LAST REVISED: April 3, 2006
Department of Public Policy and Administration
Fall and Spring, 2005-06
Nancy Shulock, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Public Policy and Administration
Director, Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy
Tahoe Hall 3062
Fridays, 9:15a.m. -12 p.m. (Friday is alternate meeting time if conflicts arise)
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, 2nd floor conference room
This course is designed to complement the Fellow’s placement with a combination of theory and practical knowledge to help you make sense of, and contribute to, your executive branch department. As a staff member in the executive branch, you will be involved in policy issues from the perspective of a public agency that plays a critical role in policy development and implementation. Therefore, the course is intended to help fellows understand the policy process and the organizational environment in which public policies are confronted and managed. Your experience in the state bureaucracy sets this program apart from the legislative fellowship programs. Your colleagues in those programs may spend more seminar time on specific policy or political issues. For our program, it is important that we focus on the role that executive branch organizations play in the policy process and the factors that make those organizations more or less effective. While we will certainly bring current political and policy issues into the class discussion, we will take a broader and more historical look at the policy process and the role that public servants in the executive branch play in a democracy.
The three major units of the course address three major learning goals for the course:
1. The search for responsive government: Students will learn about the various meanings of effective government and various efforts to reform government to make it more effective.
2. Understanding the policy process:
Students will learn about the different roles of various actors in the policy
process, how and why policy change occurs, and about distinctive features of
the policy environment in
3. Understanding and being effective in
organizations: Students will learn about the functions and dysfunctions
of organizations and their leaders, along with practical skills that
An overriding goal of this course is to heighten your
appreciation for, and your commitment to, public
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 successful in 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. 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 and demonstrate completion of that week’s readings.
Seminars are a mix of discussions of the readings,
presentations by guests from throughout state public
At the end of each class, time permitting, we will collectively recap by recalling key concepts that we have discussed. Over the weeks, then, we will assemble a kind of “tool box” of concepts that you can draw on to help you understand what you are observing in your placement and to help you with your policy and management memos, due March 3 and May 5, respectively.
To ensure that we all begin with no misunderstandings, I
need to make an important point about what seminar is not. Seminar is not a
place where we will solve the world’s problems (or even those of
So, in summary, here are my expectations, which, if you follow, should make you successful:
· Do the reading each week.
· Come to seminar on time, with homework completed, and prepared to discuss the readings.
· Open your mind to big-picture thinking and to contrary points of view and be respectful of those views.
· Open your mind to the importance of organizations and how they function, in the overall policy context.
· Pay careful attention to your writing, in your assignments.
Assignments and grading
Reflections in response to weekly readings. The
primary set of assignments is a 1-page reflection in response to the weekly
readings. Each student must do 10 of
these over the course of the year. In
recognition of your variable workloads at the office, you can pick the
weeks. This is also a way for me to
ensure good class dialogue because students will be asked to present their
ideas in class. The reflection must be
analytical (not simply a summary of main points), in that you will assert an
opinion or position about the reading(s) and defend it. It should use headings and bullets and be
brief and easy to read. For example, you
can state the argument that you found the most compelling, or the weakest, or
the most relevant to what you’ve observed in your placement and cite your
reasons for that. Alternatively, you can
compare and contrast two or more readings, citing similarities or differences
and deciding which makes more sense. You
can compare one week’s readings to something we discussed earlier. Or, you could write more generally about how
the reading made you think about your interest in public
Policy memo. This assignment will draw on what we have read
and discussed about the policy process
generally and the policy environment in
Management memo. This assignment will draw on what we have
read and discussed about public sector
organizations and the factors that promote or impede their effectiveness in
The final course grade will be determined as follows:
Seminar participation 20%
Short reflections (10) 50%
Policy memo 15%
Management memo 15%
• David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, Reinventing Government, Plume Books, 1993.
• John Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policy, Harper Collins, Second Edition, 1995.
Ashworth, Caught Between the Dog and the Fireplug, or How to Survive Public
Some of the articles, reports, and websites are listed below under the weekly topics, but I will fill it out as the year evolves. Be sure to consult the web version of the syllabus to be up to date with readings and assignments.
Any eight-month schedule of classes and topics is subject to change. 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 dates, scheduled topics, readings, and guests. I will also add discussion questions to the weekly topics as we go along.
Session 1: The
• Gerston and Christensen, Recall! California’s Political Earthquake, Preface and Chapters 1-3
Session 2: Problems of Governance
Policy Institute of
Session 3: Efforts and Challenges of Reform
• Governor Schwarzenegger’s State of the State speech and related press release
• Various newspaper articles and columns on politics of reform and various reform initiatives
Session 4: Writing for Government
• Musso, Biller, Myrtle, Tradecraft: Professional Writing as Problem-solving
• Various sample memos and executive summary
Part I: The Search for Responsive Government
Week 1 (Nov 4): 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.
• 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?
• How does their view account for the role of politics in determining what government should do and how it should do it?
are the customers of your department? Do
• Do you see evidence of mission-driven, results orientation in your agency?
• If public servants act like entrepreneurs, whose values do they represent and how are they to be held accountable?
