Thad Tecza
University of Colorado at Boulder

Political Science 4938
Section 801
Internship/Seminar in Politics
Fall 1993

Political Science 4938 offers students the opportunity to integrate theoretical concepts related to politics with practical experience in political institutions. The purpose of the course is to allow students to examine the political role of the host institution and how the office goes about fulfilling that function.

The theoretical portion of the course is derived from four required readings, from seminar meetings of the class, from other courses students have taken, and from previous experience in applied political settings. Practical experience is obtained from placements in executive, legislative and judicial offices, in governmental agencies, with lobbyists or interest groups, or with other institutions directly involved in the political process.

There will be seven seminar meetings of the class. Each student will also have two personal conferences with the instructor and will organize an on-site meeting to be attended by herself/himself, the placement supervisor, and the instructor. The times for these meetings will be arranged to accommodate students' class and internship placement schedules.

The seminar meetings will be structured toward allowing students to share their experiences and to assist them in integrating experience into theory. The two personal conferences with the instructor will focus on a review of each student's journal and theoretical papers. The meeting attended by the student, placement supervisor and instructor will review the internship contract with special emphasis on the intern's duties and the structure for supervision. Each student will work for a minimum of sixteen and a maximum of twenty hours per week at an internship placement. These hours are to be divided between tasks for the placement, and independent research and interviews to determine the role of the office. Approved placements have all agreed to provide interns with an intellectually challenging primary task. In addition, each student will receive regularly scheduled direct supervision, will be exposed to other aspects of the functioning of the office/institution, and will be involved in discussion with other individuals concerning the relationship between the intern's duties and the overall political effort of the organization.

Students should be conscious of the fact that an internship is different from an employment situation or donating your time as a volunteer. In an employment situation you have contracted to perform defined tasks in return for renumeration. As a volunteer your primary objective is to further the goals of the organization or individual to whom you are giving your services. An internship is an educational experience. In the selection of a placement, the negotiation of tasks, and the manner in which you approach the completion of tasks, "learning" should be your primary objective.

Interns should provide a benefit to the host institution. As a result, students are expected to maintain their commitments to their host organization and to complete their duties promptly and efficiently. Students are also expected to respect the confidentiality guidelines included in the internship contract. At the same time, while you are on your placement you should be reflective and analytical. Be active rather than passive. Ask questions politely and at the appropriate times. When you meet or hear of people of interest, follow up and make appointments to talk in greater depth later. Take full advantage of the opportunities your internship presents. Most importantly, always ask yourself the theoretical significance of what you are experiencing.

Students are also reminded that while on their placement you are representing the University of Colorado and the Department of Political Science. You are expected to dress and act appropriately. You are not to use your position for personal political advantage or to finance a personal political agenda.

Finally, while you are on your internship, enjoy yourself. Both work and learning should be enjoyable experiences.

Instructor: Thad Tecza
Phone: Office: 492-2985

Home: 322-6207 (Please do not call after 9:00 o.m.) Office Ketchum 130A
Hours: T-TH 1:50-3:20

Required Texts:

Shively, W. POWER AND CHOICE: AN INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE

Second Edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc. 1991)

Each student is also required to read three additional books selected with the approval of the instructor. Scholarly articles may be substituted for these optional books at the rate of five articles per book. You should consult the SOCIAL SCIENCES INDEX or ask the assistance of a librarian in locating scholarly articles relevant to your internship.

The major purpose of the optional readings is to provide a framework for organizing and orienting the students' learning experience. To this end, the books should provide a general discussion of institutions such as that where a student is placed. Thus, a student interning at the state legislature would want to read about state legislatures in general rather than specifically about the Colorado state legislature.

A secondary purpose of reading is to supplement the students' knowledge of the institution where they are placed. To this end, a history of the office, group, or agency might be appropriate. The secondary purpose, though, should not detract from the major purpose of the optional readings.

Students should seek the advice of the instructor in choosing optional readings. Students are also encouraged to seek the advice of placement supervisors and otherprofessors in the Political Science Department. A list of the department faculty and their major research interests is attached to this syllabus.

Finally, think of professors in other departments at the university who may be able to advise you on appropriate readings as well as the dominant issues related to your internship. For example, someone in the journalism department may be helpful to an intern in a Press Office and someone in Sociology to an intern at an interest group focussing on homeless issues.

Course Meetings

  1. August 24, 10:00 am Ketchum 116 Topic: INTRODUCTION: HOW TO MAKE A SUCCESSFUL

    INTERNSHIP Discussion (A) Syllabus

    (B) Contracts (C) Planning a successful internship (D) Times and dates for future seminar

    meetings (E) First paper assignment (F) What is the "political role" of an

    organization?

  2. Week of Sept. 5-11 Topic: The Structure of the Internship Discussion (A) INTERNSHIP ASSIGNMENTS: Each

    student is to bring to class a written statement of their duties as an intern to share with the rest of the class. Students should also write any questions that they have in regard to negotiating appropriate duties. (B) POLITICAL ROLE: Each student is to

    bring to class a statement of one way in which they believe their placement allocates values in the society. Students should also include the basis for their belief. These statements are to be typed. They will be turned in after class and graded "satisfactory" or "unsatisfactory."

  3. Week of Sept. 19-25

    (The class will be divided into three small groups each meeting for one hour) Topic: The Early Internship Discussion (A) WHAT IS ANALYTICAL THOUGHT?

