PADM 3601
Introduction to Public Administration
3 credit hours

Course Information
Course Description: Set within the context of contemporary political, social, economic, and administrative realities, this introductory course in public administration explores responsive, equitable, effective, efficient, and accountable governance processes, public policies, and institutional-base programs. It examines, from a multidisciplinary perspective, those essential competencies, values, and issues important to public service organizations and the importance of public policy at the local, state, national and international levels.
Course Objectives: Using a diverse set of learning experiences to present a general introduction to the principle components of public administration, completion of this course will provide the student with a general understand of the complex environment within which governance occurs as well as the duties, responsibilities, challenges and problems of public service professionals. 
Prerequisites and Corequisites: There are no formal prerequisites for this course, however, it is strongly recommended that students have completed a freshman level course in American Government.
Course Topics: This course is presented in five modules and topically follows the outline of the Rosenbloom text with case studies and addition readings augmentation from the Stillman text. Topical content presents a general introduction to the principal components of public administration, including administrative and organizational structures, decision making, planning, budgeting, public personnel administration and management, policy development, analysis, implementation and evaluation, the problems and opportunities regarding governance, inter-governmental relations and ethics and is organized as follows:

Module 1: Introduction and Overview [Prior to Class-Initial Class Session]

Module 2: Foundations [Three Weeks]
[Week 1] Introduction to the Practice and Profession of Public Administration
[Week 2] The Administrative Conundrum: The American Administrative State
[Week 3] Picket Fences or Marble Cake? Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
Letter to Editor due at end of week 3

Module 3: Functions [Five Weeks]
[Week 4] Public Organizations: Design, Structure and Process
[Week 5] Complexities, Challenges and Crises: The Environments of Public Decision Making
[Week 6] Managing with People: Public Personnel Administration and Collective Bargaining
[Week 7] Making a Difference: Policy Analysis and Implementation Evaluation
[Week 8] Show Me the Money! The Challenges of Public Budgeting
Exam 1

Module 4: Values [Three Weeks]
[Week 9] Responsiveness: Governance, Community and Collaboration 
[Week 10] Respect: Public Administration and Democratic Constitutionalism
Issue Paper due at end of week 10
[Week 11] Responsibilities: Accountability and Ethics in Action

Module 5: Future Imperfect [One week]
[Week 12] Reinventing, Reforming, and Reengineering: Public Administration: The New Public Administration vs. the New Public Service
Exam 2

Specific Course Requirements: Successful completion of the course will require the student to become proficient in the use of basic computer and electronic mail techniques. Each student must have an e-mail address, preferably one assigned by the TBR college or university through which they enrolled in the course. 
Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware, and Software Requirements
Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course:

Supplementary Materials: Students should have access to national, state and local news publications (the Sunday New York Times is an excellent source) to provide perspectives on current issues in public administration. 
Hardware Requirements: Information on computer hardware requirements can be found on the Regents On-line Degree Program at
Software Requirements: Information on computer software and other system requirements can be found an the regents On-Line Degrees Program at
Assessment and Grading
Testing Procedures: The first exam will be "open-book" and will follow completion of Module Three. This exam will be comprised of short and long essay questions and a case study. The final exam, also "open book," will be comprised of an extensive case analysis and will be comprehensive in nature. Both exams are designed to both reinforce key concepts and allow the individual student to expand his or her knowledge base via introduction of materials obtained by personal research work or gained from other students in the class via chats and discussions. 
Grading Procedure: All exams will be provided on-line a minimum of seven days before the due date. Late exams will be penalized one letter grade for each 24 hour period late up to 72 hours. Any exam over 72 hours late will receive a failing grade and not completing the final exam will result in an automatic failing grade. All assignment dates for a given module will be announced upon the start of that module and will also be listed in the assignments section of the course calendar. While the grading emphasis of the assigned written assignment will be on their topical content and quality, consideration will be given to the technical quality of the writing; therefore grammar, spelling, sentence structure, organization, and the like should not be ignored. 

