Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

July 8, 2020

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In This Issue:

ASPA Fall E-Learning Program Takes Shape

While always robust, ASPA's webinar program has been very active for the past several months and will stay that way throughout the second half of the year, providing you with the education, thought leadership and leading edge insights you need to stay aware and engaged in the profession.

Four impact areas—infrastructure, public finance, public service and social equity—will focus educational content across the KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals webinars, with an emphasis on COVID-19's impact on these important issues to ensure you're getting the most relevant information you need. These four areas have been of specific focus within ASPA's programming for the past two years, in recognition of our members' educational needs and where the profession's, and our community members', needs reside.

Students and new professionals can anticipate five special webinars coming their way, focusing on the various aspects of career building: resumes, CVs, cover letters, negotiating a compensation package and building a professional network. Each will encourage views from across the profession, highlighting both practitioner- and academy-based careers. ASPA Student Representative Abdul Samad will play a prominent role in coordinating the content and speakers for these events. A schedule will be available later this summer.

BookTalks, where you can learn more about some of the newest resources to hit the shelves, are firming up, highlighting such topics as federalism, ethics, reforming government, voting and more from a range of authors that reflect the nuances of the profession. These discussions will offer new perspectives, and maybe a new book for your shelf!

Equally, KeepingCurrent webinars will focus on the most cutting-edge topics public administrators are watching now. From COVID-19 around the world to public policy research, from social equity to public finance, these subjects will provide you with a range of knowledge and expertise you can use in your daily roles, as well as provide you with a holistic view of the profession. For those not able to join during the day, the webinar archives always store events and you can catch up there!

Keep an eye on this newsletter, our weekly This Week at ASPA, our Twitter feed and, sometimes, your personal email to find out more about the events as we confirm details. And, of course, you can check our online calendar for all events around the profession to stay up-to-date about what's going on and how you can get involved.

We will look forward to seeing you online in the months ahead!

All ASPA e-learning events take place via GoToWebinar. If you cannot load this platform due to government technology restrictions, you can obtain call-in details to participate via phone for live events. Recordings are available any time on our website for the full webinar experience.

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What's New in the Digital Experience?

ASPA's 2020 Digital Experience's live events ended on June 25 but more than 30 hours of programs are online through the end of this year for you to view them on-demand. Repurposed, peer-reviewed panels that should have taken place at our 2020 Annual Conference, these webinars feature some of the most expert researchers and practitioners in the profession, discussing some of the most critical issues of our times.

Three weeks into the Digital Experience, after receiving hundreds of views, here are some of the most popular panels of the group, as well as a few that are gaining speed and are must-watch panels:

  • Founders’ Fellows: Reflecting on the Challenges and Scope of Public Administration
    Public administration is a sprawling, vast, global profession, supported by millions of students, scholars and practitioners. But how should the profession be defined? What is its scope and scale? This panel looks at challenges and paradoxes that exist in modern public administration, approaching these difficult topics with a desire to learn from them, understand them and ultimately serve the public good.
    Jessica Eggleston, University of Louisville
    Jose Sanchez, University of Illinois—Chicago
    Yifei Yan, London School of Economics

  • Accountability, Transparency and Performance Management in Public Management and Collaborative Governance Networks
    This panel focuses on the theoretical and practical application of accountability and performance management in public management and collaborative governance networks that rely on complex intergovernmental relations and public-private partnership. Four papers will discuss the various forms of accountability and performance assessment in program evaluation studies and academic research in the field of public administration and public policy.
    Olumide Adeoye, PhD Student, Penn State Harrisburg
    Aleksey Kolpakov, Discussant, Assistant Professor, University of Nevada—Reno
    Alejandra Medina, PhD Student, University of Illinois—Chicago
    Bing Ran, Moderator, Associate Professor, Penn State Harrisburg
    Saahir Shafi, Doctoral Candidate, Penn State Harrisburg
    Eun-Sil Yoo, Doctoral Candidate, Penn State Harrisburg

