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PA 501 Public Affairs Concepts and Theory
Bergrud, Erik O.


COURSE SYMBOL AND NUMBER: PA 501

COURSE TITLE: Public Affairs Concepts and Theory

TERM COURSE BEING TAUGHT:  FAP 2004

NAME OF FACULTY MEMBER: Erik Bergrud

TITLE OF FACULTY MEMBER: Graduate Adjunct Instructor

FACULTY OFFICE HOURS: 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. US Central Time (M-F); 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. US Central Time (M-R)

FACULTY OFFICE TELEPHONE NUMBER: (816) 891-2490

FACULTY PARK EMAIL ADDRESS: erik.bergrud@pirate.park.edu

OTHER FACULTY EMAIL ADDRESS: ebergrud@swbell.net

DATES OF THE TERM:  8/23/2004 – 12/19/2004

CLASS SESSIONS DAYS: Online Course

CLASS SESSION TIME: Online Course

PREREQUISITE(S): N/A

CREDIT HOURS: 3

 

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

 

VISION STATEMENT

Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION: An introduction to the field of public affairs and to the current problems in the area. Public affairs will be related to concepts of organizational theory and organizational behavior with an emphasis on the special nature of public organizations. The areas of the MPA program and their interrelationships will be explained.

 

FACULTY’S EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY: The basic goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the field and an introduction to its segments as well as to their interrelationships.  Recognizing that the class is comprised of adult learners, the instructor facilitates intelligent discussion of key issues rather than lecturing in a traditional sense.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, students should:

  • Become acquainted with the basic concepts of public affairs and organizational theory
  • Understand the relationships of the social, economic and political aspects of public affairs
  • Recognize the complexity of public problems and the issues underlying their attempted solutions within a democratic political system
  • Discover the connections between the study of public affairs and organizational theory
  • Develop personal approaches and opinion about the solution of public problems
  • Build awareness of the ethical dimensions of public affairs

COURSE TEXTBOOK(S): Robert B. Denhardt, Theories of Public Organization, 4th edition.  Stamford, CT: Wadsworth Publishing, 2003.

Peter F. Drucker, The Essential Drucker.   New York: HarperBusiness, 2001.

Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree.  New York: Anchor Books, 2000.

Paul S. Grogan and Tony Proscio, Comeback Cities: A Blueprint for Urban Neighborhood Revival.  Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000.

Robert W. McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics in Dubious Times.  New York: New Press, 2000.

Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community.  New York: Touchstone Books, 2001.

Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, 2nd edition. London: Routledge, 2001.

 

ACADEMIC HONESTY: “Academic Honesty is required of all members of a learning community.  Hence, Park will not tolerate cheating or plagiarism on tests, examinations, papers or other course assignments.  Students who engage in such dishonesty may be given failing grades or expelled from Park.”

 

PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism—the appropriation or imitation of the language or ideas of another person and presenting them as one’s original work—sometimes occurs through carelessness or ignorance.  Students who are uncertain about proper documentation of sources should consult their instructors.”

 

ATTENDANCE POLICY: Instructors are required to keep attendance records and report absences.  The instructor may excuse absences for cogent reasons, but missed work must be made up within the term of enrollment.  Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.  In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of “F”.  An Incomplete will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.  Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance (TA) or Veterans Administration (VA) educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.  Reports of F grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for students receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

 

LATE SUBMISSION OF COURSE MATERIALS: Each week's work must be completed by the end of that week. Remember, a week is defined as beginning at 12:00 a.m. US Eastern Time Monday morning and ending at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time Sunday night. There will be no credit for work turned in after the week, unless you have contacted me beforehand and explained any "special" circumstance. Deadlines not met during the week will mean your grade will be lowered one-third of a letter grade for each day late (e.g, from A to A-).

 

COURSE ASSESSMENT: Class participation, analysis papers

CLASSROOM RULES OF CONDUCT: A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the semester and ends midnight the following Sunday. Assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be completed and successfully submitted, or postmarked, so that they are in my hands on the due date. This applies to mailed assignments and papers submitted online. Note: Because this is an online course designed to obtain feedback on assignments to you directly via the Internet, you must make prior arrangements with me before submitting a paper via fax or the postal service. If you ever have problems transmitting your assignments to me, telephone me immediately, and we will get the problem solved.

