn, Legislative Analyst’s Office (higher education section) will present a workshop and lead a discussion on effective writing for policy audiences.


            February 25:        Bill Analysis



                  Nancy Anton, Consultant, Senate Education Committee



                  These are all bill analyses prepared by our guest.  Please look first at the structure of the Bill Information website to see how you can find all versions of the bill and all analyses.  Then read each of the five analyses that she prepared – that are linked below.  Also, please read the bills themselves to get a context for the issue.  I have linked you to the chaptered versions of each bill, even though the bill analyses are for earlier versions.  You are welcome to look at earlier versions if you want to see the precise provisions that the analysis is addressing.  Please note that for one bill – AB 2477 – I want you to read all of the different analyses to get a sense of the various offices that do bill analyses and the different purposes of each.

         AB 825 (Firebaugh) on student financial aid, June 23, 2004 analysis

         AB 1010 (Pavley) on instructional materials, June 23, 2004 analysis

         AB 2477 (Liu) on college textbook costs, June 23, 2004 analysis and all other bill analyses for this bill.  To do this you will have to start at the main bill information website (see above) and enter 2003-04 session, and bill number and author.

         AB 2686 (Jackson) on child nutrition/obesity, June 16, 2004 analysis

         ACR 116 (Yee) on K-12 curriculum, May 12, 2004 analysis



            March 4:         Budget Analysis    NOTE: ROOM CHANGE TO STATE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS AGENCY

                                                                             AND TIME CHANGE TO 9:45.



                  Selected Readings from Analysis of 2005-06 Governor’s Budget:

         From Perspectives and Issues: Governor’s Budget-related Reforms

         From Perspectives and Issues: Assessing the Governor’s Reorganization Proposals

         From Perspectives and Issues: Lowering the State’s Costs for Prescription Drugs

         Possible additional reading from Analysis of the Governor’s Budget (not yet released)



            March 11:       Performance Measurement       NOTE TIME AND ROOM CHANGE: 1:15 – 4 pm AT STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY, ROOM 282



         Walters, Governing Magazine, Performance-Driven Government (sorry for the poorly formatted version – all I can find on-line)

         Behn, Why Measure Performance? Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct 2003, Vol. 63, No.5

         Case study of Worcester, Massachusetts, Citizen-Driven Government Performance

         California Department of Child Support Services (related to guest speaker presentation)

      (1) Strategic Plan

      (2) 2002 Performance and Statistical Report (read only to p. 20 and skim the rest to see its structure)

      (3) Federal Government’s Program Assessment Rating Tool for Office of Child Support Enforcement (pp. 315-327)



                  Cheryl Stewart, Regional Administrator, Bay Area Region, California Department of Child Support Services



                  Write a 2-3 page memo to a “higher up” in your agency responding to their hypothetical request that you propose a set of performance indicators for your agency or a program within your agency to be reported to the Governor and Legislature and made available to the public.  In the memo, describe why the indicators are appropriate, what possible pitfalls may accompany use of these measures, where and how the data will be available (or if new sources of data should be developed) and what standards should be used to evaluate whether performance on these indicators is acceptable.





Part III:          Toward Effective Public Agencies


            March 18:             Strategic Planning and its Relationship to Leadership



         Department of Finance Strategic Planning Guidelines  through page 17 only.

         CPR Volume III, Performance Review section that describes state’s experience with strategic planning and performance management

         Martha Gilliland, “Leading a Public University,” Public Administration Review May/June 2004, Vol. 64, No. 3

         John Bryson and Sharon Anderson, “Applying Large-Group Interaction Methods in the Planning and Implementation of Major Change Efforts,” Public Administration Review, March/April 2000, Vol. 60, No. 2.



         Send me an email by 9pm Thursday with a discussion question about the readings

         Proposal due for your major project: maximum two-pages, well-written and formatted document that lays out (1) the issue or problem that you plan to address, (2) why and for whom it is a problem or a concern, (3) who is the intended audience for your final report and recommendations, and (4) what you expect at this preliminary stage to be the source of your information and method of your analysis.


            March 25: Spring Break: no seminar


April 1:                 Leadership in a Political World: Old and New Models



         Denhardt, Chapters 8 and 9

         Fairholm, Different Perspectives on the Practice of Leadership, Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct, 2004, vol. 64, no.5.



         Send me an email by 9pm Thursday with a discussion question about the readings


                  Guest (TBA)


            April 8:                 Working as a Public Servant



         Ashworth, pp. 1-72 (October – March)



                  Karen Neuwald

                  Chief, Office of Governmental Affairs, CalPERS



                  Submit discussion question by 9pm on Thursday, April 7.



            April 15:               Still Working as a Public Servant



         Ashworth, pp. 73 – 151 (but skip Sept and Oct on governing boards)



                  Lesley Cummings

                  Executive Director, Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board



         Submit discussion question by 9pm on Thursday, April 14

         Draft of final project due, to include:

§       Fairly complete first section on the problem or issue you are addressing

§       Outline of all remaining sections



            April 22:               Ethics and Leadership; Class Presentations



         Ashworth, pp. 152-186



         Submit discussion question by 5pm on Thursday, April 21



            April 29:               Civil Service Reform; Class Presentations



         CPR Volume I: Good People, Good Government

         Katherine Naff, Prospects for Civil Service Reform in California



                  Michael Navarro, Director, Department of Personnel Administration


            May 6:             No Seminar: State Civil Service Exam



            May 13:           Last Seminar:  complete student presentations




Final paper due.  Please turn in first drafts with my comments, along with your final paper.