University of Utah
Political Science 536
Public Human Resource Administration
4 quarter credits.

Laurie DiPadova
OFFICE AND PHONE: OSH 212J, 84112; 801-585-7985 E-MAIL: dipadova@poliserve.poli-sci.utah.edu

  1. Students would provide a direct service to disadvantaged individuals through a community agency. Arrangements have been made for students to work with LifeCare Services at the Salt Lake Area Community Services Council, and with the Computer Club Project, sponsored by the R- Harold Burton Foundation. In addition, students may suggest other organizations they may wish to work with, and clear this with me in advance. Students understand that this is direct nonpaid service to individuals--not to agencies or organizations.
  2. The service relates to the subject matter of the course in that many MPA students will find themselves working in public agencies, or in nonprofit organizations giving valuable public service, during their career. These agencies are created for the public good, but many times public managers have had no direct experience with the disadvantaged and underprivileged of our society. Such direct experience with individuals in need can only enhance one's public management experience, and enrich one's judgment while performing in responsible positions of public trust.
  3. Students will meet with me frequently to discuss their experiences. In this way any possible difficulties students may have may be addressed. They will also make an oral presentation (perhaps as a panel) to the class regarding their experience.
  4. Students will keep a confidential journal, which is not evaluated, but which will be read in order MONITOR their progress. Students will submit, by the end of the term a 6-8 page paper regarding their experience and its relation to the field of public administration. This paper is graded, while to journal is not. They will also make an oral presentation (perhaps as a panel) to the class regarding their experience. ff there is more than one student choosing the service learning option, I will try to organize them into a group. Students may choose this service eaming option in lieu of the midterm examination.
  5. Every two weeks I will be in contact with the individuals in the organizations who supervise the students, who will give me feedback, and who will be giving students feedback and evaluation of their service.
  6. 1 think that the meeting of this criteria is evident from what has already been proposed above, and in the syllabus. In addition, I want the students to see individuals in 'the underclass" of our society as multidimensional human beings, and not as categories or labels. As stated in the syllabus:

This is considered an important option because many MPA students find themselves working in public agencies during their career. These agencies are created for the public good, but many times public managers have had no direct experience with the disadvantaged and underprivileged of our society. Such direct experience with individuals in need can only enhance one's public management experience, and enrich one's judgment while performing in responsible positions of public trust.

7. Knowledge from the course will help students in their service experience. This course addresses, among other things, the inherent dilemma between the dynamics of public organizations and the needs of individuals. In the human resources management course class we deal with the critical question of Who do we want to govern us? What characteristics do we want from individuals who represent the government, and governing activities, to the public? One characteristic is to have the ability and the willingness to be a voice for the marginal and voiceless individuals of our society. This is a hallmark of true public service--to act in the interest of all.

8. The in-class discussions will enable all class members to gain from the experiences of those who do the service-learning option, as well as enable students engaged in service learning to share with each other.

General Approach.- Political Science 536 provides an overview of public human resource management (HRM) policy and practice in the United States. Public HRM has been experiencing rapid change for more than 20 years. Many current issues were virtually unknown in the 1960s. In the process of addressing issues, we will consider underlying values, assumptions, and critical arguments, thus providing preparation for issues which may become dominant in the future, but which may be only dimly apparent now.

This course also considers the behavior of individuals within the context of public organizational settings. Particular emphasis is placed on the organizational and hierarchical context of human behavior. Heavy emphasis is placed on the issues and debates of the field.

Political Science 536 has been designated as a service learning course at the University, as designated by the Lowell L. Bennion Community Service Center. Students have the opportunity and the option of engaging in community service as part of their course requirements. This is considered an important option because many MPA students find themselves working in public agencies during their career. These agencies are created for the public good, but many times public managers have had no direct experience with the disadvantaged and underprivileged of our society. Such direct experience with individuals in need can only enhance one's public management experience, and enrich one's judgment while performing in responsible positions of public trust. Participation in this is entirely optional.

TEXTS.-

Ban, Carolyn and Norma N. Riccucci, eds. Public Personnel Management.- Current Concerns-Future Challenges. New York: Longman Publishing Company. 1991.

Hays, Steven W. and Richard C. Kearney, eds. Public Personnel Administration: Problems and Prospects. 3rd edition. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. 1995.

Johnson, VVilliam B. and Arnold H. Packer. Workforce 2000: Work and Workers for the 21st Century. Indianapolis: Hudson Institute. 1987/

FORMAT.- Lectures, discussions, debates, individual and group exercises, and cases.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:

Evaluation in this course will be based on the quality of the papers and other written assignments, as well as on the quality of debates and other in-class participation. Evaluation of written work includes attention to basic grammar, spelling, and the University's standard of academic integrity. Please word-process and double-space all papers.

