PUBA 709: Foundations of Public Administration

Credit Hours: 3

Foundations of Public Administration does not explore what’s wrong with government—but rather how government improves lives. Think about someone’s commute to work, for example. Did they wake up to a home with electricity? Is their home insulated and up to code? Did they get in their licensed vehicle to drive to work? How many jurisdictions did they pass through? Was the traffic regulated and were safety laws enforced?

All of these small things, while easily taken for granted, are everyday applications of government functions that enriching lives throughout a community. In this course, students will explore the historical and contemporary social, economic, political, and ethical contexts of public administration and governance in the United States, with a focus on developing skills for interpreting and critically evaluating issues facing American public service today.

During the course, students will be put into the role of a consultant to address “the great debates of public administration.” They will learn how to debate policy, write persuasive memos, and advise on case studies such as medical marijuana, the Affordable Care Act, cross-sector boundaries, and public service ethics.

Course Introduction Video

Get a first-hand introduction to Foundations of Public Administration (formerly titled “Public Administration Institutions and Values”) from Professor Carl Stenberg.

Sample Course Content

Watch this sample annotated lecture to see one of the ways that MPA@UNC course content is delivered.

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