  • Access to the Ballot Box: A Vision of American Democracy At Its Best:
    Sponsored by Park University
    This year marks the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, guaranteeing (white) women the right to vote. It was a momentous year, and the beginning of breaking down barriers that since have enabled future populations to vote and be heard. But we all know U.S. democracy isn't perfect and there are many challenges that continue to block our citizens from the ballot box and their democratic rights. This panel will take a quick look at the 19th amendment and its journey since passage—including ASPA’s role in it!—and then look toward improvements still pending for suffrage, civic engagement and empowerment.
    Erik Bergrud, Moderator, Associate Vice President for University Engagement, Park University
    Thomas Hicks, Commissioner, U.S. Elections Assistance Commission
    Kimberlee Ried, Independent Researcher/Historian

  • Equity, Ethics and Artificial Intelligence Implementation
    Sponsored by Texas A&M University, The Bush School
    Artificial intelligence (AI) presents significant opportunities and challenges for society. This session examines frameworks for how society and organizations can work to ensure AI tools are implemented in ways that are ethical and equitable. The first paper discusses policies and strategies to encourage AI development as a good system to enhance equity, liberty and values with positive societal outcomes for humanity. The second paper examines how a decisionmaking process within an organization is altered when AI tools provide additional information to decisionmakers. It also examines the various outcomes associated with altering this process in an experimental setting.
    Justin Bullock, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University
    Sherri Greenberg, Professor, University of Texas at Austin

  • Emerging Best Practices in Performance Management: Lessons from Leaders
    This panel will present best practices from winners of ASPA's Center for Accountability and Performance (CAP) Emerging Leaders Award. This award is presented to performance management practitioners from state and local jurisdictions who are innovating and achieving significant performance results. The panel includes speakers who will describe their experiences developing and implementing new performance management practices, as well as their key program accomplishments, and highlight new and innovative practices.
    Michael Jacobson, Moderator, Deputy Director, King County Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget
    John Kamensky, Discussant, Senior Fellow, The IBM Center for The Business of Government
    Kate May, Chief Performance Officer, City of Rochester
    Carmen Moreno-Rivera, Chief of Performance Improvement, Louisville Metro Government
    Adrienne Schomeker, Director, Civic Engagement and Strategy, Mayor's Office of Data Analytics, New York City

  • Counting Everyone: The 2020 Census
    It’s no small job: Counting every body in the United States—no matter where they live, who they are or what services they use. Federal funds, community equality, government representation, public health, safety and security all depend on it. So, how do you get it right, especially given the challenges we face in 2020? We’ll explore all of this and more, including a look at the census’s impact on public administration research.
    Ditas Katague, Director, California Census
    Toni Samuel, Moderator, Retired, National League of Cities
    Olivia Snarksi, Local Democracy Initiative, Program Manager, Center for City Solutions, National League of Cities
Full descriptions and a list of the panels is available online. Take a look at what this collection has to offer and register now to participate in the Digital Experience. Six months of access to excellent content await!

Contact us with questions!

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E-Learning at Your Fingertips

While social distancing continues, ASPA staff are working to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming.

BookTalk: Public Performance Budgeting: Principles and Practice
July 9 | 1 p.m. EDT
Elaine Yi Lu, Professor, Editor and Director, Department of Public Management, City University of New York—John Jay College
Katherine Willoughby, Golembiewski Professor of Public Administration, University of Georgia

Through thorough examination of performance budgeting laws in U.S. state governments, in-depth interviews with state agency practitioners and quantitative survey analysis of agency heads nationwide, this book examines the influence of performance measurement and management in all phases of the budget process. It examines using performance budgeting at the agency level, honing in on a deeper level of organizational structure than has been provided to date. Join us to hear more from the authors about this important topic.

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Reimagining Public Safety

Released on June 30, the National Civic League is encouraging communities to imagine new and different ways to explore what public safety means for their constituents. Read the beginning of the statement here and click the link below to view the rest.

There are some great conversations happening around the country about reforming police tactics and departments. By broadening the conversation to reimagine public safety, communities can create a more humane, cost-effective system.

The first step in reimagining public safety is to understand what the public wants and how the community defines safety, making sure to differentiate among different parts of the community and the impact of living in different neighborhoods. Some activities, like panhandling, affect peoples’ perception of safety, while others, like drug use, are “victimless,” but still matter in defining public safety. Of course, we also need a solid understanding of trends in property crime and personal violence and their root systemic causes.