    (B) PROBLEMS. Each student is to bring

                                to class a typed statement of a   
                                problem they are having with their
                                internship which they believe can 
                                serve as the basis for class      
                                discussion and assistance.  These 
                                statements will be turned in and  
                                graded "satisfactory" or          
                                "unsatisfactory."
              Assignments:
                           (A)  SCHEDULE PERSONAL CONFERENCES
                           (B)  FIRST PAPER DUE
              Reading:     POWER AND CHOICE (ENTIRE BOOK)

       4.     Week of Oct. 3-9
              Topic:  PERSONAL CONFERENCES
              Discussion   (A)  JOURNALS
                           (B)  ADDITIONAL REQUIRED READINGS
                           (C)  CONTRACTS
                           (D)  SCHEDULE MEETING with placement   
                                supervisor and instructor.  (Each 
                                student is to bring a list of     
                                three or four times during the    
                                weeks of Oct. 11-15 when the      
                                placement supervisor could meet   
                                with the instructor and student at 
                                the placement site.)
 
       5.     Week of Oct. 17-23 (Small group meetings)
              Topic:  The development of the internship
              Discussion   (A)  QUESTIONS:  Each student is to  
                                bring to class the two questions 
                                from their journal which they   
                                believe are most likely to      
                                provoke discussion among their  
                                fellow students. The form of    
                                these questions is to include the
                                context that evoked the question.
                                For example, a question might be,
                                "The literature I have read says 
                                A about my internship, but I    
                                have observed B.  How do you    
                                think we can reconcile this?" 
                                Or, "In my internship I have    
                                observed A,B, and C.  This leads  
                                me to the following question, D. 
                                What do you think are ways that 
                                I can go about getting an answer 
                                to this question?"  The questions

                                will be turned in after class and
                                graded "satisfactory" or        
                                unsatisfactory."
                           (B)  SUGGESTIONS:  Each student is to 
                                bring to class one written      
                                suggestion for other students as 
                                a way for learning about the    
                                political role of their         
                                placement. For example, "I found 
                                it helpful to take a look at the 
                                log of calls (mail) coming into 
                                the office and to try to analyze 
                                who they were coming from and   
                                what type of information was
                                requested."  The questions will 
                                be turned in after class and    
                                graded"satisfactory" or 
                                "unsatisfactory."

       6.     Week of Nov.1-6 (Small group meetings
              Topic:  The Mid-Point of the Internship
              Discussion   THEORETICAL PROPOSITIONS.  Each student
                           is to bring to class a written statement
                           of two theoretical propositions which  
                           they are testing during their internship
                           and the specific activities they are   
                           engaging in to test these propositions 
                           will be turned in after the class and  
                           graded "satisfactory" or               
                           "unsatisfactory."
              Assignment   (A)  MID-TERM PAPER DUE
                           (B)  SCHEDULE PERSONAL CONFERENCES
              Reading:     ALL ADDITIONAL ASSIGNED READINGS ARE TO
                           BE TO BE COMPLETED AND INTEGRATED INTO 
                           THE MID-TERM PAPER

       7.     Week of Nov. 14-19
              TOPIC:  PERSONAL CONFERENCES
              Discussion   (A)  JOURNALS
                           (B)  VISIT TO ANOTHER INTERNSHIP OR A
                                DAY IN THE LIFE
                           (C)  STATUS OF FINAL PAPER
              Assignment:  (A)  Visit to another internship or a
                                day in the life are to have been 
                                completed.
                           (B)  Students are to bring a
                                preliminary outline of their    
                                final paper to the second       
                                personal conference.

       8.     Week of Nov. 28-Dec.3
              TOPIC:  Movement Toward Completion
              Discussion   EXAMPLES:  Each student is to bring to 
                           class two examples of the way in which 
                           their office or institution affects who 
                           wins and loses in American politics. One
                           of these examples is to be of a group or
                           individual that benefits from the      
                           existence of the institution.  The     
                           second is to be of a group or individual
                           that is disadvantaged by the existence 
                           of this office and why this is the case.
                           These examples will be turned in after 
                           the class and graded "satisfactory" or 
                           "unsatisfactory."

       9.     Week of Dec. 5-11
              TOPIC:  Analyzing the Internships
              Discussion   (A)  LEARNING:  Each student will    
                                bring statements of three       
                                specific beliefs held prior to  
                                the internship that were either 
                                reinforced, altered, or destroyed
                                by the internship. These        
                                statements should include your  
                                prior belief, what has happened 
                                to that belief, and what occurred
                                in the  internship to cause this 
                                change. The statements will form 
                                a basis for discussion.  The    
                                questions will be turned in after
                                class and graded "satisfactory" 
                                or "unsatisfactory."
                           (B)  IMPROVEMENTS:  Each student will 
                                bring in a statement of what    
                                she/he considered the most      
                                important factor in making their 
                                internship a good experience and 
                                one way in which she/he believes 
                                their internship could be       
                                improved.
              Assignment:  (A)  SCHEDULE EXIT INTERVIEWS
                           (B)  FINAL PAPERS DUE
                           (C)  CHOOSE STUDENTS TO VISIT INTERNS
                                NEXT SEMESTER ADDITIONAL PROJECTS
                                AND REQUIREMENTS:

       1.     CONTRACT
              At the beginning of the placement, each student will 
              present a copy of the "Learning Objectives Contract" 
              to her/his supervisor.

              The contract is to be completed in considerable     
              detail.  One of two sentence descriptions of duties 
              are not acceptable.  Specific times when supervisory 
              sessions will take place are required.  This contract
              is due at the second class meeting.

              This contract will provide the basis for the meeting
              between the student, placement supervisor, and      
              instructor.  Students are cautioned that a contract
              is a negotiated agreement.  You are to be present and
              have input when it is completed.  In order to have  
              input, you need to know some things about what you  
              want to learn on your internship.

       2.     MEETING
              In the first personal conference, each student will
              finalize the time and place for a meeting between the
              student, the placement supervisor and the instructor.
              This meeting will review and amend the placement    
              contract.

              The meeting will occur at the location of each
              student's placement.

