PA501 Public Affairs Concepts & Theory

for SPP 2011

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Mission Statement: The mission of the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Park University is to provide leadership and directions to Park University's graduate and professional programs to assure that they are specialized, scholarly, innovative, and designed to educate students to be creative, independent, and lifelong learners within the context of a global community.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Mission Statement
The Hauptmann School of Public Affairs offers a citizen-centered, professional program of graduate study that is grounded in the liberal arts tradition.  As participants in HSPA's vibrant academic community, faculty and students consider, with the coursework, the larger issues of democracy, stewardship, and technology.  In so doing, HSPA seeks to prepare students for the courage and discernment to act for the common good in the global context.  Going beyond competence, students develop knowledge, skills, and values requisite for leadership and service in and across all sectors of society, including government, business, and nonprofit.  HSPA cultivates public affairs as a life-long passion that is fundamental to citizenship in a free society.

Vision Statement: Park University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies will be an international leader in providing innovative graduate and professional educational opportunities to learners within a global society.

Hauptmann School for Public Affairs Vision Statement
The Hauptmann School for Public Affairs will serve the common good by graduating leaders who exercise authority responsibly, make ethical decisions, act with moral courage, and advance human dignity world-wide.


PA 501 Public Affairs Concepts & Theory


SPP 2011 DL


Gordon, Janice L.


Adjunct Faculty


Master Public Administration
Bachelor of Arts
Associate of Arts

Daytime Phone

816 694 3007


Semester Dates

January 10, 2011 through May 2, 2011

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Denhardt, Robert B. 2007. Theories of Public Organization. 5th edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing.
DeParle, Jason. 2004. American Dream. New York: Penguin Group.
de Tocqueville, Alexis. 2003. Democracy in American and Two Essays on Americ. New York: Penguin Group.
Drucker, Peter F. 2001.  The Essential Drucker.  New York: HarperBuisiness.
Friedman, Thomas L. 2006. The World is Flat (Updated and Expanded): A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century.
            New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Jordan, Terry L. 2004. The U.S. Constitution: And Fascinating Facts About It.  Naperville, IL: Oak Hill Publishing
            Company, 2004.
Kolbert, Elizabeth, 2006.  Field Notes From a Catastrophe.  New York: Bloomsbury USA.
Putnam, Robert D. 2000.  Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revivial of American Community.  Fireside Paperbacks.

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information
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Course Description:
PA 501 Public Affairs Concepts and Theory: 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 emphasis areas of the M.P.A. program and their interrelationships will be explained.

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's educational philosophy is one of providing each student the opportunity to consider, analyze and articulate their own views about various methods and issues in the profession of public affairs.  Through course materials and activities, each student will engage in what is referred to as disputatious learning, which encourages the lively exploration of ideas, issues and contradiction.s

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

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

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Weekly discussion questions, analysis papers, final paper and participation and attendance.


Initial Introductory Discussion Posting = 18 points
Weekly Discussion = 14 weex 13 points each = 182 points
Analysis papers = 5 papers x 75 points each = 375 points
Final Paper = 150 points
Participation and attendance = 50 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Written assignments must be submitted at the time specified each week in the online classroom.  A 2 percent reduction in grade is assessed for each day late.  Incomplete grades are not given except in extreme circumstances such as medical emergencies, which must be documented.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Postings to discussion questions should be made in a timely matter.  All postings should observe courtesy regarding postings of other students.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1       Read: Jodan book (All)  Denhardt, Chapter 1.  Week 1 lecture.  Writing assignment: Introduction posting.
Week 2       Read: Denhardt, Chapter 2. Week 2 lecture and powerpoint.  Writing assignment: Discussion question and
                   two peer responses.
Week 3       Read: de Tocqueville (Volume 1 only). Week 3 lecture and powerpoint.  Writing assignment: Discussion
                   question and two peer responses.
Week 4       Read: Denhardt, Chapter 3. Week 4 lecture.  Writing assignment: Discussion question and two peer responses,
                   Analysis Paper (Toqueville Volume 1).
Week 5      Read: Kolbert (all).  Week 5 lecture and powerpoint presentation. Writing assignment: Discussion question
                  and two peer responses.
Week 6      Read: Denhardt, Chapter 4. Week 6 lecture.  Writing assignments: Discussion question and two peer responses,
                  Analysis paper (Kolbert).
Week 7      Read: DeParle (All).   Week 7 lectutre and powerpoint presentation.  Writing assignment: Discussion
                  question and two peer response.
Week 8      Read: Denhardt, Chapter 5. Week 8 lecture and powerpoint presentation.  Writing assignment: Discussion
                  question and two peer responses; Analyis paper (DeParle).
Week 9      Spring recess
Week 10    Read: Friedman (all).  Week 10 lecture and powerpoint presentation. Writing assignment: Discussion question
                  and two peer responses.
Week 11   Read: Denhardt, Chapter 6. Week 11 lecture. Writing assignment: Discussion question and two peer responses;
                 Analysis paper (Friedman).
Week 12   Read: Putnam book (all).  Week 12 lecture and powerpoint. Writing assignment: Discussion question and two
                 peer responses.
Week 13   Read: Denhardt, Chapter 7.  Week 13 lecture.  Writing assignment: Discussion question and two peer responses.
                 Analysis paper, Putnam.
Week 14   Read: Drucker book (all)  Week 14 lecture and powerpoint.  Writing assignment: Discussion question and two
                 peer responses.
Week 15   Read: Denhardt, Chapter 8.  Week 15 lecture.  Writing assignment: Discussion question and two peer responses.
Week 16   Read: Denhardt powerpoint and Week 16 lecture.  Writing assignments: Discussion question ant two peer
                 responses.  FINAL PAPER DUE May 6 at midnight CDT.

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 20

Attendance Policy:

Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog Page 24

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 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case 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: .


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Last Updated:10/4/2010 3:54:46 PM