MiniMPA Training Series

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MiniMPA: Executive Development in Public Administration

An intensive 16-week training series for public and nonprofit managers taught by faculty from Wichita State University's Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs and area practitioners

Sept. - Nov. 2017 and Jan. - Feb. 2018
Friday mornings from 8:00-11:00 a.m.

→ Gain core public administration management training for an improved ability to deal with complex challenges and prepare to lead a workforce toward innovative solutions

Learn about topics including financial, professional and administrative issues presented through lectures, case studies and problem-solving exercises

Who Should Attend?

  • Professionals moving into positions of responsibility for managing and delivering public services
  • Specialists seeking broader exposure to public management, public finance and public policy
  • Experienced managers seeking a refresher in the field of public administration
  • Individuals considering a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree

All sessions are held at Wichita State’s Experiential Engineering Building (EEB) on the new Innovation Campus in room 2. Parking is free at the EEB. Google Map | Campus Map

Enrollment is limited. Applicants must download and complete the pdf application and submit it with a supervisor's letter of recommendation by email (morgan.barnes@wichita.edu) or mail no later than August 21, 2017.

Mail to:
Morgan Barnes
Hugo Wall School
1845 N Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0155

$1,050 per person includes course materials, breakfast at each session and a certificate upon completion of a minimum of 13 sessions. After completing the online application, an invoice will be mailed to the organization address provided. Payment is required no later than Sept. 25, 2017.

Optional Academic Credit
Three credit hours are available at an additional cost based on WSU tuition and fees. Academic credit requires written assignments in addition to participation in the sessions. Contact Morgan Barnes for details.

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Printable Schedule
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Application (download and attach to email: morgan.barnes@wichita.edu along with letter of recommendation)

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Achieving Effective Governance
Session 1: Sept. 15, 2017
Governance of public and nonprofit agencies encompasses considerations of mission, policy and administration, and authority for public governance is often shared by governing bodies, executives and managers. Ineffective governance can quickly subvert mission and undermine operations in a public or nonprofit organization. Effective governance should clarify mission, design policy that makes a difference, oversee administration and delineate roles for those involved in governance. In this session, participants will engage in a discussion of advantages and disadvantages of different models for effective governance of agencies that deliver public services.

Understanding Local Politics
Session 2: Sept. 22, 2017
The phrase “all politics is local” underscores the importance of local politics for administration and those whose careers revolve around providing public services to local communities. This session will focus on a positive, working definition of politics and establish politics as the basic framework within which administrators initiate and implement public policy. Participants will also be introduced to approaches used by local executives to manage political challenges.

Organizational Behavior
Session 3: Sept. 29, 2017
This session focuses on how organizations come to be, organize and grow. Class discussion focuses on functional, decision-making, power, communications and social factors that impact organizational behavior.

Human Resource Management: Selecting and Developing Personnel
Session 4: Oct. 6, 2017
People are a vital resource in public and nonprofit organizations. This session will provide an overview of human resource management. It will examine recruitment, generating a pool of qualified applicants, screening, interviewing, selecting and personnel development.

Human Resource Management: Supervision and Appraisal
Session 5: Oct. 13, 2017
Few responsibilities are as critical in today’s workforce as supervision and appraisal of employees. An effective manager must develop skills to provide timely, descriptive and concrete feedback. This session will discuss the elements of job analysis, public sector values, appraisal objectives and tools, performance standards and common rating errors.

Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement
Session 6: Oct. 20, 2017
A key function of governmental and nonprofit organizations is to understand the processes by which services are delivered and be able identify and analyze the outputs and outcomes of those services.  Through various techniques of performance measurement, organizations can assess these outputs and outcomes and design systems to improve performance, the quality of services provided and the methods of service delivery. This session will introduce the concepts and functions of quality assurance and performance improvement based on both locally-defined and International City/County Management Association (ICMA) performance measures.

Evaluating Services
Session 7: Oct. 27, 2017
The public depends on government and nonprofit organizations to deliver services. We collect performance data but how do we know services are working? In this session, participants learn how to measure outputs, throughputs and outcomes and develop a logic model that can be used to guide a program evaluation.

Managing Personal and Organizational Ethics
Session 8: Nov. 3, 2017
Complex and often turbulent environments place a steady stream of moral issues before most public and nonprofit organizations today. These moral choices constantly test managers. Individual actions taken by managers in resolving ethical dilemmas often have impact on others in the organization as well. This session will explore cases involving personal ethical conduct and its broader impact within organizations. Participants will explore ethical codes as a guide to decision making by public and nonprofit managers.