       3.     INITIAL PAPER
              At the third class meeting, each student is expected
              to submit a five page typed paper.  This paper should
              not discuss what you are doing on your internship or 
              conclusions that you have reached about the role it 
              performs in the political system.  It is to present 
              an initial theory about the role it performs in the 
              political system.  It is to present an initial theory
              about the role your placement performs in the       
              American political system and the manner in which it 
              performs that role, i.e., what do they do, how do   
              they do it, and why is this politically significant. 
              A theory is a set if inter-related generalizations  
              which seeks to explain some behavior or some aspect 
              of reality.  The paper should also present some     
              specific theoretical assertions you wish to test    
              during your internship, eg., Burns, Peltason, and   
              Cronin, Government By the People, say: "The majority 
              of congressional actions are not aimed at producing 
              results for the American people as much as          
              perpetuating the longevity and comfort of the men who
              run Congress." (p. 271)  I would like to examine    
              whether this statement applies in the district office
              of...In writing this paper, think about the context 
              in which you want to place your experience. 

              What comparisons do you want to make?  Are you going 
              to look at whether your office is like other offices 
              at the same level, similar offices at a different   
              level, all interest groups, etc.  Again, the initial 
              paper is intended to be a theory for making sense out
              of your experience.  It should present specific     
              questions you want to get answers to while you are  
              there.  Also, it should list the things you are going
              to need to do to answer these questions.  Ask       
              yourself if these are things that are possible during
              your internship.
       
              Your initial paper may be derived from reading
              relevant chapters in an introductory American       
              politics text, from reading you have done from other 
              courses, from reading your placement supervisor     
              suggests, from your prior experience, or from your  
              personal beliefs.  To assist you in this process, a 
              few introductory texts have been placed on reserve in
              the library under the title of this course.         
              Remember, though, that whenever you make an assertion
              of fact, you must provide a reference for that      
              assertion.  Again, your reference can be simply a   
              conversation with a supervisor or a previous course, 
              but you must stillprovide a citation.

              If you are unsure as to when or how to reference    
              a paper, check at the bookstore or library.  There  
              are several simple manuals available.

              As you write this paper, remember that a political
              system is a set of human interactions through which 
              valued things are distributed for a society.        
              Political systems determine who gets what,when, and 
              how.

              Ask yourself how the literature describes the       
              institution where you are placed as playing a role in
              this process.

              I have inclined two samples of good initial papers at
              the end of this syllabus.  The additional books or  
              articles that you intend to read should be listed at 
              the end of your initial paper.

       4.     QUESTIONS, STATEMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, AND EXAMPLES:
              Each student is responsible for developing,         
              presenting, and discussing questions, statements,   
              problems, and suggestions as described in the       
              particular class meetings.  These assignments are to
              be typed and submitted at the time of class meetings.

              Late assignments will not be accepted.

       5.     JOURNAL
              Each student is required to keep a journal throughout
              this course.  The purpose of the journal is to      
              organize your experience, allow reflections, and    
              chart changes in attitude.  There must be an entry  
              for each day of your placement.  The entries should 
              be in a full-sized (8 1/2 by 11) spiral notebook    
              maintained solely for this purpose. 
              Your entries should consist of complete sentences   
              with reasonable attention to correct usage, spelling,
              and punctuation.Your journal entries should include:
              (A)    EXPECTATIONS:  Each student should begin     
                     his/her journal with a two page summary of   
                     their expectations regarding their placement. 
                     This should include what sort of organization 
                     you expect to be present, what sort of       
                     interactions you think you will observe, and 
                     what sorts of people you expect to be present.
                     This section should include both positive and 
                     negative expectations.
              (B)    A LOG:  A log is a concise statement of what 
                     happened, who did it, and when it happened.  
                     This should include what  you did in your    
                     internship each day. Your log should be      
                     precise, specific, and factual.
              (C)    PERCEPTIONS:   Perceptions go beyond a simple
                     log.  They note patterns of behavior and     
                     insights about what the things that occur    
                     mean.  Perceptions also include hypotheses   
                     about the theoretical importance of events.
              (D)    FEELINGS: Record your feelings about what is 
                     occurring, both to you and in your placement 
                     setting. Are you afraid, unsure, shocked,
                     pleased, flattered, and why. What do you feel 
                     about the people and events you observe?  Note

                     any relationships between your feelings and  
                     the beliefs you are developing regarding the 
                     political role of your placement.
              (E)    FANTASIES:  Use your journal to try on
                     different roles in your internship.  What    
                     would it be like to be the lead person, your 
                     supervisor, a client, an opponent, a         
                     supporter.  What does this tell you about the 
                     political role of your placement?
              (F)    INSIGHT PROVOKING QUOTES:  Include the "quote
                     of the day" that you found truly noteworthy.
              (G)    LISTS OF:
                           (1)  At least three questions provoked 
                                by each day at your internship    
                                placement.
                           (2)  people you want to make           
                                appointments to talk to.  Each time

                                you meet someone, ask them, "if you

                                wanted to find out about this     
                                place, who would you talk to?"
                           (3)  things you want to do and places  
                                you want to visit before your     
                                internship is completed.  When you 
                                end your internship, you should   
                                feel like you are not finished with

                                it.  There should be lists of     
                                things you still want to do.

              (H)    SPECIALIZED VOCABULARY YOU HAVE LEARNED
                     Write down any specialized vocabulary used on
                     your internship and what it means.
              (I)    VISITOR DAY:  A description of your visit to
                     another internship or your day in the life of 
                     the person you accompanied.
              (J)    YOURSELF:  One of the benefits of this course 
                     is that it allows you to examine yourself in 
                     a different setting.  Focus part of your     
                     journal on yourself and your performance in  
                     the environment.  Your journal should be     
                     confidential.  It is only to be shared with  
                     your instructor.  You should learn to        
                     inobtrusively make notes for your journal    
                     throughout the day.  You should set aside a  
                     particular time after each day's work on the 
                     internship to complete your journal.  Do not 
                     wait until the next day.  You will lose too  
                     much insight.

