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UMaine Rolls Out Public 2005 Public Administration Courses for Augusta

Contact: George Manlove at (207) 581-3756

ORONO — The University of Maine at Orono will offer three graduate level public administration courses in Augusta in the Spring 2005 semester, which begins Jan. 10.

The courses can help working professionals and recent college grads add to their post-graduate education or work toward a master’s degree in public administration.

Both the courses and the MPA program, which the university has offered in the Augusta community since 1968, can help move professionals toward new career opportunities, particularly in state and local government, non-profit, healthcare or public policy fields.

The advantage of the program, says G. Thomas Taylor, chair of the Department of Public Administration, is that students can continue working and attend classes without commuting to Orono.

“It’s right in Augusta’s back yard,” Taylor says. “It’s Augusta’s best-kept secret. The real important point of an MPA program, at least this one, is that it’s set up so you can come in without a lot of prerequisites.”

People with degrees from accredited undergraduate colleges or universities may take a class as a non-degree student. Credit may be applied toward an MPA degree, should the student decide to apply later. While registration deadlines are flexible for non-degree students, MPA candidates should call the UMaine Department of Public Administration (207-581-1872) or email: umpubadm@umit.maine.edu by Dec.1, 2004. 

“This program is set up for working people in many different professions,” Taylor says. “This allows them to explore, and I would say a lot of them stay with us and apply for admission into the accredited program.”

With locally offered classes, students can continue graduate studies gradually if that fits better with family, financial or career plans.

The three courses offered in spring of 2005 include Administrative Theory, State Administration and Policy Studies. UMaine faculty in Orono, or adjunct faculty from throughout Maine, will commute to Augusta to offer the classes.

“Our adjunct faculty are professionals working in government, healthcare or other management or policy-making positions,” Taylor adds. “It adds a real-world perspective to the course material.”

Administrative Theory covers theories of leadership, culture and organizational structure, and will be taught by Carolyn Ball, associate professor of public administration. Prior to her appointment at UMaine, Ball worked in nonprofits, healthcare and state government. 

The class will discuss recent examples how organizations change or are created in response to current events, including the creation of the 9/11 Commission and Department of Homeland Security and the recent restructuring of the Department of Health and Human Services — all involving significant public policy responses. 

State Administration, taught by Robert Baldacci, managing director at Pierce Atwood, LLP and brother of Maine Gov. John Baldacci, covers the management, operations and budgeting of state governments, with special emphasis on understanding Maine state government and the role of states in economic development. 

Baldacci works actively with state and local governments on economic development projects and has served as chair of the board of the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and vice chair of the Maine Guarantee Authority. 

Policy Studies covers policy development from ideals to practice, with emphasis on the democratic and moral values that affect policymaking. Jay Harper, assistant to the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services, will teach this course.

Harper previously served as director of the Division of Public Education for the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, and has held human services management and policy analysis positions with Massachusetts state government and with nonprofit organizations.

More information about the classes, schedules or applying to the UMaine MPA program is available by contacting Cindy D’Angelo, Department of Public Administration, University of Maine, Orono, 04469-5754, calling (207) 581-1872 or emailing: umpubadm@umit.maine.edu.

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