The following exam/exercise values will be used to compute final grades:

Writing Assignment 1 - Letter to the Editor:  10%
Writing Assignment 2 - Issue Paper: 20%
Exam 1  - 20%
Exam 2  - 20%
Course Participation    - 30% 

Grading Scale: The following grading scale and assignment value percentages will apply:

 100 to 90  - A
   89 to 80  - B
   79 to 70  - C
   69 to 60  - D
   59 and below  - F

Assignments and Participation
Assignments and Projects: Public administration is a very interesting because it is all about how we govern ourselves. Because written communication is an essential part of the process of governance as well as a valuable learning skill, several written exercises are included in the course. These written exercises are a pivotal feature of the course, serving to reinforce and insure integration of core concepts. These written assignments will be graded both on the technical quality of the writing (grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc.) as well as its topical content.  Although each may be approached as a separate exercise, the student may wish to focus the letter to the editor, problem statement and issue paper exercises on a single public administration related topic. The weekly student reviews of public administration issues and postings on the bulletin board may provide ideas for these projects. The following written exercises and exams will be assigned as part of this course:


1.  Written Assignment One: Letter to the Editor - Date due: End of Week Three - Point value: 10% of overall grade. 

Each student is to write a Letter to the Editor regarding a public administration issue or concern that interests him or her. Public administrators often review letters to the editor as a mechanism for understanding and compiling the concerns and views of citizens. In addition, effective communication is an important skill for those wishing to participate in the governance process in such roles as public administrators, advisory group members, volunteers, or simply concerned citizens. The letter is to be no more than three paragraphs long and limited to one page of text. Recommend the student read some letters to the editor in the national press, national or professional journals and magazines or your local newspaper to get ideas as to length, etc.

2. Written Assignment Two: Issue Paper - Date Due: End of Week Ten 
Point value: 20% of overall grade

In order for governance to be effective, both citizens and public administrators must communicate in a clear and succinct manner. Very often time is the most important consideration therefore the ability to state a problem clearly and quickly is essential. 
The challenge of this assignment is to identify a problem and structure it as an issue requiring a decision. The assignment has two parts. The first part is a one-page statement of the problem, possible solutions and recommended solution. The second part is the subsequent evolution of the problem into an issue paper. For continuity it is strongly recommended that the same problem identified in the letter to the editor assignment above be used as the basis for the issue paper. 

The problem statement should be no more than one page in length and include a clear statement of the problem, at least three possible alternative solutions and a proposed solution. The one page length is designed to force the student to clearly define and articulate a problem and present it in a format conducive to immediate review. To successfully accomplish this task he or she must reduce a complex problem to an essential paragraph, the possible solutions to another, and your recommendation to a third. This is not an easy task.

The issue paper is to be seven to ten pages in length and will include a brief, one paragraph abstract of the paper, introduction and background on the issue and its importance, the primary actors involved and their positions on the issue, discussion of possible solutions or resolution, and a recommendation regarding solution or resolution. Again, linking this effort to the  letter to the editor assignment will provide the subject and the problem statement will help structure importance, possible solutions and recommended solution.

2. Examinations:

Examination 1: Point value - 20% of course grade - This examination will be given at the end of the Third Module of the course. The exam will be comprised of short answer questions and a brief case study. The test will be "open book" using course texts as well as information gained from on-line discussions and chats. 

Examination 2:  Point value - 20% of course grade - This examination will constitute the course final examination. It will be comprehensive in nature and will be comprised primarily of a complex case analysis problem. 

3. Class Participation: 
Point value of 30% of the overall course grade. 
Class participation in an on-line course is a unique experience and will require a personal discipline quite different from "simply going to class."  This course will require students to both acquire and display the skills necessary to move effectively within the WebCT environment and the knowledge of the course content required to achieve a passing grade. 