       6.     VISIT OR FULL "DAY IN THE LIFE OF"
              Each student is expected to visit at least one      
              other student's internship placement during the     
              semester.  You should select the placement for this 
              visit on the basis of its ability to provide an     
              alternative view of the political process, ie.,     
              governmental agency.

              Alternatively, students may select a significant    
              person at your placement and trace "a day in the    
              life" of this person.  To carry out this task you   
              should arrange to meet this person as they leave    
              their home in the morning and remain with them until 
              they shut the door behind them at night. The        
              specifics of your visit or "day in the life of and  
              your reflections on it are to be included in your   
              journal.

       7.     MID-TERM PAPER
              At the conclusion of the course, each student 
              will submit a major analytical paper.        
              Analysis is the act of examining or dividing 
              something for the purpose of determining its 
              essential components. Analysis always requires
              placing experience within theory.

       8.     FINAL PAPER
              At the conclusion of the course, each student 
              will submit a major analytical paper.        
              Analysis is the act of examining or dividing 
              something for the purpose of determining its 
              essential components.  Analysis always       
              requires placing experience within theory.
              
              The purpose of the final paper is to measure 
              your experience against the theory you              
              developed in your initial and mid-term papers.

              To what degree does your experience reinforce,
              modify, or contradict the theory expressed in 
              the literature you have read?  Be careful and 
              thorough.  Don't make statements in your final
              paper that are stronger than your experience 
              will support.  Also, to as great a degree as 
              possible, support each statement you make with
              specific evidence or examples.  Don't say, "a 
              conversation with my supervisor lead me to   
              believe."  Give the specific statements she or 
              he made why they led you to your conclusion.

              This paper should tell me about the          
              organization where you did your internship.  
              What type of organization is it and what is  
              its history? What were your duties there?    
              What does the literature say about this type 
              of organization and the political role it    
              plays? What did you seek to examine?  How did 
              you go about doing this?  Who did you talk to 
              and why?  What events and actions did you    
              observe?  What conclusions did you reach and 
              specifically what led you to those           
              conclusions?  What does this tell me about the 
              political role of the organization?  Most    
              importantly, why is this politically         
              incorrect?  Remember, nothing makes everyone 
              better off.  Who is absolutely or relatively 
              better off as a result if the operation of   
              this organization?  Also, politics may be    
              about who benefits more or less.  The null   
              hypothesis may be that everyone gets exactly 
              the same benefits from the office.  Is this  
              true?  Who wins and who loses?  How about    
              taxpayers who support it but don't use it?   
              Think about how the money spent on this office 
              or organization could be spent if the office 
              didn't exist.  Much of politics is the choice 
              to spend scarce resources on one "good" versus 
              another.  Think about the alternative ways to 
              pursue the goals your office pursues. Are    
              these alternatives more or less efficient?   
              Why?

              Also, discuss what your expectations were    
              regarding your office and the individuals    
              there at the beginning of the semester and the
              manner in which these expectations were      
              confirmed or contradicted.

              To orient the analysis in your final paper,  
              focus on how the political system would be   
              different if your institution didn't exit. 
              How does the operation of your placement     
              affect who wins and who loses? Don't just talk 
              about how things operate at you internship.   
              Tell me about what that means in terms of who 
              is better or worse off in society.  What does 
              your experience tell us about the American   
              political system and how it operates. Given  
              the length of the final paper, think about how 
              you wish to present your ideas.  It may be    
              helpful to provide an introduction and table  
              of contents to orient the reader.  Divide the 
              paper into subsections with section headings. 
              Tell the reader what you are going to tell   
              him, tell him, and then tell him what you told 
              him.

              Finally, as an appendix, your paper should   
              include a sample of any product from your    
              duties as an intern, eg., reports, etc.

       9.     EVALUATION
              With the final paper, each student will submit a two 
              page evaluation of her/his internship placement.    
              This evaluation should focus on what your duties    
              were, whether you believe it was a good learning    
              experience, whether you were adequately supervised, 
              and whether you would recommend this placement to   
              future interns.  These evaluations should be separate
              from your final paper so they can be collected and  
              used by future students.
                           
       10.    THANK YOU LETTERS
              Each student is expected to write thank-you letters 
              to individuals who played significant roles assisting
              in the intern during her/his placement.  Copies of  
              these letters are to be attached to the final paper. 

       11.    EXIT INTERVIEW
              In the final semester meeting each student will be
              given the opportunity to schedule an "exit interview"
              after the semester. These interviews will review the 
              final paper, discuss the internship generally, and  
              focus on how it can be incorporated as a future     
              learning experience.       
       12.    GRADING
              The instructor sincerely hopes that each student
              finds her/his internship placement to be an enjoyable
              and beneficial learning experience.  At the same    
              time, it is crucial to note the academic evaluation 
              in this course is separate form any benefits gained 
              from the participatory experience itself.  Grading  
              will be solely the responsibility of the instructor. 
              The grade will be determined by academic performance.

              The initial paper will contribute ten percent of the
              final grade.  The questions, suggestions, etc.,     
              submitted at the seminars will contribute fifteen   
              percent of the final grade.  Since these projects are
              to be the basis of seminar discussions, late material

              will not be accepted.  The midterm paper will       
              contribute twenty-five percent of the final grad. The

              final paper will contribute fifty percent of the    
              final grade.

ADVICE, COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS TO STUDENTS FROM STUDENTS

Don't limit yourself to the assigned readings.

Since I was running around the Capitol so much this was one of my main assets when talking to everyone. Even the sergeant at arms and the maids seemed to treat me differently because I was nice to them.

knowing when to be quiet and listen is as important as voicing an opinion. People understand that you are "just an intern" and often

will include you anyway. If not, hopefully your supervisor will cue you in later on what just happened.

