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Public Administration 3310 - Government and Politics 3310

Professor Bowden, C.
GR 3.406
Office Hours: W 6:00-7:00pm or by appointment
Phone: (972) 740-4366
E-mail: cbowden@utdallas.edu


Public administration involves the "core activities" of government that are performed, for the most part, by highly
trained experts and specialized organizations; its purpose is the development and implementation of public policy.
This very broad definition encompasses a large dynamic portion of government at all three levels of the federal
system, engaging even nonprofit and private enterprise.

It is impossible to cover in one course all of the material from the academic discipline of public administration; it is
even less reasonable to attempt to develop every skill that is necessary to be an effective public manager. Therefore,
this course attempts to familiarize you with the various complexities of the field of public administration--other
courses are offered that allow you to continue your study and increase your skills. All students of government,
whatever their focus, need to be cognizant of the tremendous importance of public administration and administrators
within the political system. This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to public administration
through readings, cases, discussion, and practical exercises.

There are four graded course requirements. Each student will be evaluated on (1) class participation, (2) a midterm
examination, (3) a final examination, and (4) a student portfolio project. Each examination will be over a specified
portion of the syllabus. There will be no comprehensive final. The student portfolio project will be on topics
assigned by the Professor. General guidelines for the portfolio are provided on the last page of this syllabus,
although the Professor may provide alternative formats. The course grade will be determined as follows: Class
participation (33%), average grade of the Midterm Examination and Final Examination (33%), and Portfolio Project

Policy for late submittals – Work submitted after the due date will not be evaluated, and therefore assigned the grade
of “F” for the work not evaluated. The only exception to this policy will be in the case of prior permission granted
by the Professor for work to be submitted after the due date. A class session prior to each due date will be devoted
to a review of assigned responsibilities.

Students are expected to attend class regularly with punctuality. Any student who arrives late or leaves class early
will be counted absent. Any student with excessive absences (more than 2) will receive a minimum of a 20%
reduction of their final course grade. Students with excessive absences should withdraw from the course by the
appropriate withdrawal dates. If the student does not attend class regularly, the Professor will not evaluate their work
and assigned a performance grade of "F" for the course.

Students who are prepared for class and intellectually engaged will receive the benefit of any doubt when grades are
assigned. Professor Bowden prefers that class be energized by questions from students. Students should bring one
written question to each class period. The question should emanate from class lectures/discussion, assigned readings
or contemporary issues in the media.

Jay M. Shafritz and E.W. Russell, 2005. Introducing Public Administration. 5th edition, New York, NY.: Addison
Wesley Longman, Inc.

Jay M. Shafritz, Albert C. Hyde and Sandra J. Parkes, 2004. Classics of Public Administration. 5th edition, Belmont
CA.: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Richard J. Stillman II, 2005. Public Administration: Concepts and Cases. 8th edition, Boston, MA.: Houghton
Mifflin Company.
Course Information Public Administration


Your Student Portfolio Project assignment is to prepare 10 brief reports researching the following challenges and
issues confronting management of public administration. Five (5) of these reports will be due at Midterm and five
(5) will be due on the date of the Final Exam. Examples of such topics are as follows:

Dealing with the Homeless Water Quality

The community drug problem Public Relation in the Public Sector
Public Transportation Facilities Human Resource Problems
Air Pollution Parks and Recreation
Intergovernmental Relations Municipal Court Administration
Crime and Its Control Public Library Administration
Community Housing Public Budgeting
Building and Code Enforcement Municipal Finance
Economic Development City Planning
Labor Relations in the Public Sector Poverty in the City
Special Districts and Annexation Urban Renewal
Solid Waste Management Environmental Services
Public Engineering Street Services
Convention and Tourist Bureau Appointed Boards and Commissions
Zoning and Land Use Health Services
Public Safety Issues Fire Administration

The specifics and organization of the reports are left to your discretion; however, it should contain the following: (1)
a short description of the problem under study, (2) an overview of the present situation in regard to the problem, (3)
the resources and constraints (e.g., social, political, economic) in dealing with the problem, (4) an outline of
alternative courses of action, (5) an evaluation of each of the outlined alternatives, (6) your specific
recommendations for dealing with the problem at hand, and (7) a dissenting opinion (if appropriate).

Regularly, you will casually present the status of your research in class for the purpose of monitoring your progress
and enlightening the other students as to your research. Each written report should be a minimum (to receive a
passing grade) of 3 (three) typed, single or double-spaced pages, 10-12 point font and in the appropriate format with
a selected bibliography, and footnotes where appropriate.

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