2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition Winner  Announced

NASPAA Alumni Survey 2017-Start Compiling your list of Alumni! 
NASPAA's 2017 Alumni Survey will launch  May 15, 2017 .  

Now is the time to start compiling your list of alumni contact information.  This year we will be surveying the 2013-2014 cohort.  For more information regarding the Alumni Survey and past year's results go to: 

Global Winners of the 2017 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on FOOD SECURITY:

First-Place Team competed at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia

Runner-Up Team competed at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York City

Congratulations "Colombia and Columbia!"

We would like to thank each one of our host sites for helping make this competition possible. A huge thank you also goes out to University of Virginia's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy for developing the simulation from scratch. 

On February 25 (February 26 in China), nearly 400 graduate students in public policy and management from around the world traveled to eight university locations (Maastricht, New York City, Washington D.C. area, Indianapolis, Bogotá, Phoenix area, Seattle, and Beijing)  to compete in a one-day immersive computer simulation that challenged them to advance global food security. 

Students from different schools were mixed onto teams of 15-20, where they bonded as members of staff of a fictional global non-governmental organization (NGO) committed to reduce global hunger in five world regions. They analyzed data, made policy proposals, reacted to the computer simulation results, drafted memos with recommendations, and presented their strategy recommendations to teams of local site judges. A record number of NASPAA member schools participated - over 175 public policy and administration institutions were represented in the competition.

This year's topic was Food Security and the world-wide effort to address UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 (end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture, by 2030).  Those sites judges selected winners from among the teams competing. The top winner at each of the eight sites then advanced to four distinguished "super judges" for an electronic review of videos and written material produced on the day of the competition. Super judges included Steve Cohen (Executive Director, Earth Institute), Josette Sheeran (former Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme), Anand Desai (Professor, John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University), and Mahfuz Ahmed (Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department, Asian Development Bank).

David Birdsell, President of NASPAA and Dean of the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College said, "We are delighted to recognize such fine work from student teams in Bogotá and New York. Food security is one of the world's most pressing policy concerns; the participants have not only learned a great deal about the issues involved, but have shown the capacity to deal substantively and creatively with the problems they identified, giving us every confidence that they will go on to do outstanding work in public service."

Please click here to read more about the competition.

2017 Competition at Beijing, China Site


Sharpen your pencils! Next week, NASPAA will be formally issuing the Call for Panel Proposals for our annual Fall conference, along with information on how to organize your panel and submit your proposal through our online form.  Please note that for ALL FOUR TRACKS, NASPAA is interested in comparative analyses, collaborative panels across countries, and perspectives from around the world. Here is some background on the Conference theme and tracks, so you can begin thinking about your proposal and discussing it with colleagues. We hope to see you in DC at the podium on this timely theme! 



OCTOBER 11-13, 2017, Washington, DC

THEME: Confidence in Public and Nonprofit Institutions:
How is it Built, How is it Lost, and How is it Regained?

How Well Do Our Curricula Prepare Graduates to Promote Trust in Institutions? 
Our curricula have long dealt at least obliquely, often directly, with the trust in public and nonprofit institutions. Ethics, transparency, the transmission of public service values: all of these are part and parcel of every accredited graduate program. But are they enough? The decline in public confidence in institutions has roughly paralleled the rise in professional education for public service. Have we gotten something fundamentally wrong? In an era of division - by race, urbanicity, geography more broadly, class, etc. - do we need to address those divisions directly in order to heal them and build trust? In this track, we seek panels examining the possible impact of our curricula on trust. We also seek proposals that project different or more robust practices to prepare graduates to build trust among the constituencies that they will serve throughout their professional careers.  
Achieving SDG16 through Public Affairs Education:
Transparency, Accountability and Ethics in Global Public and Nonprofit Governance
While trust and confidence in public institutions depends on the capacity of public servants to act accountably and ethically, they also depend vitally on the health of civil society, which is nurtured by institutions and practices often far removed from government. The need for transparency, honesty, and robust civil societies across the globe is recognized in the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly in SDG 16.  We seek panels with representatives of organizations concerned with sustainable development, and get their advice on what public affairs schools need to do with respect to curriculum, teaching, learning, research, and service to build the capacity for governance asked for in SDG 16?  (Please see sustainabledevelopment.un.org/
 for further information on this goal, also noting that NASPAA's interest in sustainable development for this conference is at every level of governance, not just global discussion.) We also seek panels that address specific aspects of SDG 16 in the MPA/MPP curriculum: promoting inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice, building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions; plus increasing transparency, reducing corruption and promoting ethical action.
Building Public Trust through Responsible Policy Communications
Public trust in institutions depends in part on receiving accurate and credible information from and about government and nonprofit organizations. Government in particular must get better at identifying and publicizing the successes in services and programs. Academics should be better advocates of their research in cases where their work can inform and shape public policy for the better. Policy communication overall, from any institutional perspective, is critical.  We seek panels examining how our public affairs programs can train graduates to have the skills to transparently evaluate the impact of government actions and programs and then communicate those assessments to the public.  Open data, open government initiatives, and data standards may figure into this track as well. Do we teach our students how to defend attacks on government? Should they counterattack? With what? Is it enough to publish data and evidence?  How do they make it matter? In an era of "alternative facts," should we be teaching defensive epistemology? In addition to panels examining pedagogical responses, we seek submissions explaining the rapidly changing environments (e.g., new media, new political movements, etc.) in which our graduates will work.  
Recruiting the Next Generation to Public Service in a Changing World
Waning trust in public institutions could well have an impact on our member institutions' enrollment. What can we do to engage young people with our mission? Is the answer to diversify the range of institutions for which we prepare future leadership (e.g., nonprofits and NGOs in addition to government, social impact institutions of all stripes, socially responsible for-profit enterprises, etc.) and if so, does that require a different curricular mix from what we offer today? Can we leverage civic engagement initiatives to cull a broader range of applicants? To what extent do the "digital natives" who will soon become the entirety of our student populations require different subjects and pedagogies than their predecessors? Just as social, economic, racial, ethnic, and geographic divides have an impact on trust, do they have an impact on recruitment? Here we seek panels looking at the differences in growth in first professional education for public service across the globe, exploring new value propositions and national variations in experience.