In conclusion, keeping oneself armed with questions can be advantageous.

I found that many of the people I wanted to interview did not come around the office after the election.

SAMPLE PAPER #1

For the summer of 1991, I will be serving as an intern at the United States General Accounting Office, Program Evaluation and Methodology Division, Denver Regional Office. The General Accounting Office is one of four Congressional support agencies.(1) More specifically, according to its recruiting material, the General Accounting Office's role is to "support the Congress by auditing and evaluating federal programs and activities." (2) Many theories abound concerning the General Accounting Office. They can be classified into at least three divisions: Relations with Congress (including ideas about the General Accounting Office's role and mission), policy audit and analysis concerns, and operational concerns.

Concerning Congress, the General Accounting Office is one of four agencies intended to support the United States Congress, as stated above. Many theories and critiques express concern about duplication of efforts among these four.(3) Thomas N. Bethell has even referred to as "government by xerox," referring to the idea that the four are "constantly rushing to xerox each other's reports" because they are so similar that they make for good reference material.(4) The General Accounting Office counters this by claiming that "subordinates are regularly instructed to make sure that they are not doing tasks more properly assigned to another office."(5) Additionally as a whole, the four agencies "concede that their projects still often overlap, but they argue that a certain amount of overlap can be valuable because each agency has a unique perspective and provides Congress with important information.(6) I hope to gauge the degree of overlap in efforts by checking to see if there is a similar study of Medicare occurring at the other three agencies. Additionally, I will be checking other recent reports as well.

As the phrase "Congressional support agencies" implies, the General Accounting Office, in theory, has the role of supporting Congress. Each new member of Congress receives a pamphlet entitled "Serving the Congress" which states, "Supporting the Congress is G.A.O.'s fundamental responsibility. We do this by providing a variety of services- the most prominent of which are audits and evaluations (reviews) of federal programs.(7) However straight forward as this seems, the General Accounting Office's independence brings the primary idea of serving Congress into question. During my time at the General Accounting Office I hope to gauge the strength of the Congressional support aim/role in the actual workings of the organization. To this end, I am observing how often and with what tone Congress is considered in the day-to-day workings and how many of G.A.O's are done at the request of Congress (in contrast to how are self-initiated). In other words, I will determine if Congress is the major beneficiary of the organization's work.

Another aspect of its role of supporting Congress is the idea that the General Accounting Office is suppose to be non-partisan and non-political. (8) The office of Comptroller General, as the head of the General Accounting Office, is "politically invulnerable," according to John Heilemann.(9) The presidential appointment carries a fifteen year term (longer than any other position in government, except judges), removable only by an impeachment process.(10) Additionally, it carries a full salary retirement, designed to ensure that it will be the office-holder's last job, thus reducing possibilities of conflict of interest.(11) However, many critics charge that the General Accounting Office has become involved in political and partisan concerns. For example, James C. Miller (President Reagan's second Budget Director) states, "All to frequently, G.A.O. has been politicized by members of Congress..."(12) Similarly, "Republicans in the Reagan and Bush Administrations complain that the G.A.O. is used by senior Democrats in "Congress to 'micromanage' the executive branch," according to the New York Times.(13) During my internship, I hope to gauge the level of politicization of the General Accounting Office. To do this, I am listening to elevator comments about expressly political reports and determine how the organization responds to highly political requests by Congress.

The second category of theory is concerned with the General Accounting Office as policy analyst and auditor. One aspect of this is the General Accounting Office's balance between auditing and evaluating work. As its name suggests, the agency is traditionally thought of (by itself and others) as Congress' "accounting agency."(14) Until the 1970's it concentrated mostly on audits despite the fact that it did have program evaluation directives from the time of its creation in 1921.(15) It was not until 1969 that the General Accounting Office completed its first full program evaluation. (16) Since that time the transition from solely auditing to evaluation has been very difficult. The House Select Committee on Congressional Operations in 1978 issued a report stating, "It is also an agency in transition, experiencing a sometimes painful and uneven evolution from its relatively narrow accounting and auditing functions to the broader, more demanding requirements of policy analysis and program evaluations." (17) By 1976, then Comptroller General Elmer B. Staats believed hat the General Accounting Office was equally divided between auditing and evaluation. (18) During my time at the agency, I hope to determine what is the true current balance and relationship between the two. To this end, I am determining the background of evaluators to determine how many are accountants/financial auditors by training or tradition. Additionally, by determining the topics of current studies could suggest if they are audit or evaluation work. Finally, I have observed this issue is hotly debated literally every day in the office. Thus I believe I will also gain a lot of information from these discussions.

Another aspect of policy analyst work is the degree to which the General Accounting Office follows established guidelines and specific tasks in completing policy analysis. There are established practices for virtually every method of evaluation and audit. For my purposes, only those applicable to the evaluation that I am primarily assigned to are realistic for me to observe. During my time with the agency, I will be assisting in a study of quality assurances provided by Peer Review Organizations for outpatient surgery in the Medicare program. This is being conducted through a self-administered questionnaire mailed to Medicare recipients who had outpatient surgery during the last quarter of 1990. This study is in the data collection stage: the surveys are being mailed and returned. According to Allen J. Putt and J. Fred Springer, there are some accepted practices of conducting a self-administered questionnaire in the data collection stage in order to assure an acceptable response rate: 1. Include a cover letter justifying the study and the importance of each response. 2. Protect the privacy of the respondents and assure them of that fact. 3. Make the questionnaire "attractive," "eye-catching," and "uncluttered." 4. "Ask the minimum number of questions need to fulfill information needs. 5. "Be courteous in wording." For example, use "please" and thank the participants for their responses. 6. Mail the survey with a first class stamp to avoid it looking like junk mail. Finally, 7. Use follow-ups to encourage non-respondents to complete the survey.(19) Putt and Springer assert that even using these techniques, responses rates rarely exceed seventy percent. (20) Another aspect of questionnaires in the data collections stage, according to Putt and Springer, is the necessity of assessing the effects of non-respondents in the sample.(21) Essentially, this is completed by equating their make-up (ie. their income level, minority, etc.) to see if it matches the respondents.(22) During my internship, I hope to observe if the General Accounting Office completes these specific steps and to observe their repose rate in this evaluation.

