LAST REVISED: April 26, 2007
To get to online syllabus:
Department of Public Policy and Administration
Fall and Spring, 2006-07
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.
Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, 2nd floor conference room
This course is designed to complement your 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. The course is intended to help you understand the policy process and the organizational environment in which public policies are adopted and implemented. Your experience in the state bureaucracy sets this program apart from the legislative fellows 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 spend time on the role of executive branch organizations in the policy process and the factors that make those organizations more or less effective. Therefore, in addition to discussing current political and policy issues, we will take a broader look at the policy process and the role that the executive branch plays in that process.
The course is divided into three major units:
Part 1. The search for responsive government: Students will learn about the various meanings of effective government and efforts to reform government to make it more effective and responsive to citizens.
Part 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
Part 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
The learning objectives for the course can be summarized as follows:
1. Learn the content in each of the three units and capacity to “think big” about these issues:
2. Develop a “tool box” of key concepts that are
helpful in your placement and will be helpful in your future public
3. Enhance your commitment to public service
4. Learn about careers in public service as a means to think about your own future career
5. Learn how to communicate effectively for policy audiences, with a special emphasis on writing
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. Mentors are aware of this requirement and have been advised to ensure that Friday mornings are free for fellows to attend the seminar. You are expected to attend every seminar. Only on rare exceptions, and with my explicit, prior approval is it acceptable to miss class. If a class is missed, fellows must make up any missed assignment and demonstrate completion of that week’s readings by submitting an extra writing assignment.
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 “tool box” of concepts on which you can draw to help you understand what you are observing in your placement and to help you with your policy and management memos.
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
practicum. 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.
· Think about how the issues
from seminar relate to your organization, and
· Work hard on your writing and pay attention to the comments I give you on written assignments.
Assignments and grading
Class participation. Effective participation in class discussions is an important component of performance. I will let you know, halfway through the year, how you are doing in class participation, so there are no surprises and so you can make adjustments. In addition to participating in weekly seminar discussions, each student will have one group assignment where three students lead a short class discussion on a topic of their choice that relates some experiences from their placements to class topics. The class participation grade will reflect weekly discussions and the group assignment.
Reflections in response to weekly readings. The
primary set of assignments is a 1-page reflection on 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. 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 be written in memo format to me,
use headings and bullets, as applicable, and be concise 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 15%
1-page reflections (10) 50%
Writing log 5%
Policy memo 15%
Management memo 15%
• Donald Kettl, The Global Public Management Revolution: a report on the transformation of governance, Second Edition. The Brookings Institution, 2005. ($12)
• John Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policy, Harper Collins, Second Edition, 1995. ($40)
Ashworth, Caught Between the Dog and the Fireplug, or How to Survive Public
Many 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 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.
1 - Oct 26: The
· Schrag, Introduction and Chapters 1-2
Session 2 – Oct 30: The
· Schrag, Chapters 3-5
Guest: Peter Schrag
Session 3 – Nov 6: Governance Challenges: the Case of Infrastructure
o Chapter 1: Introduction and Summary
Session 4 – Nov 17: Californians and their Government
· PPIC Statewide Survey, Californians & the Future, August 2006
PPIC Research Brief, Participating in Democracy: Civic Engagement in
· Government Performance Project, Grading the States 2005: California
Session 5 – Nov 27: Effective Writing for Policy Audiences
· Various handouts (to be prepared)
· Bill analyses
Part I: The Search for Responsive Government
Week 1 (Dec. 1): Public Management Reform and the “Reinventing Government” Movement
· Donald Kettl, The Global Public Management Revolution (entire book – it’s short)
· Donald Moynihan, “Managing for Results in State Government: Evaluating a Decade of Reform,” Public Administration Review, January/February 2006, 66(1).
Week 2 (Dec. 8): Citizens or Customers: Finding the Public Interest
• 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).
· Robert Denhardt and Janet Denhardt, “The New Public Service: serving rather than steering,” Public Administration Review, November/December 2000, 60(6).
NO SEMINAR DECEMBER 15 DUE TO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP
Week 3 (Dec. 22): 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 2006 Civic and Political Health of the Nation: a detailed look at how youth participate in politics and communities, October, 2006.
Mary Kirlin, Professor of Public Policy and
Week 4 (Jan 12): The Context and Challenges of Government Reform
· Peri Arnold, “Reform’s Changing Role,” Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct 1995, 55(5).
Week 5 (Jan 19): Accountability: what does it mean? Can it build public trust in government?
· Denhardt, J. and Denhardt, R. Chapter 7 from The New Public Service, 2003 (to be distributed)
· Book review of Robert Behn, Rethinking Democratic Accountability
· Robert Behn, “The Accountability Dilemma” (2 pages)
· CPR Volume I: “Accountable Government”
· Shulock, N. and Moore, C. A Framework for Incorporating Public Trust Issues in States’ Higher Education Accountability Plans, April, 2005
Part II: Understanding the Policy Environment
Week 6 (Jan 26): Influencing Public Policy: What Are The Roles Of The Various Actors?