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Policymakers Shift Focus to the Fall

The fall start to the educational year is looming and students everywhere are wondering what it will bring. News coverage for this topic has picked up in recent weeks as state, local and federal policymakers feel the weight of these decisions, including ways to put COVID-19 to good use, the pandemic's effects on college towns, our nation's values as reflected by the choices we are making and the life-changing impact the pandemic has had on families as they balance full-time work and full-time homeschooling/parenting.

This week also has featured news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement is updating visa restrictions indicating that international students not taking classes on campus this fall cannot stay in the country, prompting questions and concerns across the university sector. Today, Harvard and MIT announced they are suing the Trump administration over these new restrictions and a New York Times analysis indicates colleges and universities are being used as a tool to force re-openings across the country.

ASPA took a look at what the fall could look like a few months ago, hosting a webinar with Virginia Commonwealth University discussing the options for the fall semester. Members, take an hour to listen in and hear from four deans and program directors from some of the biggest programs in the profession about their forecasts. Spoiler alert: Not much has changed in the past 10 weeks...

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Webinar: Women of Color Need Courageous Allies in the Academy

Sponsored by INSIGHT Into Diversity and taking place on July 22 at 1 p.m., this webinar invites women to explore navigating race and gender in the academy. As the webinar description reads: Often, Black women and White women find themselves in situations where knowing the best thing to do or say is not always easy or apparent. Sometimes we are silent or fail to act because we are uncertain how to respond in a way that isn’t inappropriate or offensive or even whether we should respond in these types of situations.

INSIGHT Into Diversity will bring Black and White women together to share their experiences, perspectives and potential solutions to these common and often challenging interactions. At a time when many people are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent racial unrest throughout our country, the willingness and knowledge of how to effectively engage with one another is essential. We hope to prepare participants to be equipped with some tools that all women can use to support one another more effectively.

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Tips and Resources

Here are a range of resources—from lighthearted to immensely useful—posted online recently that you should check out!

How Managers Can Keep Employee Morale High Right Now
These are challenging times, but there are ways to help your staff.

The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard
This dashboard synthesizes satellite data and provides users with the capability to interactively view changes across air and water quality, greenhouse gases, city nightlights, economic indicators, agricultural production and more catalyzed by the health crisis.

TSP Outlines Impact of New Lifecycle Fund Implementation
Officials at the federal government's 401(k)-style retirement savings program will begin offering lifecycle funds in five-year increments, moving the options in line with private sector counterparts.

Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Should
It's on each of us to stop ourselves from doing unnecessary things that we know will put others at risk, even if those things are technically allowed. The fight to contain the coronavirus is far from over; it's just entering a new phase in which individual choice matters more than ever.

The Psychology of Being a Better Ally in the Office—and Beyond
Research has found that being a better ally is one way white employees can stand against racism at work.

How to Tackle Race at Your Organization
Rahsaan Harris is CEO of the Citizens Committee for New York City, a nonprofit that aims to help New Yorkers—especially people in low-income areas—improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. He started after COVID-19 shut the city down and has shared advice on how to discuss racial inequity in your organization, and how to act on those conversations.

Don't Go Down a Coronavirus Anxiety Spiral
Here's what you can do to relieve your worries, while still keeping you and your family safe.

Airborne Coronavirus: What You Should Do Now
How to protect yourself from a virus that may be floating indoors? Better ventilation, for starters. And keep wearing those masks.

19 Questions for Leaders Who Are Serious About Racial Equity
Diversity, equity and inclusion fit nicely on PowerPoint slides. All three words sound good rolling off the tongue. But putting DE&I into practice is anything but neat. What is outlined are more than a dozen questions to help gauge how committed leaders are to real change.

We released other lists of resources in previous editions of Bridge, dating back to April. Check out our archives and look for the "Tips and Resources" articles to find them!

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Coronavirus in the News
While you can find our usual assortment of news headlines from the past several weeks below, here are stories specific to the coronavirus that are noteworthy.


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity Back to Top


(Otherwise) in the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity
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Members in the News

ASPA members have made news in a variety of ways recently. Below are the headlines we've found; if you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.

Balancing New Jersey's Budget with Bonds Will Leave Negative Impact for Years
Richard Keevey
Gov. Phil Murphy and the legislature are faced with difficult financial challenges. It is fair to say no one knows exactly what will happen to the state finances in the next 6 to 24 months.

Commentary: Is the U.S. Broken?
University of Illinois—Springfield dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration Robert Smith answers this question, as posed to him by a student recently.