Another aspect of the General Accounting Office's policy analysis work is the degree of validity and accuracy of its reports. The agency's reports are highly regarded in this aspect. The New York Times states that it has "consistently turned out top-quality research." Similarly, The Times report that even "White House officials often concede the validity of G.A.O. findings."(24.) During my time at the General Accounting Office I hope to see if this reputation is deserved or if its just a underserved image. I hope to observe how meticulous, thorough, and accurate the evaluators are in gathering information and by determining what specific steps the agency takes to ensure quality.

Another category of theory that I will be testing through my internship is concerned with operations. More specifically, there are several theories about the General Accounting Agency's staffing that I would like to test. For example, The New York Times attributes much of the agency's success its staff, coming from a variety of disciplines, with a high level of "expertise."(25) I would like to determine the level "expertise" of the staff by determining how many have graduate degrees and what sort of grade point averages they carry. Additionally, I would like to see what type of disciplines they are trained in. This is of particular interest to me because of the General Accounting Office's recruiters once told me that all of the agency's employees are generalists, which would seemingly contradict the idea of technical expertise.(26) Another aspect of staffing which I would like to test is the idea that the agency has a difficult time holding staff because large portions of its evaluators are hired away by it auditees within the first few years of their service. According to several career civil servants, this opinion is widely held within the Executive Departments.(27) I would like to test this by determining the average length of service of the office's evaluators. Additionally, I have already asked the Staffing Director for information on how many of this last year's departees left for a position with an auditee.

In conclusion, during my internship at the United States General Accounting Office, I will be testing concepts about its relationship with Congress, policy analysis, and staffing.

FOOT NOTES

  1. Richard E. Cohen, "The Watchdogs for Congress Often Bark the Same Tune," National Journal 11 (1979): 1484
  2. United States General Accounting Office, Office of Recruiting, Making A Difference In Government (District of Columbia: United States General Accounting Office, unknown date) 11.
  3. Cohen 1484.
  4. Thomas N. Bethell, "The Best Job in Washington," Washington Monthly April 1980: 19-20
  5. Cohen 1484.
  6. Cohen 1484.
  7. United States General Accounting Office, Serving the Congress: The General Accounting Office (District of Columbia: The General Accounting Office, unknown date) 3.
  8. Larry Light, "General Accounting Office Pounces on Policy Issues," Congressional Quaterly 37 (1979): 2648.
  9. John Heilemann, "Congress Watch Dog: Mostly It Still Goes For The Capillaries," Washington Monthly, November 1989: 39.
  10. Bethell 12.
  11. Bethell 12.
  12. "An Office That Has The Capitol's EAr," (Reprint) New York Times, July 30, 1990: 1.
  13. An Office 1.
  14. An Office 1.
  15. James W. Singer, "When the Evaluators Are Evaluated, The G.A.O. Often Gets Low Marks," National Journal, 11 (1976): 1889.
  16. Singer 1889.
  17. Singer 1889.
  18. Elmer S. Staats, "The Use of Social Sciences In The Changing Role of The GAO," Policy Studies Journal, 7 (1976): 821.
  19. Allen D. Putt and J. Fred Springer, Policy Research: Concepts, Methods, and Applications, (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989) 220.
  20. Putt 206.
  21. Putt 189.
  22. Putt 189.
  23. An Office 1.
  24. An Office 1.
  25. An Office 2.
  26. This statement was made by G.A.O. recruiter (whose name I do not know) at the University of Colorado's Internship Fair during the 1988-1989 school year.
  27. Charles R. Tulloss, George Detsis, and Don Bock. Personal Interviews, May 1991.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bethell, Thomas N. "The Best Job In Washington." Washington Monthly, April 1980: 12-16.

Cohen, Richard E. "The Watchdogs For Congress Often Bark The Same Tune." National Journal, 11 (1979): 1484-1488.

Heilemann, John. "Congress's Watch Dog: Mostly It Still Goes For The Capillaries." Washington Monthly, November 1989: 38-42.

Light, Larry. "General Accounting Office Pounces On Policy Issues." Congressional Quaterly, 37 (1979); 2647-2652.

"An Office That Has Capitol's Ear." New York Times. July 39, 1990: unknown page(reprint).

Putt Allen D., and J. Fred Springer. Policy Research: Concepts, Methods Applications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1989.

Shively, W. Phillips. Power and Choice: An Introduction to Polictial Science. NY, NY: McGraw-Hill, 1991.

Singer James S. "When the Evaluators are Evaluated, The GAO often Gets Low Marks." National Journal, 11 (1979): 1889-1892.

Staats, Elmer B. "G.A.O., Evaluations, and the Legislative Process." G.A.O. Review, Fall 1978: 24-29.

"The Use of Social Science in the Changing Role of the G.A.O." Policy Studies Journal, 7 (1976): 820-826.

Tulloss, Charles R., George Detsis, and Don Bock. Personal interview. May, 1991.

United States. General Accounting Office. Office of Recruiting. "Making a Difference in Government." District of Columbia: United States General Accounting Office, undated. "Serving The Congress." District of Columbia: United States General Accounting Office, undated.

SAMPLE PAPER #2

The ground-level, "Intro. to American Government" assumption of the role a state legislature performs in the American political system is that it should represent the people. The role of the United States Congress is also to represent the people, but presumably in a broader sense, farther removed form the "nuts and bolts" that are left to the state legislatures. The "nuts and bolts" take the form of local agencies (more specific agents than their federal cousin-agencies), which reflect more locally-oriented norms.