Government and the Local Economy
Session 9: Nov. 17, 2017
The “economic problem” revolves around the consequences of scarcity. Since the fundamental implication of scarcity is choice, the study of economics focuses on making decisions that reconcile unlimited wants with limited resources. This session seeks to provide managers with an understanding of basic economics and the local economy that can be applied to make better decisions and to solve local problems.

Session 10: Jan. 5, 2018
In some form, formally or informally and at varying levels of responsibility, managers are called upon to provide leadership within their organizations and within the broader community. This session will focus on the general concept of leadership as it applies to the public and nonprofit sectors, including theories and styles of leadership. Individual leadership styles will be identified and assessed from the perspective of public service using Jim Collins' concepts of the levels of leadership.

Budget Analysis and Preparation
Session 11: Jan. 12, 2018
Budgets are plans that guide organization activity. Formulating a budget requires attention not only to service needs but also resource constraints. Since there are alternative ways of drafting a budget, the options are discussed. This session highlights the range of fiscal policy guidelines that executives must consider in preparing and implementing a budget.

Strategic Planning
Session 12: Jan. 19. 2018
Strategic planning in public and nonprofit organizations is a disciplined effort to determine where an organization has been, is and is going. The planning process begins with assessment. The session will introduce assessment techniques including stakeholder analysis and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). It will examine the planning process, who should be involved, strategic issue identification and implementing an action plan.

Budget Politics and Decision Making
Session 13: Feb. 26, 2018
The budget process is inherently political. Final authority for budget decisions lies with elected officials.  The relationship among elected officials and staff is key to budget deliberations. This session will cover budget process, information flow, key stakeholders and linkages between planning priorities and budget decisions.

Planning and Financing Capital Projects
Session 14: Feb. 2, 2018
Providing quality and adequate public infrastructure is typically a responsibility of state and local governments. However, public capital needs often exceed public resource capacity. Exemplary planning for project acquisition and capital financing are necessary. This section covers how to match capital needs with fiscal resources so governments can respond to citizens’ needs and maintain good fiscal conditions. Topics include assessing local capital needs, identifying and selecting capital projects, evaluating financing capacity and funding options, and evaluating and programming capital projects.  Particular attention is given to long-term debt management, policies and processes.

Community Problem Solving
Session 15: Feb. 9, 2018
Governments and nonprofits that involve citizens in decision-making and demonstrate their actions are consistent with the long-term well-being of community often reap returns in improved citizen relations and increased willingness to pay taxes. This session illuminates the importance of community as it relates to local government and the delicate balance that must be maintained between responsiveness and community. Effective managers must abandon traditional notions that management is legally defined or that management’s concerns are solely internal to the organization. Network management is examined as a way of rethinking the tasks of public management and realizing common goals through communication, consultation and negotiation with independent organizational neighbors.

Session 16: Feb. 16, 2018
Faculty and participants tie the sessions together through case studies in the management of public services.


The MiniMPA series is facilitated by area practitioners and faculty from Wichita State University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program at Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs.

Dr. Samuel Brown
Director, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D, Public Policy, University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1998

Dr. Mark Glaser
Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Administration and Urban Studies, University of Texas at Arlington, 1981

Dr. Kenneth Kriz
Regents Distinguished Professor of Public Finance, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Public Affairs, University of Indiana, 2000

Robert Layton
City Manager, City of Wichita
Master of Public Administration, Syracuse University, 1979

Brandon Russell
Director of Operations, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kansas
Master of Public Administration, Wichita State University, 2010

Kathy Sexton
City Manager, City of Derby
Master of Public Administration, Wichita State University, 2001

Dr. Arwiphawee Srithongrung
Associate Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Doctorate of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Springfield, 2006

Jenny Turner
Director of Human Resources, City of Derby
Master of Public Administration, Wichita State University, 2001

Dr. Melissa Walker
Associate Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Social Policy and Public Management, University of Chicago, 2005

Dr. Samuel Yeager
Professor, WSU Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Georgia, 1976

Cancellations must be made in writing by e-mail, mail or fax. Cancellations received five days prior to the event will receive a 75% refund. Cancellations received fewer than five days prior to the event will not receive a refund. 

Notice of Nondiscrimination
Wichita State University does not discriminate in its programs and activities on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, marital status, political affiliation, status as a veteran, genetic information or disability.  The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, Wichita State University, 1845 Fairmount, Wichita KS 67260-0205; telephone (316) 978-3186.

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Morgan Barnes, Program Manager
Wichita State University Hugo Wall School of Public Affairs
(316) 978-6535




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