University of Utah
Political Science 330
Introduction to Public Administration
Professor F. Ted Hebert
Phone: 581-6781 FAX: 581-6223
Office: 21OE, Orson Spencer Hall


Pol. Science. 330. Introduction to Public Administration (5). As a broad introduction to public administration, this course (in the terms of the Bulletin) introduces "Motivation theory, formal organization, leadership and decision making, politics of administration, introduction to fiscal aspects of management and public personnel administration, and ethics of management" in the public and nonprofit management. As it is proposed to be offered in Spring 1998, students will have an option to select either a "service learning/writing" option or a "reading/writing" option, both of these designed to extend the student's learning beyond the classroom/textbook experience. Students who select the service learning option will be expected to provide three hours per week service to one of several community service projects, to reflect on that service through preparation of a weekly journal, to examine public administration through the lens of their service experience by preparing a final paper (approximately 5 pages), and to share their reflections with the class.

Response to Criteria:

  1. Several (probably three or four) public and nonprofit agencies providing community services are the likely locations for student opportunities in connection with Pol. Sci. 330. When this course was last offered with service learning (Fall 97), placements were at Wasatch Youth Services and LifeCare. I anticipate these or similar opportunities will be available for students in Spring '98, and through these students are able to provide much-needed community services.
  2. Pol. Sci. 330 focuses on administration in public and nonprofit organizations and agencies, the delivery of services to the public through these entities. As the attached syllabus indicates, students will be required to learn from their service in these agencies. Because students will be serving in exactly the kind of organization the class will be studying, they should see many examples of actions and dynamics that reinforce what they have learned in class-or that lead them to raise important questions.
  3. The syllabus indicates to students that they are expected to be able to relate their learning from service experiences to the course's subject material. They will be required to prepare a weekly journal and a final reflection paper. Both of these exercises are designed to ensure that the students draw the required connections.
  4. The following is from the syllabus: "Credit will not be awarded for service alone. In addition to providing service, students are required to reflect on the service through preparation of a weekly journal and to examine public administration through the lens of their service experience by preparing a final paper (approximately 5 pages)
  5. Service recipients will vary, depending on the exact placements of students. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize the role of service recipients in evaluating service, in both the public and nonprofit sectors. (Indeed, we are increasingly facing this within the university, as the Regents and Legislature consider options for measuring performance outcomes.) Each of the service organizations in which students perform services will be asked to evaluate the student's service.
  6. One of the goals of the "service learning/writing" option in Pol. Sci. 330 is to permit students choosing it to "explore [their] own views of citizenship and community." This extends beyond the instrumental goals of either "providing service" or "learning about public administration," and contributes directly to the "building citizenship" objective of every Political Science course.
  7. Critical to fully achieving the "learning" objective of service learning will be for students (in the words of the syllabus) "to relate your learning to the course's subject material." Indeed, the success of their service learning endeavor will be partially judged on how well they are able to accomplish this, because the course provides material that can inform work "in the field," but their activities can similarly inform their understanding of public administration.
  8. From the syllabus: "Those who choose [the service learning] option will also be expected to reflect on and share their experiences in class."

9 Service learning is optional, and within the service learning/writing option, there will be optional placements available. This will ensure that no student must participate in a placement that creates a religious, political and or/moral conflict.

Each one of us has daily encounters with the work of public administrators. You're having one now, as a student at the University of Utah. Your instructor and the teaching assistants in this course are "public administrators," implementing some of Utah's higher education policies. Getting here you may have traveled on public streets, stopped (perhaps) at publicly provided stoplights. This morning, perhaps, you drank water provided by a publicly owned utility system, flushed into a public sewerage system. You may have eaten publicly inspected bacon, consumed publicly inspected milk, driven a publicly licensed car or truck. Some of you may be recipients of public fellowships or receive government guaranteed loans, some others may now work for public agencies, and many of us will eventually be buried in public cemeteries.

This course concerns the hundreds of government agencies at federal, state, and local levels that are responsible for carrying out public policy. It concerns the management of these agencies-organizing the people and resources that make their on-going work possible. It also concerns the process of policy making that occurs in public agencies.

During the quarter, we'll examine public administration from several points of views:

As social scientists-how can we better understand the way the process functions?

Normatively-what's "good" or "bad" about public administration in the 1990s?

As a source of job opportunities-20 percent of the work force works for government.

Like introductory courses in many fields, this is an overview course-"a mile wide and an inch deep." Topics it introduces are ones that every person living in the United States should know, in order to better deal with public and many nonprofit agencies. Each topic, though, could be examined in much more detail that this one-quarter class allows- and some of them are the subject of more advanced classes.

Some of major topics to be covered are these:

Textbooks and Other Material

Shafritz, Jay M. and E. W. Russell. 1997. Introducing Public Administration. NY: Longman.

Cases in public administration to be distributed in class.

Assignments and Course Expectations

Your success of this class will depend on your completing assigned readings (given below) and on your actively participating in class discussions. Class sessions will be a combination of lecture and guided discussion of material from assigned readings-as well as discussion of public administration based on your experience of it. Your participation will count 15% of your grade.

Course Options

Because students learn in different ways, and because each of us begins from a different starting point, this courses offers you an option (worth 25 % of grade). No matter which of these you choose, the primary goal is the same-to team about public administration, as it is practiced in public agencies or nonprofit organizations.

Service Learning/Writing Option

Students who select this option will provide three hours per week service to one of several community service projects. These projects will enable you to gain hands-on experience with "public work" in a nonprofit or public agency, and to explore your own views of citizenship and community. You will receive credit for what you learn from the service in these public or nonprofit agencies, and how you are able to relate your learning to the course's subject material. Credit will not be awarded for service alone. In addition to providing service, students are required to reflect on the service through preparation of a weekly journal and to examine public administration through the lens of their service experience by preparing a final paper (approximately 5 pages). Students who choose this option will also be expected to reflect on and share experiences in class. Finally, the service organization will evaluate the student's service at the end of the quarter.

Reading/Writing Option

Students who select this option will examine and analyze three cases (beyond the cases considered by the entire class), in order to explore the processes and dynamics of public administration, submitting a written analysis of each of these cases. Additionally, in order to expand upon one of the topics covered in the course, these students will choose, three journal articles from public administration literature that are related to each other, read them carefully, and write an analytic paper considering them (approximately 5 pages). You will not receive credit for simply submitting the required papers, but for what you learn, for integrating material from the course into your case analyses and analysis of the articles.

Date: Fri, 30 Jan 1998 15:07:36 MST
From: Renee Buchanan <>
Subject: Political Science 330 -- Hebert (instructor)