Ground Rules for Online Participation
  • Students should use e-mail for private messages to the instructor and other students. The weekly discussion threads are for public messages. Students may use the BREAK ROOM to socialize with classmates.
  • Students are expected to complete 5-6 hours per week of conferencing or other appropriate on-line activities, including sending/receiving e-mail and navigating and conducting research over the World Wide Web.
  • Each student must participate and respond weekly to threaded online discussions. Conventions of "online etiquette," which include courtesy to all users, will be observed. During issues discussion students must be able to express themselves with complete sentences in order for them to get a full credit. "Yes/no" or "I agree" must be justified otherwise your answers to the discussion will not be accepted. All discussions must be within the limit of the topic under consideration; and to be able to do so, students must be able to understand the topic. If you do not understand the topic, feel free to contact me for further explanation.
  • Students may get assistance with computer-related problems through the instructor.
  • Assigned papers may be submitted via the postal service or fax only if arrangements are made with the instructor beforehand.

Policy #1: If you experience computer difficulties (need help downloading a browser or plug-in, you need help logging into the course, or if you experience any errors or problems while in your online course, please contact Park’s School of Online Learning for assistance.

Policy #2:  Back up: every piece of work you complete. This will ensure that a computer glitch, or a glitch out there in cyberspace won't erase your hard work.

Policy #3:  Communicate: If you are experiencing any confusion over course material, technical difficulties that are not being resolved and are preventing you from completing your assignments, or general questions about the course, let me know and refer to Course Policy #1.

Policy #4: Please check the FAQ threaded discussion area before you ask general course questions.  If you don't see your question there, then please post your question.  Posting them in the threaded discussion area will allow your fellow students to benefit from your questions.  And remember, there are no stupid/silly questions.  We are all here to learn!

Policy #5:  E-Mail Procedures and Submitting

General e-mail: When sending e-mail other than assignments, you must identify yourself fully by name and class in all e-mail sent to me and/or other members of our class.

I will check my e-mail frequently. I will respond to course related questions within 24-48 hours (unless I notify you previously if I will be unavailable).

When files are sent attached to an e-mail message (with advanced permission), the files should be in either Microsoft Word XP (or lower), Microsoft Excel XP (or lower), Microsoft PowerPoint XP (or lower), RTF, ASCII, txt, or PDF file formats.

Policy #6  Late Work: Each week's work must be completed by the end of that week. Remember, a week is defined as beginning at 12:00 a.m. US Eastern Time Monday morning and ending at 11:59 p.m. US Eastern Time Sunday night. There will be no credit for work turned in after the week, unless you have contacted me beforehand and explained any "special" circumstance. Deadlines not met during the week will mean your grade will be lowered one-third of a letter grade for each day late (e.g, from A to A-).

Policy #7  Online Etiquette: All your online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty and tact. Your online writings will be graded. Here are a couple of online references that discuss writing online http://goto.intwg.com and netiquette http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html . NOTE: If you disagree with a point in someone's assignment, please be diplomatic in presenting your opposing point of view. It is important to be sensitive to how your words might be interpreted by the other student especially in front of the class. Boundaries need to be maintained about attacking the other person's intelligence. It is important to stay focused on the specific idea you disagree with and provide supporting information from text or other web sites that validate your point of view. It is not acceptable to say that you disagree and leave it at that.

Policy #8  Attendance: Attendance in this online course is determined by your keeping up to date with conference discussions and assignments. You are required to participate in threaded discussions weekly and to turn in assigned work when due. Failure to "show up" for the weekly work will be considered an equivalent of one class-time absence. Two class-time absences will result in your final grade being lowered by one grade. Computers do crash. This is not a legitimate excuse to "miss" class.  It is your responsibility to notify me by phone, or to find another means (e.g., at a public library or Kinko's) to submit your work.

Policy #9  Courtesy Code: I expect you follow rules of common courtesy in all your e-mail messages and your critiques. If I deem any of them to be inappropriate or offensive, I will forward the message to the appropriate Park University official and the Online administrators and appropriate action will be taken.

DISABILITY GUIDELINES: Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance.  These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal.  It is Park University’s policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply.  Additional information concerning Park University’s policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: www.park.edu/disability

 

COURSE TOPICS/DATES/ASSIGNMENTS:

Week

Date

Topics/Assignments

1

8/23 – 8/29

a) Introduce yourself to your classmates by posting a message in the BREAK ROOM.

b) Read Denhardt, Chapter 1

2

8/30 – 9/5

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 2

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 1, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Two discussion question: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's first chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

3

9/6 – 9/12

a) Read the Weber book

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 2, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Three discussion question: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's second chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

4

9/13 – 9/19

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 3

b) Answer the Week Four discussion question: "What meaning does Weber's book have for 21st century America?"  Your response must be greater than 100 words.

c) Please complete the Week 4 analysis paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) RELEVANCE. Relate the concepts found in this book with those in another textbook from this course.
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  How has reading Weber's book affected your understanding of public affairs?