To effectively participate in the class students must be able to communicate with the instructor and fellow students via chat room and discussions. Failure to actively participate in these forums will not only result in missing key ideas and concepts but also will greatly reduce the opportunity for subsequent discussions and interactions. 

Students will be evaluated on their participation in each assignment and discussion session and not on cumulative number of times they log on. Simply put, they must participate. Just being there will not be enough. Each week students will be required, as a minimum, to post a item dealing with a public administrations issue on the course bulletin board. It is anticipated that these postings, together with the discussion topics will lead to some spirited discussions. Each course topic is accompanied by a set of discussion questions designed to focus on the topic objectives. These discussion topics will be the basis for on-line chat and class session discussions. Students may be assigned particular discussion items in a topic in the same way an instructor might call upon a student to explain a concept in the classroom.  

Class Participation: Class participation in an on-line course is a unique learning experience and will require a personal discipline quite different from "simply going to class," [see course participation grading comments above]. This course will require the student to both acquire and display the skills necessary to move effectively within the WebCT environment and the knowledge of the course content required to achieve a passing grade. To effectively participate in the class the student must be able to communicate with the instructor and his or her fellow students via chat room and discussions. Failure to actively participate in these forums will not only result in the student missing key ideas and concepts but also will greatly reduce the opportunity for subsequent discussions and interactions. 
Punctuality: This course is organized around four foundation modules. These modules serve as course milestones that allow the student to determine if they are on track and to provide convenient course material benchmarks. Each module will be released at a prescribed time to allow for coherent management of the course. 
Course Ground Rules
This course is offered in what is known as an asynchronous learning environment. That mouthful of bureaucratic techno-speak simply means that each student will be moving at his or her own pace within the assigned module. There will be no required "class meetings" as such but certainly required course participation. Students are expected to communicate with their fellow students and to participate in discussions of assigned topics, learn how to navigate in WebCT, keep abreast of course announcements, use the assigned college or university e-mail address as opposed a personal e-mail address, address technical problems immediately, and observe course netiquette at all times. 
Guidelines for Communications
Email: Guidelines for e-mail:
Obtain and use a college or university e-mail address as opposed to their own personal e-mail address. 
Create a course file for  course related e-mails and if possible, save to floppy disk at least once a week.
Always include a subject line and reference module.
Use standard fonts.
Do not send large attachments without permission.
Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc., should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
Lastly, be careful in the wording of your e-mails. Remember, without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Most importantly, respect the privacy of other class members.
Discussion Groups: Guidelines for Discussions:
Student interaction is essential for this course to achieve its objectives. The topic/subject for each week will have both learning objectives and discussion topics. The discussion topics are designed to facilitate attainment of the learning objectives, however, the course will not explore every discussion topic in detail. Students are expected to have studied, read or skimmed material as noted in the module outlines and to participate in class discussions and chat between each other. For some, computer-based interaction will be difficult, for other it will be easy. The best advice is to take time to prepare and do not be afraid to express yourself. 

Here are some suggestions: Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant. Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic. Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other's ideas. Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks. Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks. Be positive and constructive in group discussions. Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner. Last but not least remember that the sharing of learning experiences is central to the on-line learning process.

Chat: Guidelines for Chat: Chat is the informal side of on-line classroom activities. Much of the course discussions will take place in the chat environment. When involved in chat sessions always introduce yourself to the other learners in the chat session. Be polite, and choose your words carefully. Do not use derogatory statements. Be concise in responding to others in the session.
Web Resources: Examples:

Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor

Citation Styles Online\

Library Services
TBR Virtual Library: The Tennessee Board of Regents Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in the Regents Degree Program. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading must be included in all courses. 
Students With Disabilities
Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.
Syllabus Changes
Public administration is a dynamic subject and there may be events that occur during the course that could have significant impact on public administration and governance. It is possible that such events may require changes in the course syllabus (timing, addition or deletion of a topic, etc.). Should such action be necessary a revision of the syllabus will be posted via e-mail as soon as possible and changes made in the course schedule and requirements.

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