  1. DEBATE ESSAYS: Each student will examine two HRM policy issues or problems of interest to them, and present a short debate essay on each issue. Essays should be about 8-10 pages in length and include 10-12 different references. Students should feel free to draw on the assigned texts as references. Essays should be word processed, double-spaced, and SUBMITTED IN DUPLICATE. Careful attention should be given to spelling and grammar. These essays are NOT term papers. They are thought pieces, informed by research, and should be organized as follows:
  2. Statement of the issue and the reason for interest in it.
  3. Brief statement of the history of the issue and two opposing arguments regarding it.
  4. A lengthy explanation of each of the two arguments, demonstrating the ability to argue both sides of the issue.
  5. Concluding statement of where the student stands on the issue and why. Attention should be given to value assumptions inherent in the student's analysis.
  6. DEBATE: Each student is expected to participate in an in-class debate, as a member of a team. One of three general issues may be debated: Affirmative Action, Mandatory Drug Testing of Employees, and Privatization of Public Services. Debate teams will meet throughout the term to prepare for the debate. The second debate paper is on this debate.

SPECIAL NOTE: This debate essay should include sections a, b, c, and d above. Like the previous paper, the conclusion should reflect YOUR position--not necessarily the position you take in the debate. However, you may use the research generated by your team, and any additional research. Be sure and indicate the contributions of other team members to your research. In addition, this essay should include 2 page addition: e. An assessment of your group process. What did each person contribute? How do you feel about the group's ability to function as a team? What hurdles, if any, did the group need to overcome?

3. COURSE JOURNAL: Each student will keep a course journal. Entries are submitted each Thursday that the class meets. Each entry should include a reflective response to the following questions:

  1. What are the 3 or 4 most important things you learned from the assigned reading, and why? (1-2 pages).
  2. How have the readings affected your view of public administration as a practice and as a field? (1-2 paragraphs).
  3. EXAMINATIONS: A midterm and a final examination will be held.
  4. PARTICIPATION: Students are expected to participate in all class discussions and group activities.

SERVICE-LEARNING OPTION: Students engaged in the service learning option will be exempted from the midterm exam and required to do the following:

  1. Engage in direct community service for 3 hours per week during the quarter. You may make these arrangements with Kristi Johnson, Director of LifeCare Services (for the elderly) at the Salt Lake Area Community Services Council (phone 978-2452). If you would like to participate with another organization, please clear this in advance. If you choose this option, please indicate this in writing by class time October 3.
  2. Keep a regular journal of one's experiences and impressions. This journal is separate from the course journal.
  3. Write a 6-8 page paper about the nature of your service, what you learned from the experience, and implications for public administration as you see it.
  4. Give a brief presentation in class about your experience.

EVALUATION OF STUDENT PERFORMANCE: Course grades will be computed as follows:

         Debate Essay #1: 15%
         Debate Essay #2: 20%
         Midterm Exam/service-learning option: 20%
         Course Journal:   20%
         Final Examination: 20%
         Class Participation: 5%

READING AND ASSIGNMENT SCHEDULE

September 26: First night of class

October 3: The Setting: Hays and Kearney, Section One JOURNAL ENTRY #1 due

October 10: Ban and Riccucci, Sections IV and V JOURNAL ENTRY#2 due

October 17: Johnson and Packer, Executive Summary and Chapter 1 JOURNAL ENTRY #3 due

October 24: The Techniques: Hays and Kearney, Section Two JOURNAL ENTRY #4 due
Debate Essay #1 Due

October 31: Ban and Riccucci, Sections I and 11 JOURNAL ENTRY #5 due

MIDTERM EXAMINATION

November 7: The Issues: Hays and Kearney, Section Three EXCEPT Kearney article, p. 177, and Holzer
article, p. 190.
JOURNAL ENTRY #6 due

November 14: Ban and Riccucci, Section III; Johnson and Packer, Chapter 3
JOURNAL ENTRY #7 due
In-Class Debate, Round One

November 21: Ban and Riccucci, Sections VI and VII; Kearney in Hays and Kearney, pp. 177-189; Holzer in
Hays and Kearney, pp. 190-201.
JOURNAL ENTRY #8 due

November 28: THANKSGIVING. NO CLASS

December 5: The Future, Hays and Kearney, Section Four; Johnson and Packer,
Chapters 2 and 4
JOURNAL ENTRY #9 due
Debate Essay #2 Due
FINAL ROUND OF THE DEBATE

December 12: FINAL EXAM

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (Public Law 101-336), 1 wish to offer any qualified student, with a disability, the opportunity to meet with me privately to discuss receiving reasonable accommodations. Such accommodations will be afforded based on the specific disability and as agreed in writing. This statement in no way asks that students identify themselves as having disabilities; however, a request for reasonable accommodation can be granted only when a student makes I her or his disability known.

I sincerely trust and expect that academic dishonesty will not be an issue in this course. Unfortunately it has become a very serious problem on many campuses, and it is not limited to undergraduate students. The purpose of the following statement is to prevent any misunderstandings about what constitutes academic dishonesty and what will be done if such actions are encountered.

Academic honesty is expected. An act of academic dishonesty will result in a course grade of E and a recommendation of additional disciplinary action.

                                        Date: Tue, 19 Nov 1996 15:19:37 MST
                                        From: Renee Buchanan [RBUCHAN@ssb2.saff.utah.edu]