My view of the state legislature and of state government generally (culled from American Political System taken at a community college and high school American Government courses0, is that the state is left with responsibility for policy matters that are, in effect, "closer to home." This includes, in my mind, education, health and human services, intrastate trade and commerce (including labor relations), and a great deal of civil matters. Other state concerns include transportation and factors in the local (statewide) economy, e.g. tourist, and agriculture in Colorado.

Further, I perceive the state government, and thus the legislature, as being able to "fill in" the blanks left by the broader decisions of the federal government (concerned with issues like defense and international relations) and the judiciary concerned with only the most sweeping social and legal questions). I've always perceived this system as facilitating a more direct democracy, giving local individuals the greatest voice in the matters that affect them most: local matters. In this way, local morals and values are given some sway while the largest, unanimously agreed-upon principles, embodied in the federal government, still retain their sovereignty.

This is itself only a hypothesis. With federal funding increasingly used as leverage against cash-strapped states. I'm not sure that my "theory of local autonomy" is valid. Also it is questionable whether there exists a single, or even a few, set(s) of local values that can and should be reflected through the policy making decisions of a legislature. This is particularly true in a state s diverse as Colorado. The legislature, located in urban Denver and undoubtedly influenced by its atmosphere, may not be a way for locals in Holyoke or walsenburg to exercise power where the federal government has not.

In his book "Local and State Government," David Saffell articulates the state legislature's functions more systematically. Legislators are to represent their constituencies, including acting as liaisons and aiding in individual's dealing with state agencies, responding to personal inquiries and policy making suggestions. Legislators are further supposed to furnish their constituents with reasons for their voting choices.

According to Saffell, the legislature is further responsible for review and oversight of the governor and state administration. This is accomplished through the legislature's power to approve the state budget, convene committee hearings, and affirm executive (e.g. judicial) appointments. The "power of the purse" gives the legislature the means to check programs or proposals of the governor that it does not approve.

But, traditionally, the greatest power of the legislature--and the source of its name--is the power to make laws, and in doing so, to create the policy which will govern its constituents. Saffell sees this as including the responsibility to go beyond simply rubber-stamping the governor's program or the individual and unconnected bills of particular legislators, and rather to initiate policy proposals on the important issues--as the legislature perceives them--as well.

Robert S. Lorch's book, "Colorado's Government," goes further, giving the details of how the above outlined processes are accomplished. For instance, he discusses how committees serve both legislative and oversight factions. References committees help to narrow and adapt bills in such a way as to make them more acceptable to the entire legislature, theoretically. However, committee assignments can used to kill a bill before it may have been given adequate examination. The Joint Budget Committee particularly provides oversight by determining the fiscal needs of state institutions which in turn are received by the individual appropriations committees.

Lorch suggests that, in most state legislatures, the governor rides roughshod over the legislature in terms of budget decisions, with the legislators merely going through the motions of creating a budget while actually approving the budget choices of the executive branch. Yet Lorch sees Colorado's JBC as an exception that has not "abandoned" its budget responsibilities.

The Lorch book for me suggests several hypotheses. First, does the committee system the legislature has adopted, presumably in hopes of facilitating the representative process, truly serve the purpose of meeting our compromise and achieving good? Or is it simply a barrier to the creation of effective new policy, based as it is largely on the committee choices of the presiding officer of the house?

The same types of questions can be asked about the two houses and their respective multiple hurdles which a bill must pass before becoming law. Do these obstacles prevent capricious legislation or do they merely favor the status quo by making it difficult for innovative legislation to be passed?

Another hypothesis the Lorch book suggest concerns the power of the governor vs. the power of the legislature. In my particular placement (a democratic senator's office), I've heard it said by a staffer that the democrats in the Senate (a minority) are more conservative than the democrats in the House, who are in turn more conservative than Governor Romer, who is considered quite liberal in the office. Apparently there has been some past friction between the three, but particularly between the General Assemble and the governor. I've also heard Senator Pastore (who I am working with) express his distaste with the media's focus on the governor, to the exclusion of the legislature. My own personal feeling during the governor's State of the State address was that what he was saying was largely symbolic and that his agenda would have little bearing on the workings and issues focused on in the General Assembly.

If Lorch is correct in saying that the Colorado Legislature is exceptional in the degree of control it exerts on policy, particularly in the area of funding, my opinion that the assembly and the governor have a great deal of separate power would correlate well. It would further coordinate with the traditional view of executive and legislative "checks and balances," offering evidence that the system is working well at the state level. My hypotheses is that it does. yet, it may be that partisan politics, not check and balances, explain the differences in opinion and apparent power in Colorado's case.

In terms of the Senate specifically, the view is that its members, with longer terms, are more insulated form the constant tumult of public opinion and can better represent the interests of the people and not jut their immediate opinions (this is taken form Carla Shuh's Introduction to Political Theory course here at CU). I would like to find out if the Senate Truly press, than the House of Representatives, which is subject to more frequent election pressure.

Finally, I would like to determine if the views of the Senate as merely a springboard for political careers or an elite "social club" for its members (views mention by both Saffell and Lorch and echoed in everyday conversation), hold any truth. I've already seen a great deal of "clubby" behavior and an endless (and always free) social calendar at the Capitol. I want to see if their are many members who stay on for any length of time, and if the fraternal behavior is borne out over the session in voting. My hypothesis concerning the Senate as a career-builder is that it is true to an extent; the Senate group pictures form years past are full of figures who have advanced to the federal government or to governor (e.g. United States Senator Bill Armstrong, etc.). My hypothesis concerning the club environments is that it will not dampen debate and dissent during the session.