NASPAA is thrilled to announce the return of NASPAA NEXT at the 2017 NASPAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC on Wednesday, October 11. The four-hour workshop, will provide emerging leaders in their departments or programs with practical tools that will enable them to become more engaged and dynamic members of their campuses and communities. Participation in NASPAA NEXT is by invitation only, and invitations are based on recommendations from deans and other senior faculty, professional reputation and scholarly research, as well as participation in NASPAA activities.

In response to the 2017 NASPAA Annual Conference Theme - " Confidence in Public and Nonprofit Sectors: How is it Built, How is it Lost, and How is it Regained?" - this year NASPAA NEXT will focus on Track 3 of the conference: Building Public Trust Through Responsible Policy Communications and Advocacy. Participants will learn strategies for communicating groundbreaking research to public policy leaders, nonprofit practitioners, and the public at large. Additionally, emerging faculty will discuss the importance of advocating for the use and implementation of public policy analysis from NASPAA schools, faculty, and students. Also important is the ability to communicate and advocate for ideas that are generated in other countries and being able to identify what programs can be implemented domestically and vice versa. Through these actions our public and nonprofit institutions can inspire public confidence by implementing policies based solid empirical analysis that deliver results. Moreover, participants will learn how to become more fully engaged with NASPAA by ensuring their talents and knowledge base are strategically aligned with leadership opportunities for the association. Finally, participants will engage in a group project after the Annual Conference designed to make public policy analysis visible to policy makers and the general public. We are in discussions with several faculty members to lead this dynamic workshop.

NASPAA is currently accepting nominations from Deans, Program Directors, and Senior Faculty for faculty who have recently received tenure or at an equivalent stage of their academic and professional development. Nominations should be sent via email to David Marshall, Director of Membership Development, at marshall@naspaa.org.

Member Highlight
The LBJ School of Public Affairs Hosts the 20th Annual Barbara Jordan National Forum

Barbara Jordan Statue and current students  

The LBJ School of Public Affairs hosted the 20th Annual Barbara Jordan National Forum in honor of the late Congresswoman and LBJ School Professor Barbara Jordan, February 20 - 24, 2017. Barbara Jordan was the first African American elected to the Texas Senate after Reconstruction and the first African American woman elected to the United States House of Representatives from a southern state. Congresswoman Jordan served three terms (1973 - 1979) in the House before retiring from politics and becoming a professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Barbara Jordan became nationally known after her opening statements during the 1974 U.S. House Judiciary Committee's hearings on the impeachment of U.S. President Richard Nixon. In 1976 she became the first African American woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. She did so again in 1992. In 1994 President Clinton awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In addition to teaching at the LBJ School for 17 years she also chaired the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform from 1994 until her death in 1996. Barbara Jordan passed away on January 17, 1996 due to complications of pneumonia and multiple sclerosis.

The Barbara Jordan Forum was created in 1997 by LBJ School students to honor the memory of the late Congresswoman and professor, and to provide an opportunity where students, faculty & staff, alumni, and the general public could discuss the importance of recruiting persons of color to work in the public sector. The theme of the week long forum centered on a Barbara Jordan quote: "If the society today allows wrongs to go unchallenged, the impression is created that those wrongs have the approval of the majority." The Forum featured two keynote speakers. On Tuesday, February 21, participants heard from Mary Beth Rogers former LBJ School Professor and author of Jordan's biography, Barbara Jordan American Hero. NASPAA was proud to sponsor Wednesday's keynote address and luncheon on February 22, featuring Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston). In additional to several student lead panel discussions, participants were able to attend a screening and discussion of the documentary Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis. The 60-minute film chronicles Congressman Lewis' courageous and unwavering fight for justice and hard-won achievements. The week-long forum concluded with a community service event at the Barbara Jordan Early College Prep School in Austin, TX. LBJ School Professor and Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values Peniel Joseph inspired young elementary school students to live up to Barbara Jordan's legacy.