5

9/20 – 9/26

a) Read the McChesney book

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 3, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Five discussion question: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's third chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

6

9/27 – 10/3

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 4

b) Answer the Week Six discussion question: "Did McChesney's book impress you or offend you?  Why?"   Your response must be greater than 100 words.

c) Please complete the Week 6 analysis paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) RELEVANCE. Relate the concepts found in this book with those in another textbook from this course.
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  How has reading McChesney's book affected your understanding of public affairs?

7

10/4 – 10/10

a) Read the Grogan and Proscio book

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 4, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Seven discussion question: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's fourth chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

8

10/11 – 10/17

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 5

b) Answer the Week Eight discussion question: "Has reading the Grogan and Proscio book changed your outlook on the future of America's cities? Why or why not?"  Your response must be greater than 100 words.

c) Please complete the Week 8 analysis paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) RELEVANCE. Relate the concepts found in this book with those in another textbook from this course.
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  How has reading the Grogan and Proscio book affected your understanding of public affairs?

9

10/18 – 10/24

No class

10

10/25 – 10/31

a) Read the Friedman book

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 5, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Ten discussion question: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's fifth chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

11

11/1 – 11/7

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 6

b) Answer the Week Eleven discussion question: "Friedman wrote The Lexus and the Olive Tree well before the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  Is reading this book still relevant to students' understanding of foreign affairs and globalization?  Why or why not?"  Your response must be greater than 100 words.

c) Please complete the Week 11 analysis paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) RELEVANCE. Relate the concepts found in this book with those in another textbook from this course.
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  How has reading Friedman's book affected your understanding of public affairs?

12

11/8 – 11/14

a) Read the Putnam book

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 6, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Twelve discussion question: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's sixth chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

13

11/15 – 11/21

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 7

b) Answer the Week Thirteen discussion question: "Having read Putnam's book, what do you think could be done to foster civic participation in this country?"  Your response must be greater than 100 words.

c) Please complete the Week 13 analysis paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) RELEVANCE. Relate the concepts found in this book with those in another textbook from this course.
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  How has reading Putnam's book affected your understanding of public affairs?

14

11/22 – 11/28

a) Read the Drucker book

b) View my Denhardt, Chapter 7, PowerPoint Show.

c) Answer the Week Fourteen discussion question in the CONFERENCE area: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's seventh chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

15

11/29 – 12/5

a) Read Denhardt, Chapter 8

b) Answer the Week Fifteen discussion question: "Peter Drucker is considered by many to be the greatest management expert of the 20th century.  After having read his book, why do you believe that is so?"  Your response must be greater than 100 words.

c) Please complete the Week 15 analysis paper.  Your paper must include the following sections:
(1) CENTRAL THEME.  What is the central theme of the book?  This segment of the paper may not exceed one typewritten page in length.
(2) RELEVANCE. Relate the concepts found in this book with those in another textbook from this course.
(3) PUBLIC AFFAIRS IMPLICATIONS.  Public affairs is understood by the Hauptmann School of Public Affairs to be the field of study which shows the interrelationships between the activities of government (on all its levels) with other elements of the social and economic systems.  How has reading Drucker's book affected your understanding of public affairs?

16

12/6 – 12/12

a) View my Denhardt, Chapter 8, PowerPoint Show.

b) Answer the Week Sixteen discussion question in the CONFERENCE area: "What is the central theme of Denhardt's eighth chapter?"  Your response must be greater than 50 words.

17

12/13 – 12/19

Please respond to the following scenario in a paper of no less than 10 pages in length double-spaced in Times New Roman size 12 font (cover pages, endnotes and bibliographies do not count toward that 10 page minimum):

Tim Russert, host of NBC's Sunday morning program, Meet the Press, has invited you to be a special guest on his show.  He asks you to identify the challenges facing public administration in the United States and recommend steps that should be taken to strengthen our governmental system and our society.  Your response must include references to each of the books you read in this class.  You must use established protocol for citing references within your paper (e.g., Chicago Manual of Style).  I prefer endnotes to footnotes.

 

GRADING PLAN:

The following weights will be assigned to the course requirements:

Class participation (as outlined in the course policies) - 40%
Week 17 (Final) assignment - 30%
Week 4 analysis paper - 5%
Week 6 analysis paper - 5%
Week 8 analysis paper - 5%
Week 11 analysis paper - 5%
Week 13 analysis paper - 5%
Week 15 analysis paper - 5%

Grading Scale

Final grades will be computed based on the following point scale:
90-100: A
80-89: B
70-79: C
60-69: D
0-59: F