Public administration department joins alliance 'committed to transforming local government'

The nationally ranked Department of Public Administration has joined the Alliance for Innovation, an international network of progressive governments and partners committed to transforming local government by accelerating the development and dissemination of innovative practices.

The department is the first university affiliate of the alliance. The organization is a partnership of the International City/County Management Association, the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs and the former Innovation Groups.

“We are very excited to now have a very deliberate and clear connection to the Department of Public Administration at KU,” said Karen Thoreson, president of the Alliance for Innovation. “The school’s admired faculty, students and alumni will be an asset to our member governments across the US and Canada.”

As an affiliate, the department will network with Alliance for Innovation members to advance research in local government practices.

“We are extremely happy about the opportunity to be the first university affiliate,” said Marilu Goodyear, chair of the public administration department. “The new access to timely resources will be very beneficial for our students and research faculty as they study the changing environment in local government.”

Faculty and students will have access to the results of national surveys that ICMA has conducted on economic development, sustainability and form of government. KU Libraries will partner with the department in managing ICMA datasets and providing access for KU researchers and students for a wide variety of inter- and multi-disciplinary research needs.

The department also will be able to participate in and add to an online knowledge base. The Alliance for Innovation and the ICMA host a website, the Knowledge Network, that provides interactive resources for professionals and academics interested in leading practices of local government.

In addition, the department will be part of a broad Academic Network assembled by Arizona State University. The network is made up of about 100 public affairs faculty members who contribute to new urban research from more than 50 universities and other research organizations.

KU’s involvement with the Alliance for Innovation also presents an opportunity to attract future university affiliates.

“This is a major step in the intended development of the Alliance as a vehicle to bring together forward-thinking local governments with academic institutions doing cutting-edge research,” said Jonathan Koppell, director of the Arizona State School of Public Affairs. “Adding a program of KU’s caliber will surely motivate other schools to join us in this important work as university affiliates.”

KU's Department of Public Administration consistently ranks as a top program in public affairs in the United States, according to US News and World Report. The department offers both academic and workplace-based professional development education to strengthen the provision of public services in society. The department prepares leaders and links KU resources to the challenges of public management through service and research.

The department is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Home to more than 55 departments and programs and the School of the Arts, the College is the largest academic unit at KU. It provides general education for undergraduates and confers half of all bachelor’s degrees earned at KU. Faculty offer a diverse wealth of expertise spanning the disciplines of arts, humanities, international studies, natural sciences and mathematics, and social and behavioral sciences.

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Malika Lyon, coordinator, International Visiting Scholars
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