GRADUATE FACULTY

ANDERSON, LESLIE:      COMPARATIVE POLITICS; DEVELOPING NATIONS;  
                       LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS; PEASANT STUDIES

BEER, FRANK:           PEACE AND WAR; WORLD ORDER; WORLD FUTURES;
                       INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY; POST-MODERN THEORY

BRUMBAUGH, SUSAN:      QUANTITATIVE METHODS; LARGE-SCALE
                       ORGANIZATIONS AND URBAN SOCIOLOGY

BRUNNER, RONALD:       THEORY AND PRACTICE OF POLICY SCIENCES'
                       INFORMATION SYSTEMS; POLITICAL SYMBOLS

CHAMBERS, SIMONE:      CONTEMPORARY CONTINENTAL & AMERICAN
                       POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; CRITICAL THEORY

CHAN, STEVE:           INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS; FOREIGN POLICY;
                       DECISION MAKING; POLITICAL ECONOMY; CHINA
CIOFFI-REVILLA         INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS; WAR AND PEACE     
  CLAUDIO:             RESEARCH; MATHEMATICAL MODELING AND        
                       METHODOLOGY 
CLARKE, SUSAN:         PUBLIC FORMATION; ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
                       POLICY; URBAN  POLITICAL ECONOMY.

COSTAIN, ANNE:         AMERICAN POLITICS; INTEREST GROUPS AND
                       SOCIAL MOVEMENTS; GENDER POLITICS; POLITICAL 
                       CHANGE

DODD, LAWRENCE:        AMERICAN POLITICS; LEGISLATIVE POLITICS;
                       COMPARATIVE POLITICS; THEORY AND
                       EPISTEMOLOGY

ECKART, DENNIS:        PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS; URBAN POLITICS;
                       PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION; POLITICAL ETHICS

FITCH, SAM:            LATIN AMERICAN POLITICS, MILITARY AND
                       POLITICS; PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS

GREENBERG, ED:         AMERICAN POLITICS, POLITICAL ECONOMY;
                       ECONOMIC AND INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY

HERO, RODNEY:          URBAN/ETHIC POLITICS; STATE AND LOCAL
                       GOVERNMENT; FEDERALISM

JILLSON, CALVIN:       AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT; DEVELOPMENT OF
                       AMERICAN POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS

KOPSTEIN, JEFF:        COMPARATIVE POLITICS, EASTERN EUROPE AND
                       SOVIET UNION POLITICAL ANTHROPOLOGY;       
                       POLITICAL ECONOMY

LESTER, CHARLES:       PUBLIC LAW AND ADMINISTRATION; LAW AND
                       MODERN SOCIAL THEORY; JURISPRUDENCE AND    
                       SOCIAL POLICY

LICHBACH, MARK:        COMPARATIVE POLITICS; SOCIAL CHOICE THEORY

MAPEL, DAVID:          CONTEMPORARY ANGLO-AMERICAN POLITICAL
                       PHILOSOPHY; THEORIES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE

MARABLE, MANNING:      BLACK POLITICS; POLITICAL SOCIOLOGY; AFRICAN
                       AND CARIBBEAN POLITICS

MEWES, HORST:          POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY; ENVIRONMENTAL
                       MOVEMENTS AND POLITICS

SAFRAN, WILLIAMS:      COMPARATIVE POLITICS; WESTERN EUROPE;
                       POLITICAL PARTIES; INTEREST GROUPS; ETHNIC 
                       POLITICS

SCARRIT, JAMES:        COMPARATIVE POLITICS; SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA;
                       POLITICAL CHANGE; ETHNICITY; HUMAN RIGHTS
SKURINIK, W.A.E:       INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS; AFRICA; US FOREIGN
                       POLICY; PRESS FREEDOM

SLOAN, DANIEL:         NATIONAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOV'T; NATIONAL
                       SECURITY BUDGETING; PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION  
                       AND POLICY

STEINMO, SVEN:         COMPARATIVE POLITICS; WESTERN EUROPE; PUBLIC
                       POLICY; POLITICAL ECONOMY

STONE, WALTER:         AMERICAN POLITICS; LEGISLATIVE
                       REPRESENTATION; POLITICAL PARTIES AND      
                       ELECTIONS/POL. RES. QTLY.

STRINE, MICHAEL:       PUBLIC LAW; AMERICAN POLITICS; PUBLIC POLICY
                       AND ORGANIZATION THEORY

TANNENWALD, NINA:      INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, INTERNATIONAL
                       INSTITUTIONS; LAW AND ORGANIZATION;
                       INTERNATIONAL SECURITY; NUCLEAR HISTORY,   
                       POLITICAL THEORY; INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL  
                       THEORY; PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE;      
                       POLITICAL ECONOMY

WARD, MICHAEL:         INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS; EMPIRICAL THEORY
                       AND METHODOLOGY

EMERITUS PROFESSORS

CODDING, GEORGE:       INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; WESTERN EUROPE;
                       TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY

GOODNOW, HENRY:        THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PUBLIC PROFESSOR
                       ADMINISTRATION; S. ASIA; ETHIOPIA; SMALL
                       CITIES

KERYSTUFEK, ZDENEK: HISTORY OF LEGAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY;

COMPARATIVE LEGAL SYSTEMS

McBRIDE, CONRAD: AMERICAN GOVERNMENT; US PRESIDENCY

PFAFF, RICHARD:        POLITICAL CHANGE INT EH MUSLIM MIDDLE EAST;
                       INTERNATIONAL POLITICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

ROZEK, EDWARD:         COMPARATIVE POLITICS; INTERNATIONAL
                       RELATIONS; SOVIET UNION; EASTERN EUROPE

WINTER, WILLIAM:       NORTH AMERICAN AND EUROPEAN URBAN POLITICS;
                       AMERICAN FEDERALISM; PLANNING AND FINANCE

Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 09:31:32 -0700 (MST)