Impact Newsletter Fall 2013/Winter 2014

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D I R E C T O R ' s C O l u m N Diversity: A Core Value of Carolina mPA During recruitment interviews each year, we ask applicants to define their concept of diversity and talk about how they would bring diversity into the cohort experience. once in the program, students have the opportunity to join any number of committees, including one focused on diversity. In this arena, they confront the traditional views of diversity and examine how this issue plays out based on their own personality, values, life experiences, and within the cohort and workplace. We are constantly looking for methods to promote the ways we conceptualize, embrace, and foster diversity among students and alumni. A new course on diversity in public administration was added this year to help students understand that achieving diversity requires new knowledge and skills among public managers. In the course, faculty member leisha DeHart-Davis explores diversity dynamics, methods of managing diversity-related conflicts, and how to enhance cultural competency within the workplace. In addition to supporting our core values, the course promotes the public service values adopted by the faculty—accountability and transparency, efficiency and effectiveness, respect and equity, and professionalism and ethical behavior. We are also providing opportunities for alumni to advance their understanding of diversity as the concept continues to evolve. As part of the 2013 Public Administration Conference, DeHart-Davis and fellow faculty member Margaret Henderson, along with Marilu Goodyear from the University of Kansas, held a pre- conference workshop that addressed the importance of mentoring women into public service leadership roles and encouraging greater gender diversity in the upper echelons of public administration. As I stated previously, a goal of mine as director of the MPA program is alumni engagement. I am pleased that the alumni board subcommittee on engagement recently recommended that faculty members continue to invite alumni back into the classroom to share the practical application of public administration in their professional careers. Alumni who represent diversity or advance diversity in their respective workplaces give us the ability to demonstrate this core value in the day-to-day operations of public organizations. If you are invited into a classroom, I hope that you will choose to participate. An additional opportunity to participate in our efforts to advance diversity among our student body is forthcoming. Every year, we lose strong candidates who would contribute to the diversity of our program to peer institutions that offer stronger financial support. We are now discussing how to substantially increase our diversity scholarship endowment in order to produce the necessary resources to successfully recruit these applicants. you will begin to hear more about our efforts this spring. If this is an issue of importance to you, please be thinking of ways in which you might help with this upcoming campaign. My door is always open. Please visit if you are in Chapel Hill, or contact me anytime with questions or suggestions about our MPA program at rivenbark@sog.unc.edu or 919.962.3707. 2 William C. Rivenbark Professor and Director 919.962.3707 rivenbark@sog.unc.edu William C. Rivenbark

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