Kingdon, Chapters 1, 2, 3
Week 7 (Feb 2): Other Players: Role of the Media; Foundations
o Chapter 9, The Agenda Setting Function of the press
o Chapter 10, The Watchdog Role
o Chapter 11, Informing the Public
· Andrew Rich, “War of Ideas: Why mainstream and liberal foundations and the think tanks they support are losing in the war of ideas in American politics,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring, 2005.
Pamela Burdman, Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and former journalist
Week 8 (Feb 9): Policy Processes and Policy Change
Kingdon, Chapters 5-9 (note we skip chapter 4)
Week 9 (Feb 16): Policymaking in
• The Speaker’s Commission on the California Initiative Process, January, 2002
Week 10 (Feb 23): Policymaking in
• Bruce Cain and Thad Kousser, Adapting to Term Limits: Recent Experiences and New Directions
• Dan Walters, on Keith Richman, http://www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/14316541p-15231480c.html
• Interview at least one legislative staffer (not a fellow but someone who has been there for quite a while) 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.
· Outline of policy memo, to include topic and works cited (for discussion in class)
Panel of “seasoned” public servants/legislative staffers to discuss “before” and “after” term limits
Week 11 (March 2): Policymaking
(See readings and guest from February 2)
• Bill Hauck and Jean Ross, “The Hardest Part of Politics: The California Budget”
‘In Search of Fiscal
Responsibility: An Analysis of State Fiscal Choices ’ (New
• John Elwood and Mary Sprague, Options for Reforming the California State Budget Process
Week 12 (March 9): Collaborative Policymaking
• Booher, D. E. (2004) "Collaborative Governance Practices and Democracy," National Civic Review, Winter 2004.
• Innes, J. E. and Booher, D. E. (2003) "Collaborative
Policy Making: Governance through Dialogue," in Deliberative Policy
Analysis: Understanding Governance in the Network Society. Edited by M. A. Hajer and H. Wagenaar.
• Keast, R. et al. (2004) "Network Structures: Working Differently and Changing Expectations," Public Administration Review, May/June 2004.
• Kettl, D. F. (2006) "Managing Boundaries in American Administration," Public Administration Review, December 2006.
Booher, Consultant, Center for
Week 13 (March 16):
Case Study: Climate Change
• Legislative Analyst’s Office, Analysis of the 2007-08 Budget Bill: “Implementation of AB 32”
Chuck Shulock, California Air Resources Board; project director for AB 32 Implementation
POLICY MEMO DUE BY MIDNIGHT MONDAY, MARCH 19TH VIA EMAIL
Part III: Understanding Organizations; Skills for Effective Public Service
Week 14 (March 23): Budget Advocacy and Analysis
· Jacqueline Rogers and Marita Brown, “Preparing Agency Budgets” from Roy Meyers, Handbook of Government Budgeting, 1999. (To be distributed)
1. An Overview of State Expenditures (Read only Part 4; pp. 65-79) Note: just a quick read to see how the budget is generally presented and described.
2. Juvenile Justice (pp. D-144 – D-156)
3. Franchise Tax Board (pp. F-52 – F-61)
Note: please read these two items not for specific content area knowledge but to become familiar with the techniques and terminology used to analyze fiscal issues.
Guest: Steve Boilard - Director of Higher Education section at Legislative Analyst’s Office
March 30: CESAR CHAVEZ
Week 15 (April 6): Working as a Public Servant
Ashworth, Caught Between the Dog and the Fireplug, entire book, skip pp. 89-120
Week 16 (April 13): Leadership, Organizational Culture, and Change, Part 1
· Denhardt and Denhardt, The New Public Service, Chapter 8 (in course reader)
· Paul Nutt, “Prompting the Transformation of Public Organizations,” Public Performance & Management Review, June, 2004, including a commentary on Nutt article by Gerald Caiden. (in course reader)
· Arjen Boin and Paul t’Hart, “Public Leadership in Times of Crisis: Mission Impossible?” Public Administration Review, September/October 2003
Week 17 (April 20): Leadership, Organizational Culture, and Change, Part 2
· Hal Rainey and James Thompson, “Leadership and the Transformation of a Major Institution: Charles Rossotti and the IRS,” Public Administration Review, July/August 2006
· Martha Gilliland, “Leading a Public University,” Public Administration Review May/June 2004, Vol. 64, No. 3
· Robert Behn, “Performance Leadership: 11 Practices that can Ratchet up Performance,” May, 2004.
· Robert Behn, The Behn Report (2 pages each):
Week 18 (April 27): 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
(in course reader)
· Outline of management memo, to include topic and works cited (for discussion in class)
May 4: Fellows interviews
May 11: Fellows interviews (Los Angeles) – NO SEMINAR
Week 19 (May 18): Performance Measurement and Performance Budgeting
· Sean Nicholson-Crotty et.al., “Disparate Measures: Public Managers and Performance-Measurement Strategies,” Public Administration Review, Jan/Feb 2006 66:1, p.101
· John Gilmour and David Lewis, “Does Performance Budgeting Work,” Public Administration Review, Sept/Oct 2006 66:5 p. 742
· “Federal Agencies Ratchet Up Focus on Performance,” article from PA Times, April 2007.
MANAGEMENT MEMO DUE MONDAY, MAY 21st at 12PM