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Welcome New ASPA Members!
Click here to view the most recent new ASPA members!

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

Calls for proposals, nominations and announcements:
  • Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting, and Financial Management Special Issue—Stretching the Public Purse: Budgetary Responses to a Global Pandemic
    This Special Issue will examine the immediate budgetary responses to the pandemic by different countries and explore the long-term fiscal implications of these policies and their potential boomerang effects on the political, economic, social, and budgetary institutions. Since budgeting is a reflection of politics and politics, social and budgetary institutions can, in turn, be severely impacted by fiscal and economic hardship, looking at this pandemic as an exogenous shock to the existing institutions of different countries provides a golden opportunity for researchers to examine how and why budgetary policies are made, and how fiscal stress may create significant and, sometimes unintended, consequences on institutions. Paper submissions are due by July 15.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • Review of Public Personnel Administration (ROPPA) Call for Papers—The Power of Public Service: Human Resource Management and the COVID-19 Pandemic
    This symposium explores existing human resource management (HRM) policies and practices in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges that emerged and the path forward post-COVID-19. Submissions are welcome that explore HRM and COVID-19 through empirical and theoretical lenses. In considering the relationship between HRM and the COVID-19 crisis, this symposium seeks studies that focus on units of analysis such as HRM systems, employment and HR structures and the management-employee relationship and how it has been affected by this crisis. The abstracts deadline has been extended to August 1.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA) Call for Papers: Government Capacity, Quality and Governance Outcomes in the Asia Pacific Region
    In recent years, public administration and political science scholars have "rediscovered" the importance of public bureaucracies for understanding different levels of government performance and broader socioeconomic outcomes. There have been increasing number of studies that address the significance of the output side of the political system (i.e. public administration and policy implementation) rather than the input side (i.e. quality of electoral democracy) for favorable outcomes. While there have been increasing number of studies on government capacity and bureaucratic quality focusing on areas beyond North America and Western Europe, relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the Asia Pacific area. Reflecting APJPA’s vision and commitment to promote the study of public governance and administration and management in and beyond Asia and the Pacific, we invite research that makes theoretical or empirical contributions to the study of government capacity, quality and broader governance outcomes. All proposals are due by November 1, 2020.
    View the full Call for Papers online here.

  • Natural Hazards Review—Special Edition for COVID-19
    The proposed special collection seeks research that assesses the degree to which technical infrastructure to support interactive communication across multiple scales of decisionmaking increases or decreases social capacity for collective action to reduce the threat of COVID-19 on a global scale. All papers are due by November 1, 2020.
    Find the call for papers online here.

  • International Journal of Public Administration Special Issue Symposium on Leading and Managing Responses to Pandemics
    The International Journal of Public Administration (IJPA) invites article proposals for a Special Issue Symposium on Leading and Managing Responses to Pandemics. Proposals for scholarly papers on a wide range of sub-topics using quantitative and/or qualitative analysis approaches will be considered, including strong theoretical works, single-site case studies and comparative case studies. Scholarly manuscripts must be grounded in theory/literature and empirical evidence, and use sound analytical methods. Findings should be generalizable. Single-site case studies will be subject to different, more practical, review criteria. The Special Issue will be published online in spring 2021; the print volume will be published in summer 2021. All proposals are due November 15, 2020.
    Find the Call for Papers online here.

  • State and Local Government Review Call for Papers—Governance Matters Section
    The Governance Matters (GM) section of State and Local Government Review (SLGR) invites complete submissions as well as proposals from authors for individual articles or topic specific collections in a symposium format for potential publication in 2021. Prospective authors are encouraged to contact Grant Rissler, SLGR GM Editor ([email protected]) about any ideas for this section of the journal. Click here for more information.

  • Chinese Public Administration Review (CPAR) Covid-19 Commentaries
    In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPAR is calling for contributions to a special issue featuring COVID-19 commentaries from scholars and practitioners throughout the world. Editors expect the December 2020 issue will be devoted to this topic. Submissions are encouraged on a priority review basis beginning now and through the summer. The length of a submission is no more than 5000 words, including references. CPAR editors will provide a rapid review process of 15 days for all commentaries related to COVID-19. Submissions should not have been published previously and are not under consideration for publication elsewhere. Find the Call for Proposals online here.

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Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)

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Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.