Dean Angela Evans, 
Mary Beth Rogers, and 
David Marshall
Texas State Representative Senfronia Thompson and
David Marshall

LBJ School Professor,
Peniell Joseph


NASPAA Co-hosts Mexico City Conference on Quality of Education for Public Service 

The objective of recognizing and providing quality education for the public servant was a theme shared by the Mexican organizations and universities that attended the conference on "Quality of Education for the Public Service in Mexico" carried out at the Mexico City headquarters of the co-host, the National Institute of Public Administration (INAP) on January 24 and 25, 2017. Also in attendance as a co-host was Cristian Pliscoff, the president of the Latin American organization of public affairs schools, INPAE. The goals of better government and public policies were linked to universities that consider public values as a priority in their curriculums. It was noted that universities in Mexico understand that international collaborations should increase and global standards must be met. This is where NASPAA and the accreditation objectives arise, making programs more effective in improving, controlling, and facilitating the quality of education.

NASPAA leadership was represented by President David S. Birdsell, past presidents Michelle Piskulich and Nadia M. Rubaii, Executive Council member Chandler Stolp, Jack Corbett from Portland State University and NASPAA Staff Laurel McFarland, Crystal Calarusse, and Maryan Carbuccia. David Birdsell addressed the many challenges of "sustainability" in Public Affairs Education. Nadia Rubaii presented international case studies in contextualized learning, while Chandler Stolp addressed how to strengthen ties in public service education across the Americas. For some specific examples, Jack Corbett shared his experience on building network and exchange programs in Oaxaca, Mexico. Michelle Piskulich dove into public service values and accreditation while Crystal Calarusse talked about the indicators of success for professional programs in public service. Laurel McFarland closed the conference with an exploration of NASPAA and the future of collaborations with Mexican institutions. Maryan Carbuccia served as rapporteur and summarized the key points of the two day discussion.

We look forward to working with Latin American universities and expanding our reach!


Program Director's Corner

NASPAA Alumni Survey 2017-Start Compiling your list of Alumni! 
NASPAA's 2017 Alumni Survey will launch May 15, 2017.  Now is the time to start compiling your list of alumni contact information.  This year we will be surveying the 2013-2014 cohort.  For more information regarding the Alumni Survey and past year's results go to: http://www.naspaa.org/datacenter/alumnisurvey.asp, or contact

COPRA will be hosting two site visitor trainings this March! If you plan to attend the 2017 COMPA and/or ASPA Annual Conferences in Atlanta, please join us:  
  • COMPA, Site Visitor Training:  Friday, March 17, 2017, 1:45 pm - 3:15 pm
  • ASPA, Site Visitor Training:  Monday, March 20, 2017, 8:00 am - 9:30 am
To RSVP or find out more, email  Hamilton@naspaa.org.
Accreditation Upcoming Deadlines:
  • April 15, 2017 - Eligibility Application due
  • August 15, 2017 - Self-Study Report deadline for  2017-18
    cohort - the form is now LIVE in the system!

COPRA seeks graduate interns!
COPRA has two openings for summer 2017 interns, ideal for graduate students interested in higher education, program assessment, communications, and/or nonprofit management.
To learn more about the opportunities, and to share with your students, refer to the announcements, below:

In Case You Missed It!
COPRA released the Self-Study Instructions, for programs in the 2017-18 cohort. For the 2016 release, COPRA focused on completion rates, enhancing the quality and comparability of one of the most critical outcomes of public affairs programs and ensuring the comprehensive context of students continuing to graduation outside of four years.
COPRA also released a policy statement announcing the implementation expectations of programs in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cohorts, with regard to Standard 5, as well as additional information related to the completion rates data requirements.

Read Interesting Blogs from ICMA Initiative: Life, Well Run  
  • Alumni surveys show MPA graduate trend toward #localgov & positive results on job satisfaction
Member News

Renita Seabrook

Alan Lyles

Two faculty members in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore have achieved the Faculty Regent's Award, the highest honor of the University System of Maryland. Congratulations to Renita Seabrook for Excellence in Public Service
(of the School of Criminal Justice) and Alan Lyles for Excellence in Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity (of the School of Health and  Human Services).    

Image resource: UB website

Congratulations to the University of Houston's Hobby School of Public Affairs who recently inducted its first class of Pi Alpha Alpha Inductees.  The Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter at the Hobby School was established last year in 2016.  The Hobby School is also one of NASPAA's newest members having joined NASPAA in 2015.

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