Mission, Values, Goals, and Competencies

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1 Mission, Values, Goals, and Competencies UIU MPA Program Definition and Summary of program mission, values, goals, and competencies. U p p e r I o w a U n i v e r s i t y M a s t e r o f P u b l i c A d m i n i s t r a t i o n D e c e m b e r 2012

2 Upper Iowa University Mission: Upper Iowa University provides student-centered undergraduate and graduate educational programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems in an environment in which diversity is respected, encouraged and nurtured. Upper Iowa University Vision: Upper Iowa University will be recognized and respected as an exceptional and ascending institution of higher learning, developing global citizens who become lifelong learners prepared for leadership within society. Program Mission (December 2011, revised December 2012) The UIU MPA program provides an opportunity for a diverse population of adult learners to develop the analytical, leadership, and managerial skills needed to promote the public interest and strengthen core democratic values through public service in government and non-profit organizations. Program Values (March 2012) The UIU MPA program identifies diversity, democracy, and due process as the core democratic values described in our mission statement. 1. Diversity: Projections by the U.S. Census suggests that the United States population is creating a more diverse country not only in terms of race and ethnicity but also by age, religious beliefs, and gender, all of which provide unique challenges to public administrators. Being dedicated to this goal obligates public administrators to respect the humanity of all people. Valuing diversity allows our students to take positions that take diversity into account to more effectively lead and administer public programs. 2. Democracy: a. Inclusive, Effective, and Constructive Participation: Public administrators should strive to make public programs open and responsive to all stakeholders by promoting meaningful participation in the political process by which we identify the public interest and in the development and implementation of public policies and programs to promote the public interest. We should reduce disparities in that participation produced by educational, economic, and other political inequalities. b. Enlightened Understanding: Public administrators should promote stakeholders' understanding of political processes, public policies, and public programs by providing transparent, clear, accurate, and relevant information. 3. Due Process: The UIU MPA program defines due process to include all processes that provide important checks (procedural and substantive) on the authority of elected officials and 1

3 of unelected public administrators. It, just as with democracy and diversity, is a concept that is part of the MPA curriculum and an element in the administrative processes that govern MPA program policies and practices. Program Goals (December 2011, revised December 2012) Goal 1: Develop in our students the ability to form critical judgments that support democratic values. A. Definitions: 1. Critical Thinking: We use the 1987 definition of critical thinking developed by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking: Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. (Address: 2. Core Democratic Values: The UIU MPA program identifies diversity, democracy, and due process as the core democratic values described in our mission statement. (March 2012) b. Diversity: Projections by the U.S. Census suggests that the United States population is creating a more diverse country not only in terms of race and ethnicity but also by age, religious beliefs, and gender, all of which provide unique challenges to public administrators. Being dedicated to this goal obligates public administrators to respect the humanity of all people. Valuing diversity allows our students to take positions that take diversity into account to more effectively lead and administer public programs. b. Democracy: The UIU MPA program identifies core democratic values described in our mission as inclusive, effective participation in, and enlightened understanding of, the governance of public programs (Dahl, 1998, p. 38). (1) Inclusive, Effective, and Constructive Participation: Public administrators should strive to make public programs open and responsive to all stakeholders by promoting meaningful participation in the political process by which we identify the public interest and in the development and implementation of public policies and programs to promote the public interest. We should reduce disparities in that participation produced by educational, economic, and other political inequalities. 2

4 (2) Enlightened Understanding: Public administrators should promote stakeholders' understanding of political processes, public policies, and public programs by providing transparent, clear, accurate, and relevant information. (Dahl, R. (1998). On democracy. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.) c. Due Process: The UIU MPA program defines due process to include all processes that provide important checks (procedural and substantive) on the authority of elected officials and of unelected public administrators. It, just as with democracy and diversity, is a concept that is part of the MPA curriculum and an element in the administrative processes that govern MPA program policies and practices. B. Program Outcomes 1. Use democratic values to inform critical thinking. 2. Core competency: To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions Goal 2: Prepare our students to assume effective leadership and managerial positions in government and nonprofit organizations. A. Definitions Leadership: The deliberate and active effort to preserve the integrity of the institution while remaining responsive to citizens, elected officials, and members of the organization to meet predetermined goals that reflect democratic and constitutional provisions. (Terry, Larry D Leadership of Public Bureaucracies: The Administrator as Conservator. Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks) B. Program Outcomes 1. Core Competency: To lead and manage in public governance 2. Core Competency: To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry Goal 3: Create a community of students committed to serving the public interest. A. Definitions: Public Interest: What is in the public interest is the end result of the processes used by public administrators, committed to democratic and ethical values, to reconcile competing and often conflicting private and community interests. Public administrators uphold the public interest when they strive to find the optimal balance between administrative efficiency, the political efficacy of citizens, private rights, and social justice. The process of finding the public interest is in a continual state of recalibration forcing public administrators to reconcile short-term demands with long term sustainability (Lewis 2006). Lewis, Carol. (2006). In Pursuit of the Public Interest. Public Administration Review, 66(5),

5 B. Program Outcomes 1. Core Competency: To participate in and contribute to the public policy process 2. Core Competency: To articulate and apply a public service perspective Universal (Core) Competencies (NASPAA Established) and Definitions (December 2011) A. To lead and manage in public governance: The deliberate and active effort to preserve the integrity of the institution while remaining responsive to citizens, elected officials, and members of the organization to meet predetermined goals that reflect democratic and constitutional provisions. B. To participate in and contribute to the public policy process: To be a relevant and involved actor in the policy process requires our students to have the ability to structure problems, collect policy relevant information, and offer viable policy recommendations. C. To analyze, synthesize, think critically, solve problems and make decisions: We accept the 1987 definition offered by the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking (Address: Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. D. To articulate and apply a public service perspective: Borrowing from Larry Terry s concept of administrator conservator, we accept that public administrators have an active role to play in the governance process. They have an obligation to conserve the mission established by elected officials or other duly appointed leaders. Similarly, public administrators have a responsibility to protect their organization s institutional integrity in part by exercising their professional expertise and respecting democratic values. E. To communicate and interact productively with a diverse and changing workforce and citizenry: The ability to effectively communicate, both verbally and non-verbally, complex ideas to a diverse citizenry. 4

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