Week 2 (Nov 11): Citizens or Customers: Finding the Public Interest
is not a University holiday: seminar will be at
• Richard Box, et. al, “New Public Management and Substantive Democracy,” Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct 2001, 61(5)
• Linda deLeon and Robert Denhardt, “The Political Theory of Reinvention,” Public Administration Review, March/April 2000, 60(2).
• Do these articles make you reevaluate any of your reactions to Osborne and Gaebler’s arguments?
• What is the public interest? How does a public manager determine this?
• What is the difference between a citizen and a customer?
• How can we retain the best aspects of the reinvention movement without losing a focus on the public interest?
• How might you, as a public manager, act differently if you viewed your primary responsibility as serving customers than if you viewed your primary role as advancing democracy?
Week 3 (Nov 18): Public Attitudes Toward Government; Civic Engagement
• John Kirlin, “The Big Questions of Public Administration in a Democracy,” Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct, 1996, 56(5).
• The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, The Civic and Political Health of the Nation: A Generational Portrait, September, 2002.
Mary Kirlin, Professor of Public Policy and Administration,
Week 4 (Dec 2): The Context and Challenges of Government Reform
· Peri Arnold, “Reform’s Changing Role,” Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct 1995, 55(5).
Guest: Jim Mayer, Executive Director of Little
Week 5 (Dec 9): Accountability for Performance: Can It Increase Public Support?
· Book review of Robert Behn, Rethinking Democratic Accountability
· Janet Kelly, “The Dilemma of the Unsatisfied Customer in a Market Model of Public Administration,” Public Administration Review, Jan/Feb 2005, Vol 65, No.1.
· CPR Volume I: “Accountable Government”
Week 6 (Dec 16): Getting the
Part II: Understanding the Policy Environment
January 6: NO SEMINAR
Week 7 (Jan 13): Influencing Public Policy: What Are The Roles Of The Various Actors?
Kingdon, Chapters 1, 2, 3
Week 8 (Jan 20): Policy Processes: Problems, Policies, Politics
Kingdon, Chapters 5, 6, 7 (note we skip chapter 4)
Week 9 (Jan 27): How and Why Does Policy Change Occur?
Kingdon, Chapter 8, 9, 10
Week 10 (Feb 3): Policymaking in
• PPIC: The California Initiative Process: How Democratic Is It? (5 pages)
• Elizabeth Gerber, Interest Group Influence in the California Initiative Process, PPIC
Tim Hodson, Executive Director, Center for
Week 11 (Feb 10): Policymaking in
• 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.
Guests: panel of “seasoned” public servants/legislative staffers to discuss “before” and “after” term limits
Deborah Gonzalez – Chief of Staff for Senator Poochigian
David Walrath – Lobbyist, Murdoch Walrath, & Holmes
Martin Helmke – Chief Consultant, Senate Appropriations Committee
Week 12 (Feb 17): Student-led Discussions
13 (Feb 24): (1) Policymaking in
Four issues of the Commission’s Newsletter:
Guest: Roberta Peck,
Part III: Understanding Organizations and Skills for Effective Public Service
Week 14 (March 3): Leadership, Organizational Culture, and Change, Part 1
· Gareth Morgan, Images of Organization, Chapters 1, 10-12
· Paul Nutt, “Prompting the Transformation of Public Organizations,” Public Performance & Management Review, June, 2004, including a commentary on Nutt article by Gerald Caiden.
Week 15 (March 10): Leadership, Organizational Culture, and Change, Part 2
· Denhardt and Denhardt, The New Public Service, Chapter 8 (to be distributed)
· Martha Gilliland, “Leading a Public University,” Public Administration Review May/June 2004, Vol. 64, No. 3
· Robert Behn, “Performance Leadership: 11 Practices that can Rachet up Performance,” May, 2004.
· Robert Behn, The Behn Report, May, 2005 (2 pages)
March 17: SPRING BREAK – NO SEMINAR – start reading Ashworth book!
Week 16 (March 24): Working in the Public Sector
· Ashworth, Caught Between the Dog and the Fireplug, or How to Survive Public Service – Entire book except SKIP pages 89-120.
March 31: CESAR CHAVEZ
Week 17 (April 7): Performance Measurement; Performance Management
· Robert Behn, “The Behn Report” (2-pages each)
o July, 2004 (read this one first)
· Robert Behn, “The Psychological Barriers to Performance Management, or why isn’t everyone jumping on the performance-management bandwagon?” Public Performance and Management Review, Sept 2002
(To be distributed)
· Sharon Caudle, “Homeland Security: Approaches to Results Management,” Public Performance and Productivity Review, March, 2005. (To be distributed)
Week 18 (April 14): Budget development and advocacy
· Jacqueline Rogers and Marita Brown, “Preparing Agency Budgets” from Roy Meyers, Handbook of Government Budgeting, 1999. (To be distributed)
· Two examples of Legislative Analyst’s Office analysis of an agency budget request from Analysis of 2006-07 Governor’s Budget:
Guest: John Decker, Senate Appropriations Committee
Week 19 (April 21): Bill analysis and advocacy
Guest: Karen Neuwald, member of Public Employment Relations Board; former director of legislation for CalPERS.
Week 20 (April 28): Student-led discussions
May 5: Interviews for
new Fellows (
· Management memo due
May 12: Interviews in LA – NO SEMINAR
Week 21 (May 19): Student-led discussions (rescheduled from May 5)