PA501 Public Affairs Concepts & Theory

for FAP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

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, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.

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


FAP 2012 GSD


Gordon, Janice L.


Adjunct Faculty


Master Public Administration
Bachelor of Arts
Associate of Arts

Daytime Phone

816 694 3007

Other Phone

816 694 3007


Semester Dates

Aug. 20 through Dec. 10 2012

Class Days


Class Time

5:45 - 8:15 PM

Credit Hours



DeParle, Jason. 2004. American Dream. NewYork: Penguin Group

de Tocqueville, Alexis. 2003. Democracy In America and Two Essays on American. New York: Penguin Group 2003.

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

Friedman, Thomas L. and Mandelbaum, Michael. 2011. That Used To Be Us. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Fry, Brian and Jos C.N. Raadschelders. 2008. Mastering Public Administraon. 2nd ed. Chatham House Publishers.

Jordan, Terry L. 2004. The U.S. Constitution: And Fascinating Facts About It. Napeville, IL: Oak Hill Publishin Company, 2004.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. 2006. Field Notes from a Catastrophe. New York: Bloomsbury USA.

Putnam, Robert D. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. Fireside Paperbacks.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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

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 contradictions.

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

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Understand and explain the responsibilities and relationships between different levels of government.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

Weekly discussion questions, analysis papers, final paper, and participation/attendance.


Assigned homework papers = 5 papers X 50 points each = 250

Theorist Comparison Paper and Presentation = 75 points

Final Paper = 150 points

Participation and attendance = 125 points

Total = 600 points

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Late submission of written assignements will result in 2 percent reduction per day that the paper is late unless instructor approves otherwise.  A late submission can be made at any time through e-mail to  Waiting one week to submit a late paper will result in an immediate 14 percent grade reduction. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students should make every attempt to arrive at class on time prepared to participate in each session's discussion and activities.  Mutual respect should be shown at all times in expressing opinions and in listening to those of others.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week                                   Date                                   Assignments

1                                        8/20               Topic: The U.S. Constitution 

                                                                                       Reading Completed: Jordan Book, All

2                                        8/27               Topic: Max Weber and Frederick Taylor

                                                                                        Reading Completed: Fry, Chapers 1 and 2 - Weber and Taylor

3                                        9/3                Labor Day; NO CLASS

4                                        9/10               Topic: Democracy in America

                                                                                         Reading Completed: Tocqueville Book (Volume 1 only)

5                                        9/17                 Topic: Field Notes from a Catastrophe

                                                                                           Reading Completed: Kolbert book (All)
                                                                                          Writing Assignment Due: (Tocqueville Vol. 1)

6                                        9/24                Topic: Luther Gulick

                                                                                            Reading Completed: Fry, Chapter 3

                                                                                            Writing Assignment Due: Kolbert

7                                       10/1                 Topic: American Dream

                                                                                            Reading Completed: DeParle Book (All)

8                                       10/8               Topic: Mary Parker Follet

                                                                                            Reading Completed: Fry, Chapter 4

                                                                                            Writing Assignment Due: DeParle

9                                       10/15             Fall Recess - No class

10                                     10/22             Topic: That Used to be Us

                                                                                             Reading Completed: Friedman and Mandalbaum (All)

11                                     10/29            Topic: Elton Mayor

                                                                                             Reading Completed: Fry, Chapter 5

                                                                                             Writing Assignment Due: Friedman analysis paper

12                                     11/5                Topic: Bowling Alone

                                                                                              Reading Completed: Putnam Book (All)

13                                     11/12              Topic: Chester Barnard and Herbert Simon

                                                                                              Reading Completed: Fry, Chapters 6 and 7

                                                                                              Writing Assignment Due: Analysis, Bowling Alone

14                                     11/19            Topic: The Essential Drucker

                                                                                               Reading Completed: Drucker book (All)

15                                     11/26            Topic: Charles Lindblom and Dwight Waldo

                                                                                               Reading Completed: Fry, Chapters 8 and 9

16                                     12/3              Topic: Theorist Comparison Papers and Presentations

17                                     12/10              Topic: Wrap Up: Final Paper Due Monday, Dec. 10, 2012

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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21


Plagiarism is 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 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 21

Attendance Policy:

Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools. Park University 2011-2012 Graduate Catalog Page 25

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:6/4/2012 5:38:29 PM